Remember Hello Flo, the company with the incredible ads that went viral for their refreshing frankness about menstruation? Their commercials are still having an impact: YouTube comedy channel The Fine Brothers recently featured Hello Flo's "First Moon Party" in the Elders React series, in which older people are shown viral content. The results can be hilarious, like when they were shown the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer, but this video led to a surprisingly serious points about how little education there was (and, frankly, still is) on the subject of menstruation. In the discussion of the ad, one woman flat out admitted she wished there had been similar commercials when she was younger. "I thought I was dying," she said of her first period. Another equated the product (a starter kit for a girl's first period) with knowledge and power over the female body, and yet another liked that the video was "so open" about the subject. While all the subjects of the video said they were comfortable talking about it now, both men and women unanimously agreed that menstruation wasn't spoken about when they were growing up. Almost every woman said she was completely unprepared for her first time. "Parents were not discussing this with their children," said a former middle school teacher.
The video highlights just how important it is to educate girls on their own bodies, when the extent of the discussion is exclaiming "You're a woman now!" and leaving it at that, as it was with one interviewee. With lack of education, menstruation shifts from a natural occurrence that happens once a month for decades to an unknown, terrifying betrayal by a girl's own body. While some people end up being pretty into periods, avoidance of the subject contributes to the stigma surrounding menstruation, which is in turn linked to body shame and self-objectification. The Fine Brothers' video is a reminder that we've come a long way on the subject in the past few decades. Let's make sure the progress doesn't stop here.