Women Bleed During Their Period, Apparently

‘Periods are normal. Showing them should be too’. Bodyform make this message clear with their new campaign ‘Blood Normal’, which includes the first ever advert in the UK to feature blood on a period product. Yes, you heard me right, it’s a UK first in 2017. And yes, you should be shocked that this is only just happening now. If you need an example of how big a deal this is then just check out the video Huffpost made where they get the opinions of the public – this is considered something to debate.

In an era where any feminist comment is instantly met with people claiming we’ve got equality now, I will now hold this advert up as proof that we still have a long way to go. Sure, it might not seem like a big issue, but does having bigger problems at hand mean we have to shove all our small problems to the side? This should be an issue. The idea that women gush mysterious blue liquid from our bodies should be more bizarre to us than finally seeing the blood we’ve become accustomed to each month on our screens, but instead our bleeding being acknowledged on TV is revolutionary.

It’s revolutionary because it makes us consider how in a world where we wouldn’t bat an eyelid at a flawlessly photoshopped woman selling us diet products or a perfume we can’t even smell, we shudder at the thought of our natural monthly cycles being shown as they actually are on TV. This advert tells us that women in television, and women in general, are still held up on a pedestal. From women shaving already hairless legs to advertising skincare on faces blurred to perfection by computers, it’s clear to see that anything less than feminine perfection is still too grotesque for us to see from our sofas. Periods, it seems, despite being natural, are something we should be ashamed of. We’re told that the reality of this cycle should be locked away in a bathroom where it can’t offend anyone. We’re told our bodies are acceptable as long as we’re hair, blood and fluid free. Our bodies are accepted as sellable sexual objects but our bodies and the fluids that come along with them are still not acceptable as functionable everyday parts of us.

But here’s a news flash: women bleed, women grow hair in places we’ve been told we shouldn’t and even if our skin doesn’t look like porcelain it shouldn’t mean we become invisible to the media and to the world. What we see in the media is what we come to expect of ourselves, so I applaud Bodyform for their advert, as although it’s just the tip of the iceberg, it takes us one step closer to seeing women as imperfect humans and allowing that to be okay. We bleed, so what?