"Contrary to popular belief, women don't bleed blue liquid, they bleed blood. Periods are normal. Showing them should be too."

This sanitary napkin ad shows red blood instead of blue liquid and it is such a relief Screenshot
Social Menstruation Friday, October 20, 2017 - 14:31

Advertisements for sanitary napkins are as predictable as it gets.

It may include one or more of the following elements- a woman who turns carefree (and often prances around unnecessarily) after using the pad, a pair of white pants, and a blue liquid to demonstrate the absorbent quality of the pad.

"Contrary to popular belief, women don't bleed blue liquid, they bleed blood. Periods are normal. Showing them should be too." This is the message that Bodyform gives in its latest commercial.

Not only does the ad use a red-coloured liquid instead of blue, it also depicts a woman menstruating.

The commercial is part of the brand's #bloodnormal campaign which aims to shatter period taboos.

"Periods are a natural part of life, so why are they rarely given any screen time? Surely hiding something so normal only adds to the shame and embarrassment many women feel when it comes to their periods. Let’s be open about it," Bodyform writes on its website.

"By bringing blood out of the dark, onto our screens and into the conversation we’re paving a positive path for women of the future. After all, shouldn’t period-talk be as normal as periods themselves?" it asks.

So there's a red streak of blood on a pad, man buying a pack of sanitary napkins, a woman lying on a pad-shaped pool float and menstrual blood flowing down a person's thighs in shower.

Last year year, another commercial by the brand went viral for featuring real women bleeding real blood.

In 2014, UCB Comedy came up with a parody video on "what if maxi pad ads used red instead of blue?"

On the comments sections, while many women found the "non-sugar coated" ad relatable, several users, especially men, seemed to be grossed out at the sight of the substance used.

Speaking about how advertising for menstrual products was far removed from reality, Elissa Stein, co-author of Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation, had in 2010 told The New York Times,

"Fem-care advertising is so sterilized and so removed from what a period is. You never see a bathroom, you never see a woman using a product. They never show someone having cramps or her face breaking out or tearful — it’s always happy, playful, sporty women."

This continues to hold true for the majority of period advert even today. May be if we see more such ads, our collective discomfort towards periods may end some day. 

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