Hello and welcome to STAINS™!
The biggest menstrual issue reported in schools? Fear of leaking. Instead of being seen as an inconvenience, though, it causes loads of shame and worry. A lot of this comes from nearly a century of media messages that periods should be kept secret. A lot of those messages come from ads made by companies who give out free teaching resources to schools. Since RSE has only just been made compulsory in the UK and there aren’t any national curriculum resources… yet, these are often snapped up.
What if we spoke to advertisers who share messages of shame…using their own language? What if there were a way to joke around about menstruation where menstruators weren’t the butt of the joke?
Here’s the pitch!
Since the beginning of the disposable menstrual product industry, companies have tried to sell their products to us by using the fear of leaking blood through our clothes, leaving a huge stain and even huger shame.
Enough of the subliminal sabotage. Today, Adventures in Menstruating has found a way to undermine this sort of ad once and for all – to debunk, demystify and disempower leakage fear by turning the stain into an object of desire.
An object of beauty.
Too gross? Okay, don’t panic. We don’t believe you need to use real blood to reclaim.
Let’s call it Leak Chic.
Introducing… STAINS™. A removable stain to wear on your own clothing as you see fit. A fashion statement that really says something, and that something is:
“Screw you, Madison Avenue. I’m taking this one back. I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve and my blood on my pants. I’m gonna reclaim the stain, reclaim my blood, and reclaim my period.’ Because people, I’m telling you red is the new black.”
(First printed in Adventures in Menstruating #5, December 2009, by Chella Quint.)
Follow along and become a STAINS™ model by adding your own pictures to tweets about “#periodpositive”.
Stains™ featured in the BLOOD exhibition at Science Gallery Dublin. Find out more at this video link. Chella has led training workshops with Sexpression UK and regularly links with menstruation awareness and sex education organisations. She will be sharing lesson resources using Stains™ to explore menstrual taboos at the #periodpositive website and using the hashtag she started to share this work. Please check back for details and share them on social media.
The STAINS™ pattern and iron-on transfers sheets are trademarked can be downloaded and shared for one-time personal use, stick to the style guide, with credits and links to Chella Quint and #periodpositive, but the STAINS™ logo may not be altered nor may STAINS™ creations be sold or licensed without permission. Contact Chella with queries at chella quint at gmail.com. Copyright 2005 – 2021 Chella Quint.
For further details or to book a workshop, visit Period Positive or contact Chella Quint. For more on those ads, watch Chella’s TEDx Sheffield talk from 2012.
Please refer to this brand identity style guide:
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