Have you ever felt weird when the sanitary pads commercials show blue liquid-soaked pads and not red blood? Did you feel upset looking at those ideal period scenarios where menstruators are running, smiling, and enjoying their periods?Do you question yourself too looking at the papers or screens with happy menstruators just going on with their day-to-day work with ease? Like, they are superhumans immune to cramps?
Periods may not feel magical. It is okay to feel upset looking at the ideal pictures painted while talking about menstruation. But, the reality is not picture-perfect. Periods do not consist of the blue liquid but the actual blood along with the vaginal secretions and endometrial cells of the uterine wall. The blue liquid symbolizes the stigma around menstruation that still makes people hesitant to talk about periods openly and throws light on more fairytale-like menstruation. An image that is comforting but is also derailing from reality. The happy menstruator who is multitasking even on the first day of her period with an undying love on her face is also a big part of that image. It is just like those car advertisements where the traffic is never shown but only the luxury and comfort.
The period is not just bleeding for 3-7 days but it also consists of heavy cramps, irritation, mood swings, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. Not to forget the constant fear of staining your clothes or getting your periods on a busy day. This is not only physical strain but also mental stress. There are menstruators who experience intense pain and the constant strain fatigues them to a point where they feel too tired to work. And, it is important to let them know that it is okay. It is normal to feel too weak to function properly when you are on your periods.
But, it is equally important to know what can ease your discomfort, take a portion of it during your menstrual cycle. Eating the right food, doing mild exercises, taking enough rest, using a heating pad, etc, are few remedies to your unwavering physical discomfort. Other than this, it is also necessary to keep a check on our mental health because periods can have a toll on our mental health.
It is time we project the reality of menstruation, its hideous and painful parts so that the menstruators are aware and prepared for their periods. This will create a positive impact on the menstruator’s mind buzzing with guilt and self-doubt for not living up to the happy period image and offer them an open space where menstruation is talked about with care and facts. And, it will also help eliminate the period stigma and promote healthier conversations around menstrual health. Hence, showing menstruation the way it is a step towards better menstrual health and destigmatized periods.
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