Women all over the world experience menstruation, yet so many of them feel obligated to hide their tampons and pads from strangers and peers alike.
Girls typically get their first periods between the ages 10 and 15, but there is no “right” age to get it. Every girl experiences menstruation at their own pace, and it is different for each of them, too.
A regular menstrual period usually last for two to seven days every 21 to 35 days. However, the first few years of menstruation tend to have longer, irregular cycles.
The thing is, young girls are often told that no one should know that they are on their period. While it is true that they don’t have to let anyone know, it should not be something they feel like they must hide. The process of menstruation is a natural and normal occurrence. It is not something that one can prevent or turn off.
While they should not feel embarrassed about their bodies functioning as they should, many women and teens feel as though they should hide the fact that they are on their “lady days.”
Teenage girls tend to hide their tampons and pads while going to the bathroom, and consider it bold to just hold it out in the open. Most high school girls wouldn’t dare to show off the fact that they are on their period as it would be considered mortally embarrassing.
Freshman Jonathan Kall says, “Girls shouldn’t feel embarrassed [about their periods] because it’s just a natural part of life and they cannot stop it.”
Just the idea of openly talking about periods to people other than your relatives or close friends is considered taboo. Overall, girls experience the same thing, so it should not be a discussion that is prevented.
Freshman Maya Salyani says, “I don’t think that girls should feel self-conscious, nor embarrassed, about their period, but this happens because no one talks about it. No one is out there reassuring girls that it’s fine to talk about their periods.”
While it is understandable why girls feel embarrassed on their periods, it shouldn’t have to be this way.
Period talk should be normalized throughout conversations between all genders. It becomes an uncomfortable conversation because it isn’t spoke about often.
Kall says, “I was [uncomfortable] at first, but now since I’ve heard people talk about [periods] a lot, I’m used to it by now.”
While they may feel like the “bane of your existence,” menstruation should be an experience that is accepted and thought of as a good thing.
A female getting her first period is considered a rite of passage to becoming a woman. In many cultures, celebrations are held and rituals are performed. For example, in South Africa, the girl is gifted many presents, but must stay inside for three days and away from men and children until her period is over.
Meanwhile, in America, there is no typical tradition for young women having their first period. In fact, tampons, pads, and other menstruation items are taxed as luxury goods.
How would you feel if girls openly talked about their periods to others? Why?