One weekend in 8th grade, I spent a Saturday hanging out with my older cousin. James was about 28 at the time. He was driving me back through my hometown to drop me off. A usual and ordinary moment all of a sudden felt like the world was going to end. That gut-wrenching feeling you get in your lower stomach, your uterus screaming “Hey remember me?”, kicked in and I knew I got my period. As time kept passing, I felt some leakage going on. Why I wore white shorts that day, I have no idea, but damn did I regret it. I became nervously quiet in the car while James continued to maintain conversation. When he pulled up outside of my house, I said thank you for dropping me off and slowly got out of the car, being very cautious to not show any red spillage. I was so humiliated. I ran inside to find my white shorts absolutely destroyed with my period blood. I was mortified.
Menstruation is a natural biological function that happens to half of the population, yet it is a complete mystery to the other half. Most menstruators deal with similar side effects that come along with the monthly cycle- cramping, bloating, mood swings, stress. Don’t even get me started on how much more I sleep or my endless chocolate cravings. These symptoms are experienced by so many of us, yet the word “period” is viewed with a dirty connotation. There is discomfort that comes with talking about periods. People have created so many euphemisms to mask the topic- code red, your friend visiting, aunt flow, lady business, bloody mary, time of the month, and many more. It evokes the horror and shame we are made to feel around a bodily function that happens to half of the world’s population.
At an early age, menstruators are told to conceal and slip their period care products under their sleeve when going to the bathroom. They grow up whispering the question “Do you have a spare pad?” to only those they trust the most. Society demands women to be clean and tidy, and when periods are labeled as dirty, we feel we aren’t living up to what the world has requested of us. The longer we keep hiding our periods, the longer the cultural taboo will live on.
Instead of viewing periods as a taboo, we need to teach the next generations, as well as our peers, that periods are a natural process- they are normal and there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Instead of keeping non-menstruators out of the conversation on menstruating, we need to start having open conversations with one another. As we educate our peers about menstruation the more likely culture around periods will change appropriately.
By breaking stigmas, we are allowing more room for conversation around the menstrual products we use. When we suppress the existence of pads or tampons from our minds, we don’t look deeper into what our go-to products are made of, their impact on the Earth, and the impact it may be having on our bodies. Just as we look for low waste alternatives and cleaner options in our everyday products, period care should be no different. Most menstruators don’t realize how much waste their period care products produce. Some menstrual pads contain as much plastic as 4 plastic bags and can take up to 800 years to break down! Not to mention, the average menstruator is predicted to throw away around 400 lbs of packaging from their period care products throughout their cycle’s lifetime. While no one was talking about menstruating, period care companies were quietly putting the same chemicals found in Roundup weed killer and Biofreeze into their products.
Viv products bring you menstrual products you are comfortable with while providing a cleaner and more sustainable alternative. Viv for your V’s mission is to give menstruators the better products they deserve while opening the dialogue that has been shut off for far too long.
Viv was created to bring sustainable and clean period products to the hands of those that bleed. Viv’s pads and liners are 95% biodegradable, contain no plastic, and are made from bamboo fiber. Bamboo production uses ¼ the amount of water and less land than cotton uses. More importantly, they only take 150 days to break down! Viv produces 60% less CO2 emissions per box than the average period care company. It’s about time we have menstrual care that is good for your body & our planet.