I was driving in the car with The Boyfriend. Discussing my blog and my next #MenstrualMonday topic, when he suddenly asked me, “Why do all the adverts surrounding menstrual products use blue liquid?”.
Good question I thought. Why, when blood is red (okay, scientists will argue its blue when flowing-pun intended- around the body), do they insist on using “blue liquid” to represent blood?
Perhaps, the bigwigs in the advertising industry got together and decided it would be far to traumatic to show actual blood, for fear of traumatising viewers during there pre-TV viewing with a advert that was to “true to life”.
Instead, women are given images of blue liquid – not dissimilar to anti-freeze – in test tubes, that is then poured onto sanitary ware in a weird effort to show a “stimulated period”. For those who are unaware or for any men out there, our blood is not blue, nor does it sit in blue liquid form on the sanitary towels we wear each month. What are we teaching young girls? Why are we cotton-wooling society? God forbid, someone uneducated out there actually believes they are abnormal for having red menstrual blood!
However, in 2016 body form did something out of character for the period advertising industry. They actually produced an advert that contained*shock horror* red blood. Gone were the strange women rollerblading in white dresses. Gone were the no – one wants – to – see – real – blood – lets – pretend – periods – don’t – happen – by – using “inoffensive”- blue -liquid as a substitute. Gone was the weird ear-bending shrieking lady randomly appearing with a red box complete with bow -are periods really presents?
The advert was created as part of Body form’s Red.fit campaign, educating people about how menstruation affects the body at different points in the monthly cycle and giving advice on nutrition and exercise. What a fantastic campaign.
Body form opted for an advert that showed women as athletes, strong , bold and energetic. A ballerina with bloodied toes, a boxer with blood tricking down her face after a fight, a women heading out to catch some waves with her surfboard. For once we are shown as strong, bold and nothing can stop us from doing the things we want to do.
Granted, some women do suffer with periods pains, want to curl up into a ball and cry and soppy movies for a week. Not all wish to be active during their cycles and often struggle to get on with day to day things (I’m one of the luckier ones), whilst popping painkillers to ebb the cramps (its been proven they are in league with having small labour pains). However, some of us get on with them somewhat breezily. I don’t do disposable sanitary wear now, but I be first in line if body form ever chose to produce a menstrual cup or cloth pads in their line of products.
I absolutely love this advert and the message that came across. Women aren’t all snivelling, emotional wrecks during their periods. We aren’t all weak and have no stamina. We are bold we are strong and as depicted in their amazing slogan- “No blood should hold us back”. Not even our periods.