Get ready to see the boldest feminine hygiene ad ever.
This ad for Softcup (a reusable cup to collect menstrual fluid during your period) doesn’t just talk about leaks and protection and odor control. The message is “You can have sex while you wear it.”
If you don’t think that’s revolutionary, think back to all the ads for birth control pills that promise “Clearer skin!” or “Lighter periods!” instead of what most of us actually take the pill for. (“Not getting knocked up!”) Think of all those tampon commercials with happy girls in white Capri pants doing cartwheels on the beach. Think of all the vials of sterile blue liquid. Since when does a menstrual product ad acknowledge messes, vaginas, or (Gasp!) period sex?
For years, “padvertising” has avoided the whole messy issue of women’s reproductive function by never actually coming out and saying what tampons, pads, sponges, and pills actually do. Why? To avoid scarring impressionable young ears with the facts of biology? To avoid squicking out any men that may inadvertently see them? Ads that delicately tiptoe around reality have the consequence of portraying a woman’s body as something that isn’t discussed in polite conversation. This ad isn’t just honest about periods (or rather the existence of them); it also actually makes a really salient point about the big benefit of the Softcup—one that many women would appreciate, I’d imagine—in a very explicit way.
Gosh, it’s almost as if this ad is treating women as competent, choice-making adults without shameful bodies! How novel.
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