This Coloring Book Helps Destigmatize Periods

With the adult coloring book now a full-on craze, a playful new project is using the popular form to challenge perceptions of sexual health. The Period Coloring Book, created by design strategist and public health practitioner Andrea Yip, celebrates this monthly occurance and is cool AF. "Periods are natural, normal and experienced in so many different ways. I think it’s important to embrace and celebrate periods," Yip tells Bustle in an email. "They can be a very important part of who we are and how we identify. And yet, there is a lot of stigma and shame associated with periods that we need to continue to challenge."

The sex positive, body positive, black and white illustrations tackle every part of the period experience, and are sure to get the conversation about menstruation, er, flowing. The 30-page volume of "period positive meditative coloring" is currently crowdfunding via an IndieGoGo campaign, with the first books set to come out in March of 2017. Get ready to see leaks, pads, cramps, period poops and period sex in a whole new bright light.

Yip, who splits her time between Toronto and New York City, hopes the coloring book will help people who menstruate stop thinking of their periods as embarrassing and start bonding with fellow bleeders. Through the coloring book, she hopes to normalize periods as well as explore the diversity of menstrual experiences. “After speaking with my close friends, I realized that there wasn’t a lot of conversation out there about people’s lived experiences with periods,” Yip tells Bustle. “I started to illustrate these moments and found that the illustrations would help spark discussion. I hope the book can serve as a playful way for people to start thinking and talking about periods.” Needless to say, I wish I had this book the first time I met Aunt Flow.

The period coloring book is not only educational, but makes those communal crampy experiences kinda fun, too. Yip encourages people to color any way they like, though she believes a group experience can help facilitate real talk. "I love to color! For me, coloring is a time for meditation and reflection," Yip tells Bustle. "I hope that it can serve as a fun and easier way to talk about taboo topics like periods."

With a few months left before the book design is finalized, Yip encourages people to contribute their own period experiences as well. "Most of the topics in the book were inspired by stories from other bleeders. I wanted to include a mix of topics in order to highlight issues that people can more easily relate to (e.g., pads, bloating) and those that may be more difficult to openly talk about (e.g., period sex)," Yip explains. "It’s still a work in progress and on my crowdfunding page I invite people to email me their ideas!"

Yip launched her IndieGoGo campaign in early November, and has already built up quite a fanbase. "People in their teens and 20s have been really excited about the book," Yip adds. "I hope it resonates with bleeders of all different body types and shapes." With the crowdfunding goal nearly met with a month still remaining in the campaign, I'd say the period coloring book is doing just that.

So grab those colored pencils, 'cause everyone can use a little period positive zen while PMSing.

To learn more about the project, check out the book's crowdfunding video here:

To support the Period Coloring Book, check out the Indiegogo Campaign here.

Images: Courtesy of Andrea Yip/Period Coloring Book; AndreaYip/YouTube