They are watching TV. Ads are being aired. An ad for sanitary napkins plays. Discomfort fills the room. Somebody changes the channel or people cringe and wait for the next ad. This epitomizes the general attitude to periods among many. The ads for sanitary napkins/pads on TV are a reflection of this attitude.
Almost all ads that I have seen on Indian TV and YouTube:
- Refer to periods as – That time of the month – un dino (Those days in Hindi) or a sad worried expression on the girl’s face
- Talk about – Daag (Stain), gilapan (wetness), nervousness, discomfort.
- Cramps do not exist in their universe. Only fear and gilapan.
- Nobody shows a picture of the real product. They all show a computer graphic video of the product.
- Nobody mentions blood. All you see is a blue liquid in the computer graphic video part.
That is why I loved this ad ( I first saw it on IHM’s blog). It is cute, funny and uses words like vagina and period.
“I got my period”
They showed a real tampon and the girl holding it and playing with it and not a computer graphic.
She uses a ketchup bottle not some blue liquid.
“Their vag is the arc”
It shows young girls crying due to cramps.
“Like Santa for your vagina”
I adore this ad and feel we should be comfortable talking about vaginas and periods without shame.
Read more articles in this series here.