Bleeding through your pants at school. Spilling the contents of your purse — including tampons — on the floor in a public area. Telling your mom that you've started your period for the first time. All of these situations can be seriously awkward for pubescent girls. But do they have to be? Well, this eye-opening ad depicts a world where everybody gets periods. And it deserves a slow clap.
Most females menstruate, after all; it's the biological norm for pre-teen girls all the way up to menopausal women, and for trans men. So why are we still whisper-asking our girlfriends for a tampon? And why is it "gross" to have frank conversations about bleeding from our vaginas? Enter: Thinx.
Thinx, the company behind the popular free-bleeding underwear has released its first-ever television ad, and it shows common, period-related moments — only if it were to happen to guys, according to AdWeek. The 80-second spot begins with a forlorn teen who approaches his father with some big news, "Hey dad, I think I got my period," he says, embarrassed.
In the next scene, a bearded man sleeping in his underwear rolls over to reveal a period stain on his sheets. Other scenes include a high school student dropping his pads on the floor near his locker, a man desperately trying to get a feminine hygiene product dispenser to work in a public restroom, and a guy walking in a locker room with a tampon string dangling from his underwear.
"If we all had periods, maybe we'd be more comfortable with them," the ad leaves viewers to read. "It's time to get comfortable."
Of course, Thinx's main purpose is promoting its comfy, period-absorbing underwear. In doing so, however the company has also managed to put out a pretty bad*ss, feminist message by attempting to normalize menstruation.
As powerful as the ad is, some networks aren't on board for such a "radical "concept. In fact, CBS initially rejected the ad, The New York Post reported. Thinx already was forced to cut out the blood-stain scene from the get-go so that it would be allowed to run on national television. However, CBS still deemed the dangling tampon string in one of the other scenes to be be too "graphic." A rep for CBS later told The New York Post that it is "reviewing the ad," and then CBS eventually said it would be "accepting an ad from the organization."
If you're hoping to check out the ad on TV, you can catch it on: NBCUniversal’s Bravo and Oxygen channels, along with Viacom networks, MTV, BET, and VH1, according to The New York Post.
Personally, I'm loving the new Thinx ad — and I'll be keeping an eye out for it on TV. Because even though the concept of everybody having periods is clearly tongue-in-cheek, the visuals of this advertisement deliver a powerful message: Menstruation is normal. So talking about periods and having access to feminine hygiene products should be too. (Considering most states still have a tax on feminine hygiene products, according to The New York Times, I'd say we still have a long way to go.) Kudos to Thinx for normalizing periods.