Growing up, Kat Graham says she felt like she was on an island.
When about women’s bodies and their health, “my mother never talked to me about birth control, and my dad wasn’t around. Nobody was talking about it and the stuff in magazines felt like it was geared towards looking appealing to men”. However, growing up as periods and contraceptives were hushed by only highlighted that there should be empowerment in the – almost universally-felt – secrets of female health. That’s why, in partnership with Lo Loestrin Fe (also known as Lolo), Kat Graham invited Her Campus and Her Campus Cásper Líbero to an exclusive Zoom Q&A and to, in her words, “do some damage”.
“you’re going to be an army”
“You guys are not just an audience here. You’re going to be an army to erase this stigma that we can’t talk about our bodies”, she continues. According to a study commissioned by THINX, nearly 58% of women have felt a sense of embarrassment because they were on their period. And, to Kat, that furthers from a place of ownership in one’s body, feeding the cycle on and on: “when did it become so taboo? We are not supposed to talk about it when it’s the most natural, beautiful thing that we do.”
With Lolo, she wanted to encourage everyone to find their voice. Kat tells that, on her usual Zoom conversations with fans, she sometimes doesn’t have the answers or necessarily the skills set and perspective to be able to do them justice, so she wanted to work with a company that could get the message out about empowering young women to get the right education and answers for their health.
To the actress, to be passionate about yourself and take care is to be in love with yourself – and your birth control, apparently: “people are like, but you’re so passionate about your birth control. [And I’m like,] you’re not? I want to get to a place where we get ownership of our bodies.”
lolo & birth control
“I first heard about Lolo from my obstetric and gynecologist doctor. She brought it to my attention because I was worried I was not going to be able to take a pill at the same time everyday. It was extra perfect for me”, she recalls, while adding that the advice – and partnership – came at perfect timing, since she was already in a space that she wanted to empower people to get to know themselves better and more honestly, with bodies that are “all so different and need different things”.
“But you’re so passionate about your birth control? [And I’m like,] you’re not?”KAT GRAHAM
Lo Loestrin Fe, or Lolo for short, provides, according to Dr. Lakeisha Richardson, effective pregnancy prevention with the lowest dose of estrogen in the market. There are also no generic equivalents for women, so, for those who chose to take Lolo for pregnancy prevention, most had a period which lasted less than two days per cycle on average when on the medication.
When starting her Lolo journey, the actress tells she was worried about the “things we all worry about”: whether she was going to have cramps, nausea among other symptoms. It all worked out, but she reinforces: “if you’re looking to start birth control or change your birth control, talk to your OBGYN and find out what’s best for you.”
the 8:58am self-care
Her prescription to all, however, would be to treat your birth control like self-care as much as the face mask next door. To Kat, her 8:58 alarm to take Lolo also means a time to unwind and set herself as present in her day, taking 30 seconds or 3 minutes to give permission to stop, even in a busy schedule.
As college students, to get a break to “breathe and say this is where I’m at, I’m happy with myself and I love myself” is important, according to the self-crowned queen of overworking herself. A routine, to her, also has to rely on stopping.
The reminder she leaves women is to – whether dealing with birth control or racism online – have uncomfortable conversations and enjoy those moments because, to the actress, “all the uncomfortable moments I thought were rain clouds were actually part of the rainbow, and, to ride the rainbow out, you have to not be comfortable all the time.” The best advice she was given from a woman, after all, was to use the difficult moments in life as fuel.
And, also, her advice to birth control takers and people who are taking it for the first time and women overall is, first and foremost, to remember: you’re not alone.