There’s the menstrual cup surfing a wave of blood. The dollop of pulsing red goo grinning from the center of a sanitary pad. Even a cheerful, bouncing uterus that suddenly gets mad.
What better way to tackle period stigma than the power of cuteness?
At least, that’s the strategy employed by artist Annie Wong — also known as Headexplodie — who recently created “Ovary Actions,” a series of dazzling stop-motion GIFs highlighting an issue that too often remains hidden.
Take Action: #ItsBloodyTime to End the Taboo Around Menstruation
"On the Blob"⠀ 🔴⠀ Living in the United States, I have not personally heard this one much but, apparently, it is one of the more popular euphemisms in the UK! ⠀ _⠀ I kinda like this one because I think blobs can actually be cute and funny. Also, I really wanted to show a maxi pad without that problematic blue liquid you always see in commercials. I’d rather see a happy-faced, slimy blob thing on a pad instead of some clinical blue liquid that makes me feel ashamed for bleeding.⠀ _⠀ This is one of the GIFs in my #OvaryActions series. More at OvaryActions.com⠀
“I think that balancing out how icky or taboo periods can feel with something funny and kind of charming helps to change the stigma,” Wong told TeenVogue. “I think it would be really cool if we could all become a little more chill and comfortable with talking about this totally natural thing that for so long has been painted with a broad brush of negativity.”
Period taboos aren’t just inconvenient for women and girls who feel forced to use euphemisms to describe a bodily function. Pervasive stigma prevents millions of girls from attending school, going to work, or participating in daily social activities.
Global Citizen campaigns on countering taboos and ensuring all girls, women, and others who menstruate but do not identify as female have access to menstrual health products. You can take action here.
Wong said she hopes her GIFs will enable women and girls to discuss their diverse period experiences more openly.
“The older that I get, the more I realize that people have a super wide range of experiences with their period that can be different from yours and different from the cultural narrative,” she told Teen Vogue. “And so it would be nice to inspire curiosity and open the conversation so we all feel like we can talk to each other.”
"Mother Nature's Gift" 🔴 I thought this would be a fun one to post on the first day of spring. Much like “monthly gift,” this menstrual euphemism ties the idea of your period as a present which I’m sure many of us wished came with a receipt so we could exchange it for something better, or at the very least some store credit. _ Menstruation can be considered gross and horrific, yet, it is “Mother Nature’s Gift.” Mother Nature is also responsible for plant life and flowers, which are almost always used to represent beauty and femininity. So what’s the deal? Are we blessed by nature or cursed? It’s an interesting juxtaposition. Women can be beautiful, blossoming, bloody, beasts. We’re complicated like that. _ This is one of the GIFs in my #OvaryActions series. More at OvaryActions.com