Steph Gongora is a yoga practitioner and Instagram star with over 250,000 followers. She’s getting a lot of headlines for a video she posted, which you can see on People and Instagram, in which she does yoga poses while bleeding through her white pants. I think it’s a sophisticated ad for an organic line of tampons actually, but she seems to roll that back toward the end of her post and I can’t figure out if it’s sponsored or not. Anyway she writes that she’s only leaking a little, not free-flowing, and that she wants to reduce the stigma and shame around our periods. Here’s what she wrote and the video is on Instagram. She’s impressively strong and flexible:
I am a woman, therefore, I bleed.
It’s messy, it’s painful, it’s terrible, & it’s beautiful.
And yet, you wouldn’t know. Because I hide it.
I bury things at the bottom of the trash. I breathe, ragged and awkward through the cramps, all the while holding onto this tight lipped, painted on smile.
Tampons? Shhh. We don’t say those words out loud. Hide them. In the back pocket of your purse, in the corner of the bathroom drawer, at the very bottom of your shopping cart (please let me get a female cashier).
Events or engagements get missed. I’ll tell myself it’s the PMS, sure, but it has more to with the risk of being “caught,” at what…I’m not quite sure.
And I’m lucky.
Over 100 million young women around the globe miss school or work for lack of adequate menstrual supplies, & fear of what might happen if the world witnesses A NATURAL BODILY FUNCTION.
Because hundreds of years of culture have made us embarrassed to bleed. Have left us feeling dirty and ashamed.
STOP PRETENDING. Stop using silly pet names like Aunt Flo because you’re too afraid to say “I’m bleeding” or “vagina.” Stop wasting so much effort hiding the very thing that gives this species continuity.
START talking about it. Educate your daughters. Make them understand that it can be both an inconvenience and a gift, but NEVER something to be ashamed about. Educate your sons so they don’t recoil from the word tampon. So when a girl bleeds through her khaki shorts in third period (pun intended), they don’t perpetuate the cycle of shame and intolerance.
This #StartSomethingSunday , I want to highlight @corawomen .
Cora Women is a 100% Organic tampon company.
But that’s not all. They are also breaking barriers. Making it ok to talk about periods, even on social media. Providing personalized, delivered tampon/pad orders right to your door. AND for every box purchased, donating a box of sustainable pads to girls who can’t afford menstruation products.
F-k yeah. That’s the kind of stuff I can galvanize behind, NO money OR product needed. Just a mission I support on a topic we should ALL be talking about.
THIS IS JUST A LEAK, NOT FREE BLEEDING
Do you know what this essay reminds me of? That scene in Carrie where they’re throwing pads and tampons at her in the locker room after she gets her period. It’s something we’re conditioned to be ashamed of and the little sheltered girl needs to learn shame. Whether this post is an ad or not she brings up some good points. There are so many days when I wish I could just tell people, men and women (not everyone, just the people I’m dealing with that day) that I feel like total sh-t because I’m on my period. I’m going through perimenopause now and it’s pretty bad, it’s like my period is fighting my body. Plus I’ve been getting it every three weeks instead of four for some reason. At least I work with great women and we chat about our periods because that’s normal. We’re otherwise supposed to keep quiet about it, even if it affects everything we do, and not talk about it whereas it’s socially acceptable to discuss less common health issues like a cold, for instance. Instead, we only tell our female friends and most trusted female co-workers in hushed tones after we’ve taken them aside. I don’t know how this can change though, because once we start saying “hey I’m menstruating” we become the weird ones, the Carries who don’t know or care about social norms. At least we’re talking about it.
I am writing, and things come pouring out like a flood. Like a deluge after a dam breaks, and all the debris is free to float downstream. . . It's messy, it's muddy, and some of it hurts a little. But I've often found that we are best cleansed by the rains that sting the most. . . . 📷 @lifeinanimage #TheBeginnersGuideToYoga