Advertisements for cars, clothing, and even food have made serious leaps and bounds over the past few decades, but not ads in the "hush hush" world of feminine hygiene.
An ad launched online this week is entering new territory in the feminine hygiene world. The ad is for a company called "Hello Flo". Hello Flo is geared towards all women, but hopes to reach girls who have recently gotten their first period, and mother's of girls who will get their period soon.
The two minute ad features a young girl at summer camp who embraces her "red badge of courage" after getting her period. She takes it upon herself to help other girls learn about their periods and the changes to their bodies that come with it, even calling herself the "camp gyno". Instead of feeling like an outsider, she is empowered by this new development. When some of her fellow campers appear to be feeling the pains of their period she tells them "this is life now".
Feminine hygiene ads have typically featured a 20-something woman, or group of women, laughing and participating in some sort of activity that seems simply splendid. Ads over the years have shown women playing tennis, horseback riding, swimming, and even doing gymnastics. They all seem to send the message that "this product makes any activity enjoyable."
Few of the ads actually show feminine hygiene products, and when they do, the product is featured in a situation that doesn’t really simulate real life situations. For example, countless tampon commercials show a tampon being dipped in a cup full of water or some sort of colorful liquid- is that what those things are for? Maxi pad commercials have shown a mysterious blue liquid being poured over a pad to compare the brand to a competing product. Are women buying maxi pads based on who can handle the most blue liquid?
Throughout the dramatic horseback riding and the mysterious blue liquids, none of the ads actually mention the words "menstrual cycle" or "vagina.” In fact, a feminine hygiene ad has never featured a younger girl who has recently gotten her period. No wonder the world of femininity feels so foreign to young girls. No feminine hygiene companies attempt to educate or even appeal to them.
The girl's upbeat attitude makes getting your period seem, well, not so scary. Discussing feminine hygiene and happenings can be hard for parents and for young girls. Maybe a new age in advertising will ease the process along.
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