My Dissertation on the Evolution of Feminine Protection

3 years ago

 I’m 45 years old.  A lot has happened in 45 years.  Things change…they evolve“It has never been a better time to be a woman” was a title in a magazine I read not too long ago.  “Women have more opportunities and choices now than they ever had!”  That appears to be true….in the feminine protection isle of the supermarket.

 I “became a woman” at the end of 7th grade.  RIGHT before the “Spring Dance” where of course, I had chosen this lovely white dress with a prairie girl ruffled neckline and small lavender roses-and I had just….gotten….my FIRST….period!   Yep, I “became a woman”, got “a visit from Aunt Tilly”, “had my monthly houseguest”, was “NOT in a family-way”….with a white dress. 

 Back then, we didn’t have that many options to choose from.  Basically….we had the “maxi” pad, which felt like the equivalent of a bed pillow stuffed in your panties.  And, the “mini” pad; a smaller version of said pillow-maybe more like the size of a throw pillow for the couch.  And, we had the tampon (both Regular AND Super because we liked having options).  And for those young girls like me, whose mothers were Boomers….we knew all about the kind of protection that didn’t have the sticker on the back….the dreaded BELTED “napkin”.  One of which my younger brother discovered under the bathroom sink and quickly turned into an Indian headband as he ran around the house doing a war cry. 

 It was an easier time then.  Just go to the store, pick the right box color, try to hide it from everyone else in the store and be as nonchalant as possible when you check out.  If you could get in and out of the drug store in 2 minutes flat, you were golden.  But today, it is downright confusing trying to pick out the right kind of protection that suits me.  I stand in the aisle at Kroger and scan through all the different kinds, staring at the brands like the moron at the video store trying to decide what DVD to take home!  They have maxi, mini, thin, thin long, tween-sized, teen-sized, regular WITH wings, regular WITHOUT wings.  WAIT….wings??  Am I going to fly??  And God forbid one of the wings goes astray and you end up with half a Brazilian!  Who comes up with these different types and WHY? 

 Now some brilliant (no doubt, MALE) marketing professional came up with the idea of putting MOTIVATIONAL QUOTES on the tampon wrapper!!  Like those little calendars on your desk that you get to tear off each day with a different saying on them.  Sayings like, “To Achieve, you must Believe”, and “Reach for the Stars”, and my favorite, found in a package of “SPORT” tampons, “Keep your eye on the ball”…..(??).  Whose bright idea was it to turn tampons into fortune cookies? 

 I realize that the marketing people are just trying to help us deal with “that special friend” and get us to buy their product.  But I don’t need a cotton ball telling me to feel good about myself.  If they really wanted to make a difference for us, put sayings like this on the wrapper:  “It’s okay not to go to the gym today….I understand”, or “There’s nothing wrong with locking yourself in your bedroom with a bottle of wine and a box of Twinkies”, and better yet, “Try not to give the man in the mini-van the finger when he cuts you off on the way to work”.  Now THAT would be helpful!

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