Stigmas around periods are being broken

Feminine hygiene products have joined the ever-growing direct-to-consumer sector, with subscription services and organic options readily available. However, there’s still a lack of openness around the need for such products: menstruation. People are trying to smash the stigmas around periods with games, films, and parties.


The Period Game is less than $10,000 away from reaching its Kickstarter goal to bring the board game to market. The idea began as a school project for two students at Rhode Island School of Design in 2014—they’ve since played it with more than 200 students, educators, gynecologists, and child psychologists and want to make it available to the public. The game’s goal is not only to inform prepubescent youth but also to break the stigmas around talking about periods. Gaming is popular among young people, and board games are seeing a resurgence; educational entertainment like The Period Game serves double duty.


A film about women getting their periods—and the stigma attached to it—won an Oscar this weekend for Best Short Documentary. Period. End of Sentence. began with former students and their English teacher at Oakwood High School in California to bring to life the mission behind The Pad Project, a nonprofit organization they started. The documentary aims to end the stigmatization of periods, and it focuses on a rural village in India where women have trouble accessing feminine care products, which can result in difficulty in pursuing their education. The Oscar win is a big step for breaking stigmas and encouraging conversations.


In order to eliminate stigma around periods and remove shame young women may feel about them, parents are starting to throw “periods parties” for their daughters when they experience their first period. Such celebrations, which can involve elements like red food, beverages, and decorations and christening a name for the period, have gained popularity thanks to the internet. One woman’s tweet about her daughter’s period party went viral in 2017 (pictured above), and last summer comedian Bert Kreischer shared his first-hand account of his daughter’s celebration on Conan. Celebrating life’s everyday moments is aligned with young consumers’ values, and period parties help normalize conversation around menstruation.