Finally, A Period Ad With Real Blood & No Blue Liquid

Period-product commercials and period reality typically could not be further removed from one another. In the tampon ads we grew up with, sundress-clad women spun smiling through fields of daises, laughing at one another as beams of sunlight danced through their hair. Cut to us during our periods, sitting on the couch, cramping, going to work, hitting the gym, and hanging out with our friends — you know, living our normal lives and expecting that the tampons and pads we use will help us do just that. That's why we're welcoming British menstrual hygiene company Bodyform's new commercial, in which female athletes push themselves to their limits: It's the antidote to the traditional period-product ad's cloying sweetness and prudish euphemisms (enough with the substitution of blue liquid for blood already).

Created
by the agency AMV BBDO, "Blood" shows a series of women boxing, fighting, biking, running, dancing, and more as they bleed from feet, thighs, hands, and knees, set to a booming soundtrack and closing on the tagline, "No blood should hold us back." More than a rallying cry, the ad is a celebration of the physical and mental achievements women already make — and a declaration that we are not held back by our periods. Watch the full video above.

As Mental Floss reports, ads for pads and tampons didn't even use the word "period" until this 1985 Tampax ad, and it's refreshing to see period companies' marketing begin to catch up with our lived experiences. At the same time, demonstration of physical prowess — a stereotypically "male" pursuit — shouldn't be the only socially legitimized way for women to prove their toughness; in an ideal world, if you did choose to spin through a field rather than bike through the snow, your choice would be respected as a demonstration of your agency. In an ideal world, of course, we'd also see media representations of women engaged in a broad range of activities of their choosing. Bodyform's ad is a powerful contribution to the mix.
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