Lammily, the company that makes dolls, which are often called “normal Barbies” because of their more realistic body shapes, have upped their game and are now selling accessories for dolls to have periods. You can buy a Period Party Pack and this comes with a pair of panties, 18 reusable pads and liners stickers, an educational pamphlet, a calendar and dot stickers.
Since little girls play-act almost every conceivable scenario with their dolls, I think it is a lovely way to normalise periods and prepare girls for that aspect of being a woman. Personally I think they should have added a large kitchen knife and a box of chocolates, but that’s just me.
On their site, they explain that they want to open a positive conversation about menstruation, since the process is still surrounded by many taboos. Which is insane, of course. When half of the world’s population bleeds every month for the largest part of their lives, WHY IS THIS STILL A THING?
This morning we reminisced about the first time we got our periods. Mine came on my 12th birthday. Like a gift from nature telling me that I’m a woman. I didn’t listen, obviously, since 12 is a ludicrous age to be anything except a little girl. But it was still pretty cool. And my mother handled it wonderfully. My family made a big fuss and I got to taste my first champagne.
But it’s not that easy for everyone. Our lovely intern, Annzra, got her period when she was only ten. A girl I was at school with started hers when we were at a gala meet. Poor Carmen got hers on Valentine’s Day while, horror of horrors, she was wearing white pants.
What we should be working towards is complete acceptance, of course. Period stories shouldn’t be embarrassing. Girls cannot choose when their uterine lining will be discarded. So why should they feel ashamed about a totally natural process that is completely out of their control?
Let’s teach our girls (and boys!) not to see periods as anything more than what it is. A natural bodily function that forms part of the amazingly intricate reproductive system.
But first, tell us your story, and you can win a lovely Women24 t-shirt and a colourful lippy.