We doubt anyone had this item on their 2022 Bingo card: Amy Schumer being blamed for a shortage of tampons. The 41-year-old actress, who starred in a series of Tampax commercials in 2020, is now being linked to the lack of supplies on the shelves by the brand.
While her campaign touched upon a fantastic topic, normalizing chatter about periods and tampon absorbencies, it certainly didn’t make Tampax so trendy that every person with a uterus had to have a box. But Procter & Gamble, the maker of Tampax, would like you to think this is the reason. “Retail sales growth has exploded,” since the Schumer campaign aired, P&G spokeswoman Cheri McMaster told Time. The company doubled down on their facts and figures saying “demand is up 7.7%” over the two years of the pandemic and they are working 24/7 at the tampon factory to keep up.
But Schumer only represents one brand, and the shelves are bare whether you buy Kotex, Tampax or a generic box. There’s likely a more sensible answer to the shortage: a supply-chain issue when it comes to the materials used in tampons. Items like cotton, rayon, and even plastic for the applicators were prioritized for personal protection equipment (PPE) during the pandemic, so that added to the shortage. With inflation rising and staffing issues at the factories also contributing to the problem, tampons are in high demand with little supply — and women are still getting their periods every month.
There seems to be no rush to find a solution to this monthly issue either — you probably know the reason why — many of the people in charge are men, who are not affected by this problem. It’s why the conversation about periods needs to continue to make its way all the way to the top, and why more women need to be in the room where those decisions are made. It’s convenient to blame Amy Schumer, but she certainly isn’t the reason Tampax is flying off the shelves.
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