Fu Yuanhui is our new hero.
You might not know her name, but you know her adorable face — and the meme-worthy expressions she’s made over the past week in Rio. The bubbly Chinese swimmer is also making history for her brutal honesty about why she didn’t swim her best during the women’s 4×100 relay on Sunday.
“I didn’t swim well enough this time,” she told a reporter when she was spotted doubled over in pain. “It’s because my period came yesterday, so I felt particularly tired — but this isn’t a reason, I still didn’t swim well enough.”
They might not have won the race, but Fu made history by talking about something that women are never “supposed” to talk about on television — menstruation. Hell, most ads for pads and tampons use that weird blue liquid to simulate blood, so even mentioning the word “period” is a huge deal.
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“I really admire Fu Yuanhui, for swimming while she was on her period — women can be affected during their periods, especially with period pain… she felt guilty for coming fourth, but Fu Yuanhui we’re still very proud of you,” one person wrote on Sina Weibo, China’s social media network.
Most women in China don’t use tampons. According to the BBC, only 2 percent of women use them. Her talking about it on an international stage will hopefully help women embrace their menstrual options, taboos be damned.