Periods are pretty metal. The old joke that men could never deal with the pain and gore of periods -- let alone stare a tampon in the eye without cringing -- still stands true. Although women don't have a choice about seeing Aunt Flo on a monthly basis, we deal with the blood as if it's nothing. Don't even get me started on menstrual cups.
Apparently, we're not the only ones to notice it takes a tough lady to battle through period cramps. UK feminine hygiene brand Bodyform is making headlines for a gritty new campaign with the tagline "No blood should hold us back." After decades of watching blonde women in white jeggings dance with joy during pad commercials, women are ready for the real deal. Instead of Colgate-blue liquid poured onto tampons, we're getting honest-to-goodness red blood.
The campaign's introductory video, titled just "Blood," launched at the end of May. It features female boxers with broken noses, ballerinas with broken toes and a soccer player who's itching for a brawl. Women see blood every day, the ad says, so it doesn't scare us. Bring it on.
"Menstruation really is 'the last taboo' for women in sport, simply because we lack knowledge and understanding of this subject area," Nicola Coronado, Bodyform creative director, said in a statement to press.
Wondering what cause could possibly merit rethinking the menstrual cycle? Bodyform's ads promote Red.fit, its new website combining nutrition, activity and science to help women better tackle every phase of their 28-day menstrual cycles. In collaboration with sports scientist Georgie Bruinvels, Red.Fit will produce everything from self-help videos ("Cramp busting stretches") to recipe cards. All you have to do is sign up.
Bodyform isn't the only female-oriented brand to realize grittiness appeals to women, either. In 2010, U by Kotex launched. With an all-black box and neon tampon wrappers, the product sat in direct contrast to the traditional powder blue packaging of brands like Tampax.
It isn't enough for periods to be hygienic -- now, customers want them to be strong and sexy.