Calling All Emerging Creatives – Help Us Give Menopause The Platform It Deserves

Photographed by Ruby Woodhouse.
Of the list of things you have to worry about on a daily basis, menopause is probably not very high up the list. After all, you've spent far too much of your life worrying about your periods. Why would you worry about them finishing for good?
But people who have periods have been done a huge disservice when it comes to learning about the menopause. It's not something that just affects people in their 40s and 50s. Perimenopause, the time your body starts to make its transition to menopause can begin as early as your mid-30s and premature menopause (when a person's periods stop before the age of 45, some women experience this as early as their 20s) affects one in 100 women, trans and non-binary people. One in 10,000 experience premature menopause before their 20th birthday.
And menopause is not just a series of hot flushes, no matter what TV would have you believe. The symptoms are diverse and complicated and can include everything from mood changes to reduced muscle, recurrent UTIs to problems in memory and concentration. For one in 12 women, these symptoms will last up to 12 years.
So why don't we know more about the menopause? It's the question podcaster and businesswoman Aminatou Sow asked on Refinery29's Unstyled podcast last year. "I have very regular checkups with my oncologist and we'll talk about everything: How are you pooping? How are you eating? Nothing is off the table." She continued: "But the minute you're like, 'Well, menopause,' everybody looks at you and goes, 'Have you tried peppermint oil? Lavender?'
It's hardly surprising our collective understanding of the menopause is so poor. Between the jokes about hot flushes on the TV to a lack of education in schools (menopause was only added to the UK school curriculum this year), it is a condition that has been diminished and written off for generations; despite half the population experiencing it.
Which is why The Case for Her, an organisation that addresses key women’s health issues, is teaming up with Refinery29 for for the D&AD New Blood Awards, in order to bring this issue to the forefront.
We are looking for the advertising stars of the future to come up with a campaign that repositions menopause in the public eye and highlights its absence from the mainstream media. It is vital we show how this absence is harmful to women, trans and non binary people.
So, what do you need to do? We're after people that can develop an innovative campaign, branded content piece or series, or event or event series that tackles the lack of awareness of menopause and the issues surrounding it and social stigmas.
It is essential that your campaign is grounded in a solid research base. It needs to shows fresh thinking to get people of all ages educated. If you can tie your idea into one of Refinery29's existing offerings; Shatterbox,
29Rooms, Life Begins At, and Unbothered, that's even better.
Entries can come in many forms; from a video to a slideshow presentation, an interactive website to an app. We're looking for creativity, understanding of the issue and Refinery29's readership.
To find out more about the competition, including how to enter and winners' benefits, head to the D&AD website.

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