As teenagers, we navigate a world that bombards us with various forms of media – movies, TV shows, books, and more. These platforms have the power to shape our perceptions and attitudes towards different aspects of life. One such aspect that has gained more attention in recent years are periods, and its portrayal in popular culture. Let’s explore how periods are depicted in movies, TV shows, and books, and why accurate period representation is crucial for breaking stigmas and advocating for menstrual health.
Breaking the Silence
Historically, menstruation has been a topic shrouded in secrecy and stigma. However, as our society becomes more progressive, there has been a positive shift in the way periods are portrayed in pop culture. This shift is essential because it normalizes a natural bodily function that half of the world’s population experiences.
From Awkward to Authentic: Evolution of Representation
In the past, periods were often portrayed in a comical or awkward light. Characters would go to great lengths to hide their menstrual cycles, leading to unrealistic and sometimes harmful narratives. However, recent years have seen a welcome change. Shows like “Big Mouth” and movies like “The Edge of Seventeen” have depicted menstruation in a more authentic and relatable manner. They show that experiencing a period is a normal part of life and does not need to be a source of shame.
The Power of Education
Accurate representation of periods in pop culture serves as an educational tool for both boys and girls. It helps break down misconceptions and promotes understanding. For boys, it’s a chance to learn about a natural process that the women in their lives experience. For girls, it validates their experiences and provides a platform for open discussions about menstrual health.
Recently, ‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’ did a really great representation of periods. There was a great scene in the movie where a few years ago it would have been used to make fun and mock the person because of their period, but instead the scene was flipped and it saw all the kids standing up to period shame.
Challenging Taboos and Stigmas
By showcasing periods in a realistic and unapologetic manner, pop culture is challenging long-standing taboos and stigmas associated with menstruation. It’s important to remember that menstruation is not a source of embarrassment or shame; it’s a vital aspect of reproductive health. By portraying it accurately, pop culture helps dismantle the harmful narratives that have perpetuated for far too long.
The Role of Advocacy
Accurate representation of periods in pop culture is not just about entertainment; it’s also a form of advocacy. It sends a powerful message that menstrual health matters, and that no one should feel isolated or marginalized because of a natural bodily function. Additionally, it encourages the development of policies and initiatives aimed at promoting menstrual hygiene and accessibility to sanitary products for all.
Your Role in the Movement
As teenagers, we have a significant role to play in this movement towards accurate representation and advocacy for menstrual health. We can support media that portrays periods in a positive light and challenge content that perpetuates harmful stereotypes. We can also engage in conversations with our peers, parents, and educators to spread awareness and promote a healthy attitude towards menstruation.
The portrayal of periods in pop culture has come a long way, but there is still work to be done. By advocating for accurate period representation, we can contribute to a more inclusive and understanding society. Let’s continue to support media that embraces menstruation as a natural and important part of life, and let’s be vocal advocates for menstrual health and hygiene. Together, we can break down stigmas and ensure that everyone, regardless of gender, feels comfortable and empowered in their own bodies.
Do you think period representation in pop culture matters?