Hey, Remember Those Disney Movies About Periods & STDs?

How did you learn about menstruation? Perhaps from The Care and Keeping of You, or your mom or sister. Some girls in the 1940s and '50s actually learned about periods from a Disney film. That's right: the same magical animators who brought Cinderella and Snow White to the big screen also teamed up with the International Cello-Cotton Company (which now goes by the name of Kimberly-Clark, the parent company that owns Kotex) for an educational film about menstruating.

Clocking in at almost 10 minutes, the short covers everything: from what's happening inside your body during your period, how to avoid constipation (it actually spends a lot of time on the constipation thing), activities to avoid (strenuous ones), ideal shower temperatures (extreme cold and extreme heat — but wait, on second thought, you should always avoid those because you're a human being with skin that feels things), and more. One more note on that bathing thing: Contrary to what you may have heard, it's just a myth that you shouldn't bathe when you have your period. You should definitely clean yourself. Thanks, omniscient narrator in this instructional PSA!

Of course, what would a 1940s educational video for females be without some questionably sexist advice? "Don't let [your period] get you down. After all, no matter how you feel, you have to live with people. You have to live with yourself, too. And once you stop feeling sorry for yourself and take those days in your stride, you'll find it's easier to keep smiling and even-tempered. You can do practically everything you normally do," the narrator urges. Helpful and encouraging, Disney and International Cell-Cotton Company.

According to Mental Floss (via Film Threat), "The Story of Menstruation" was shown in health classes until the '60s and was paired with a pamphlet called "Very Personally Yours."
Lest you think "The Story of Menstruation" was Disney's only film that explained the inner workings of the human body until Inside Out came along, feast your eyes on this. Disney released "VD Attack Plan" in 1973. In it, a sassy character frankly explains the harsh truths of sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis. He also advises seeing a doctor for proper treatment instead of administering a DIY home remedy like wearing a bag of crushed eucalyptus leaves around their necks.

Disney: Explaining your period since 1946 and protecting you from VD since 1973. And you thought they just perpetuated princess fantasies. (Mental Floss)

More from Movies

In the upcoming indie sci-fi flick Crossbreed, Vivica A. Fox will play a president who sends war veterans on a mission to retrieve an alien whose DNA is ...
Have you ever re-watched an old movie and cringed? Maybe you were watching Breakfast at Tiffany's and Mickey Rooney's overtly racist Asian stereotype ...
A few months ago, I found myself riveted by an appearance Melissa Harris-Perry made on Real Time With Bill Maher. Harris-Perry had recently left her show...
The 1960s never seemed creepier than in Rose McGowan’s haunting short film, Dawn (2014). McGowan, whose long acting résumé includes roles on TV megahits ...
The miracle and the curse of Netflix are one and the same: There is so much damn stuff to watch. In fact, if you're not sure exactly what you're looking ...
As if winning an Oscar wasn't enough, actress Lupita Nyong'o just proved that she has another talent under her belt: freestyle rapping. The 33-year-old ...
There are few movies that just beg to be parodied more than Fifty Shades of Grey. But High School Musical comes pretty darn close. In case you haven't ...
This month, many 15-year-olds are just getting in the back-to-school swing of things. But Auli'i Cravalho's schedule is a little bit different: The teen ...
Growing up is hard to do. Before "adulting" — that is, clumsily impersonating our role models and pretending we have our lives together — became a buzzword...
Every once in a while, a documentary comes out and changes the world. For 2016, 13th is destined to do just that. A film from notable director, ...
For women, Star Wars costumes used to mean one thing: Princess Leia. There were variations within the theme — Danish side-bun Leia, Hoth Leia, gold-bikini-...
As long as Harry Potter fans keep rewatching the beloved movies, they'll keep finding new reasons the series will make you cry. The latest discovery? Harry...
The documentary world can be overwhelming. Think of a topic — broad or obscure — and very likely a movie has probably been made about it. Biographies, ...
Luna Lovegood is one of the most memorable characters from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. Later, the eccentric character was brought to life by the ...