Something that’s blowing up on many social networking sites, tumblr most of all, is the “Like a Girl” video. At face value, it’s kind of amazing. I won’t lie, the first couple of times I watched it I got chills. The problem is it’s created by Always for the sole reason of getting more of your money. Always is not a good company. They make scented panty liners that are notoriously bad for your genitals. Not only do they profit on the just plain wrong assumption that vaginas are gross and smelly and you need to be insecure about that and fix that problem. When in reality having scents in your menstrual products can cause at the very least irritation or more of on odor and at the very most an infection. Like many similar companies they make “freshness wipes as well” which again at the very least is unnecessary and preying on insecurities that they are causing and at the very most can be harmful to your vagina. If you look at the companies that own Always it gets even more shady. Proctor and Gamble own Venus razors, again a product that is based on our society’s screwed up beauty norms. Not to mention that razors targeting women are usually at a lesser quality than razors targeting men and are more expensive. They also own Olay. Olay, like Dove, sells skin whitening creams that can be dangerous or at the very least reaffirm the racist concept that whiter is more beautiful.
At this point you may be asking what a company like Always can do to be a better company. We’ll just stick to menstrual products at the moment, as tackling all of our messed up and oppressive beauty norms would take a much longer post. What I would like to see from menstrual companies is more of an effort to be body friendly. A lot of menstrual products aren’t very well monitored, I’d like to see more research into TSS and other problems that can be caused by menstrual products, as well as how to make them more eco friendly. Any disposable product isn’t eco-friendly but there are definitely reasons why someone may not want to use reusable products, especially if they’re squeemish around blood. They could work on finding a way to make menstrual cups and cloth pads more affordable and available. Also, they could work on more research into using menstrual sponges so they can become FDA approved. There are organic tampons and pads that aren’t bleached, don’t have harmful chemicals, and don’t use synthetic materials, This includes Seventh Generation, and Organic Essentials. As you can tell from the links, this option is hella expensive. Working on making disposable pads and tampons better and less expensive would be great. Also, creating more ways for people in need to get menstrual products for free is very necessary, and making sure they are a good body friendly product is important as well. It’s very common for those of a lower income not to get products of a good quality and that has to stop.
There’s definitely room for improvement from pad and tampon companies and it’d be great if they could be more empowering, but this is the wrong way to do it. They’re just looking at profit when they should be looking at how they can change their business model to be better for people’s bodies and self esteem.