It was only with my close friends that I would talk about menstruation until I launched Good Blood. But once I soft launched the period power project on my Instagram, more and more people started speaking to me about periods. Sharing stories of similar experiences with menstrual cramps, how periods make male family members uncomfortable and the general aches and pains of menstruation. I first had the idea of a badge that could be worn when you are menstruating when I was commuting to London for work. This particular time the period was excruciatingly painful, making me feel faint and I was standing in the aisle of the train desperate for a seat. It was a cliché light bulb moment – if only there was a badge that could indicate that I was on my period, suffering from cramps that commuters could recognise and offer me their seat. It took time to design and courage to launch the project. The usual self-doubt had me worried as well as the fact I was launching a project about periods – the word “taboo” comes from Polynesian tapua, meaning both “sacred” and “menstruation”- a subject people only speak of in whispers and in close circles.
Social narratives, philosophy, and most definitely the patriarchy, have all played a part in silencing the conversation around menstruation and contributed to the “offensiveness” of periods in the West. Menstruation raises so many questions once we start talking about it. Why is it offensive? Why don’t some people want to talk about it? Why are we hiding that we are menstruating or not menstruating? With the UK government donating the tampon tax to anti-abortion organisations, young girls missing school because they cannot afford sanitary products and food banks requesting tampons and towels for women living in poverty, it is imperative that we start talking about the reality of menstruation. I hope Good Blood can be a contributor to the conversation, and dent the shame surrounding menstruating. It is the people that get involved and support Good Blood that can make it what it is, and that is what I love about the project the most – the shared experience and commonality of being human and having a body.As a teenager I took hormonal birth control, which halted my menstruation cycle, so when I decided to stop.
As a teenager, I took hormonal birth control, which halted my menstruation cycle, so when I decided to stop taking the mini pill the sight of blood in my underwear was a shock at first. Since then I have been getting used to my menstrual cycle as each month is different, from the amount of blood, to the length of time I suffer from PMS and cramping. There are even occasions when my face puffs up, I suffer from agonizing headaches, I can feel faint and/or be irritable and moody for days. I’m done with hiding the struggle of menstruation, it is the body I have and won’t be told (by the patriarchy) that it is less capable or weak – because bleeding is cool AF. Good Blood is a collection of badges and tees that you can wear when it’s your time of the month, or if you’re just feeling proud to bleed, and even if you just want to show your support for those who menstruate. It is important the project is inclusive, we should all be part of the conversation because there is injustice in the tampon tax, the hidden ingredients on sanitary packaging and lack of available products for people living in poverty – so let’s start talking about what is GOOD about BLOOD.
Follow Good Blood on Instagram @goodbloodperiod