Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Hello Flo Camp Gyno Commercial: Why I love this video, and what it means for my some-day daughter

I am not usually one to pass along viral videos. Nor am I usually inclined to talk about bodily functions of the female variety.

But guys, this commercial for Hello Flo that's making the rounds really hit me in the lovin'-this bone:

I tried to explain the plot to my husband in an attempt to explain why I thought it was so awesome: "So, a girl a camp gets her period, and she's like, proud of it! And then gets to say sassy things to to the girls who haven't yet gotten theirs!" He classily demurred, saying "I don't think this is something I'm going to be able to identify with."

No matter. I'm going to shout it from the rooftops. I'm gonna have to agree with HuffPo that this may be "the best tampon commercial in the history of world" (and the tampon subscription service may be the most overdue business proposition in the history of the world).
YES to the idea of girls proudly transitioning into puberty, rather than speaking in modest euphemisms about having "become a woman."
YES to the truth that 10-12-year-old-looking girls can 1) get their periods and 2) use tampons. (Can we please finally kill that old wives' tale that says virgins can't use tampons?)
YES to being able to laugh a little at the sucks-don't-it reality of your first cramps. ("This is your life now!")
I grew up the daughter of a gynecologist -- and was probably more intimately familiar than any of my classmates with what all was about to happen, puberty-wise -- and yet I still felt shy, embarrassed, dirty and underprepared when "Aunt Flo" showed up for the first time. My mom was away and I ended up confiding in my 5th grade history teacher and re-reading Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret for moral support.

This commercial makes me feel like that could change. Because maybe that means my future daughter can grow up in a world where getting her period doesn't feel like she's "lost" something (like, say, her ability to just exist as a kid without a sudden, intense focus on her sex?) but instead feels like she's gaining a, uh, "red badge of courage." (Heh.)

EDIT (8/3/13 9:05pm): Someone pointed out Gloria Steinem's "If Men Could Menstruate" (1986), a parody about how menstruation would be treated differently (read: positively) if it were men's bodily function rather than women's. Ties in nicely with this post.


Cayden Kelby said...

Oh how funny! I wrote about this same thing today! Haha.

Helen said...

Hey Cayden! Good to e-meet you. I got curious and read your take on this ( -- sounds like we're on the same page. :)

And hey, small world: like you, I'm an actor-type (and former Los Angelina)!