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Women bleed red, not blue: First sanitary pad ad that shows ‘period blood’

The ad shows a hand pouring a red liquid onto a sanitary pad, followed by a shot of a woman in the shower with blood droplets running down her legs.

more lifestyle Updated: Oct 20, 2017 12:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Sanitary pads,period taboo,menstruation
Bodyform’s campaign, #bloodnormal, attempts to normalise menstruation. (Bodyform YouTube)

‘Periods are normal. Showing them should be too.’

A leading UK feminine hygiene brand is breaking period taboo by depicting menstrual blood in their new advertisement, instead of the infamous ‘blue liquid’.

In a first for UK, the 20-second clip features a hand pouring a red liquid onto a sanitary pad, followed by a shot of a woman in the shower with blood droplets running down her legs. The video also shows a woman relaxing in a pool on a pad-shaped float, and a man purchasing sanitary towels, presumably, for a woman.

Bodyform’s campaign, #bloodnormal, attempts to normalise menstruation. A survey, called Period Taboo, conducted with 10,017 men and women, found that 74%* of them wanted to see a realistic representation of periods in ads. “We were so shocked by the results of our research that we publicly vowed to address the continued silence around periods,” Traci Baxter, marketing manager at Bodyform, told Independent.

“We remain committed to showing periods in everyday life, truthfully and honestly. Together, we can help make blood normal,” Baxter said.

The advertisement adds to a growing list of reactions from all over the world that aims to shed taboos associated with menstrual cycle. Twenty eight-year-old Kiran Gandhi, born and brought up in Boston, grabbed headlines in 2015 when she ran the London marathon on her first day of period without a tampon. “Create your own narrative around your body and understand why you feel ashamed to talk about these things. Then, question them,” said the Harvard graduate in an interview to HT.

In July this year, two Indian companies - Culture Machine and Gozoop - introduced menstrual leave (First Day of Period) for their employees. Devleena Majumder, president HR of Culture Machine, said the idea was to, “align the core organisational values to the content that we create. First day is obviously a not so a comfortable day for the most. This is not an embarrassment, it’s is part of life.”

In August, senior CPI-M leader Brinda Karat pitched for legal backing to menstrual leave. She said an employer should be legally bound to give menstrual leave to women employees.

Bodyform’s campaign has been received well online, with their YouTube channel filled with positive comments. The video has garnered nearly 5 lakh views in 3 days.

First Published: Oct 20, 2017 11:59 IST