I've bled on a soccer field and in a boxing ring. I've had my face bashed in and my nose broken. To this day, each cut, scrape, and drop of blood that pours from my body makes me feel stronger. Tougher. A little more badass. But for some reason, when I bleed from my vagina, I've been taught to take a seat. That I'm not as powerful as I think I am. That periods are a sign of weakness.
Until now. Bodyform, a U.K.-based feminine hygiene company, has released a period commercial that actually features women bleeding. Gasp! And I don't mean bleeding some non-offensive blue liquid from a beaker—I mean the good stuff. The red stuff.
In the ad, women fight, swim, run, jump, and battle it out on rugby fields. They fall down and they get up. They bleed and they keep going. The tagline? "No blood should hold us back." I mean, if that's not genius, I don't know what is.
The ad is all part of Bodyform's Red.Fit program, a campaign that seeks to educate women about the phases of their menstrual cycle and what exercise can do for their body. It's a far cry from the period ads of yesteryear (or, current year) that feature women running through flower fields and wearing white. Two things, by the way, that I've never done while on my period.
Perhaps even more important, the ad breaks down stubborn stereotypes that women are somehow less than when shedding their uterine lining. It's the cliched argument men have used for centuries to argue why women can't be world leaders or run companies because, Oh no! They might get their period and PMS us into a world war or something! Run for your lives!!!!
Puh-lease. Women bleed. It's time we get over it.
Taryn Hillin is Fusion's love and sex writer, with a large focus on the science of relationships. She also loves dogs, Bourbon barrel-aged beers and popcorn — not necessarily in that order.