Once a month a mystical, unavoidable, occasionally painful, often messy thing happens to all women, yet is rarely discussed and even less frequently enjoyed. You guessed it, we’re talking about your period. Many of you may have even cringed at this word- I know I certainly used to. The popular belief about periods is that they are gross, dirty, and should be kept hidden at all costs. We discuss them only in private, hide our tampons when going to the bathroom, and ultimately dread our “time of the month”, hoping for it to pass as quickly as possible. This is a perception that has been spread by pop culture, but is one that we here at Zenzy do not believe in. In fact, we’ve grown to love our periods. Yes, love. And we’re here to help you love yours, too. Read on for a breakdown of a period, why girls get them, why girls RULE, and the time I had a period party.
Some of you may not know exactly what a period is, and that is totally understandable! Truthfully, even I had a few lingering questions until I did some research for this article. Often, our only sources of information are our moms, and Google. Sometimes, neither is helpful.
We typically start menstruating between the ages of 8-16; below is a breakdown that is much simpler than the one you may have gotten in health clas. Get ready for a lot of words that tend to make people nervous like vagina… We just have to get over that one, ladies.
Another common, irritable side effect of your period is hormonal skin breakouts. Have you ever noticed that a bunch of red, painful bumps begin to crop up under your lip right before your period? Blame it on your hormones. Fortunately, they usually only last a few days, and clear up towards the end of your period. Try using a salicylic acid acne-wash like this one in this area to help clear it up.
Why Do Women Get Their Periods?
Ok, now that we’ve explained the cringe-worthy part about how blood exits your vagina, let’s talk about the why. The reason is to have babies, of course!
There is a reason why women can carry a child inside of them and men can’t – men do not have a uterus. More importantly, men would not be able to endure the pain of labor or periods (he-he).
Getting your period is a sign of health and is a rite of passage as a woman! When we bleed, we are showing the world how remarkable our bodies are. Your period is part of what makes you, and all girls, rockstars.
Getting your period is something you should never be ashamed of. It is a natural process that all women go through – yes, even Beyoncé gets her period. For a lot of us, our period is a topic we don’t want to bring up to our parents, and especially boys. The mean guys at school who talk trash on periods and say how “gross” they are, will one day thank you for them. Why? Because they are going to want babies (eventually, we promise)!
Do you have code names for anything period-related? I did! My friends and I would refer to our periods or tampons in code so that people wouldn’t know what we were talking about. Upon reflection, we were being blatantly obvious when we would reference “Shark Week” in the dead of winter.
We were treating our periods as a secret, when in fact, it’s something that is way more natural than just about every blonde on Instagram (myself included). It took me a while to get used to the fact that my period was something I could share and be open about. If I was running low on tampons, I’d ask my dad to pick some up… to this day he still knows which type I prefer. You shouldn’t feel nervous or scared of asking someone (even your dad) for help – this is an important part of life.
Getting your period for the first time can be scary. It’s messy, weird and just uncomfortable. When I was in middle school, all of my close girlfriends were starting their periods or had already started, and I was the oddball out who hadn’t gone through puberty yet.
High school rolled around, freshman year had come and gone and I stillhadn’t experienced “womanhood”. I was embarrassed and thought something was wrong with me, especially when I heard girls snickering behind my back calling me a virgin, prude, perfect and just about anything else that was a backhanded “compliment”.
When I finally started my period, I was so relieved! I was 15 years old and called my mom right away to share the big news. I then proceeded to text my few closest friends to inform them that I was officially a woman.
I may have been a little too excited to start my period, as I had spent the previous few years practicing how to use a tampon. For that reason, I shot one right up in there on that first day.
Judging by my reaction, you’re probably thinking I threw a party or something – and you would be right. Well…almost. My mom threw me a surprise period party at my best friend’s house. There were tampons attached to the blowing fan, red licorice and red velvet cupcakes were on her desk waiting to be consumed, and “Bleeding Love” was playing on her iPod deck. You could say she want all out.
You could also say that I was totally mortified. As if my mom telling the whole world that I had gotten my period wasn’t bad enough, midway through the party my BFF’s older brother walked in with his friends. It was a scene fit for a movie. I was able to move past the embarrassing moment, and ultimately came to have fun at my celebration.
The moral of the story is that there isn’t one “normal” way to experience a period. Your period is unique to your own body! Be proud of your period, don’t be afraid to discuss it with others, go buy those tampons at CVS, and remember that periods are an important part of girl power.
Finally… If you want to watch a totally hilarious depiction of what it’s like to get your period, click here.