This post is gonna get bloody. You’ve been warned.

Well, it’s that time of the month. It’s time to talk about periods. Or, at least, that’s what the two awesome ads I’ve recently discovered have decided for me.

It’s always baffled me that, when half of the world is made up of women, pad and tampon commercials always have to skirt around the fact that periods exist. Everyone smiles and wears white, and they show the effectiveness of their products with a nondescript blue liquid. None of it is realistic, and we all know that to be the case — women know because they live it, and men know because they have wives, daughters, girlfriends, sisters, female friends, female roommates, they have to leave their homes at some point…the list goes on.

But, whether it’s because of weak stomachs or misogynistic sensibilities, it’s been an uphill battle to get realistic commercials for period supplies on the airwaves. But, all is not lost! Lately, tampon commercials have been, dare I say it, clever, funny and straightforward.

So, without further ado, let’s dig into these fabulous ads:

Exhibit one: Russian Tampax Commercial

Okay, spoilers, this isn’t a real tampon commercial, it’s a promo for a pretty terrible film called Movie 43. But it’s funny and it’s making its rounds on the web, so I’m sharing.

Exhibit two: Helloflo

This commercial is the real star of this blog post. Helloflo is like the Birch Box of periods. It’s a pad, tampon and candy delivery service, timed to your cycle. Honestly, it’s surprising it took this long for Helloflo to exist, considering that a menstrual cycle is kind of the perfect thing to have a monthly supply service for.

The target of Helloflo, if you couldn’t tell by the ad, is tween and teenage girls, but it’s pretty great for adults as well. As any woman can tell you, it sucks to start your period unprepared. How awesome would it be to have what you need automatically show up in the mail, saving you (or your dad, when you’re 13 and can’t drive to the store, and you know he’ll probably buy the wrong thing, but mom’s visiting the family in Tennessee, and this is totally not based on real life) from embarrassment, but, more importantly, from inconvenience? Helloflo knows how awesome: it would be REALLY awesome … for anyone, of any age, whether they are old enough to drive to the drug store and get the right kind of supplies, or they’ve got to depend on Dad to buy the wrong thing, though they know he tried.

What’s most awesome about Helloflo is how candid they are in their ad. First periods are scary enough as it is (suddenly, bleeding is normal when, for the first 10 – 14 years of your life, it was a point of concern). This commercial makes a period something to be proud of (especially love that Red Badge of Courage reference)!* They make it something to shout about out of a megaphone! They remind us that it happens to, I’ll reiterate, HALF OF THE WORLD. It’s perfectly normal, so why shouldn’t it have a perfectly normal, and convenient, delivery service? We can get literally anything delivered, why not tampons?

Kudos to the inventors of Helloflo for creating something awesome. You’ve saved a whole bunch of teenage girls from having to awkwardly ask their menopausal teachers for pads! Thank you for your ingenuity and for creating an ad that tells it like it is!

*Women were “wearing” the Red Badge of Courage way before you made it the subject of your novel, Stephen Crane.** 

**Yeah, BURN on Stephen Crane. 

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