*Cue drumroll* The stats are in!
Stigma about periods and the female body starts early on. Girls are taught to be ashamed of their bodies before even learning about them. Keeping quiet about our periods adds to the big taboo. We want to open up the conversation and find out how girls and women experience their periods during puberty, from their perspective.
We surveyed 1,000 girls and women (aka. our #BlumeBabes) in the Blume community to learn about their experiences with periods and puberty. This is what we found:
- 79% used products for their first period that their mom gave them, or already used herself
- 60% feel that their self-esteem plummeted or lessened around puberty
- 68% don’t feel their school did a good job of preparing them for their first period
- 57% felt scared when they got their first period
- 63% felt embarrassed when they got their first period
- 64% missed out on activities (dance, swimming, etc.) because they didn’t know how to manage their period (& we bet no one believed them...)
Our survey reflects the existing research available — girls are not receiving adequate information about their bodies, whether that be about their periods, anatomy, or sexual health. Dr. Meadow Maze Good, at the University of Florida Health Jacksonville, notes that “[w]hen it comes to [vaginal] health, many women don’t know what ‘normal’ is” (Women’s Health). So how can girls and women embrace their bodies and feel self-confident when they are constantly worried about if they “look right”?
Why does this matter?
If we as women don’t feel empowered to learn about and know our bodies then we are likely to miss out on important signals when things go wrong. Added to this, is not even knowing the kind of questions we should be asking our doctors and other people we trust.
The usual sex-ed “often depends on scare tactics instead of knowledge, empowerment, and interpersonal relationships” (Bustle). Other than this kind of talk being super uncomfortable, we know and have known for a long time now that these methods just don’t work! Education that incorporates birth control information results in already sexually active adolescents engaging in safe sex (awesome!) while it has no effect on those not having sex (Bustle) (told you so!).
How does this change?
Changing the culture of shame happens through knowledge. Providing relevant, normalized education empowers girls to advocate for themselves and their bodies. That’s why at Blume we’re focusing on education. We believe that all girls and women deserve to receive honest information about their bodies and to use safe period products from the very beginning. We not only provide organic pads and tampons for period management but we also incorporate knowledge into our ethos.
So we’re proud to announce V1 of Blume University—a blog full of educational content, videos, plus stories from real women like you. We want to create a community of #BlumeBabes having open conversations about all the things that matter to you. We want to hear about everything—the good, the bad, the ugly—because it’s all a part of you & we want to be a part of you too.
Shop your new self-care routine here