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."
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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)
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