Why I Threw A Period Party

by: TAYLOR AUGUSTIN

 

Once a month a mystical, unavoidable, occasionally painful, often messy thing happens to all women, yet is rarely discussed and even less frequently enjoyed. You guessed it, we’re talking about your period. Many of you may have even cringed at this word- I know I certainly used to. The popular belief about periods is that they are gross, dirty, and should be kept hidden at all costs. We discuss them only in private, hide our tampons when going to the bathroom, and ultimately dread our “time of the month”, hoping for it to pass as quickly as possible. This is a perception that has been spread by pop culture, but is one that we here at Zenzy do not believe in. In fact, we’ve grown to love our periods. Yes, love. And we’re here to help you love yours, too. Read on for a breakdown of a period, why girls get them, why girls RULE, and the time I had a period party.

What Is A Period?

Some of you may not know exactly what a period is, and that is TOTALLY fine! Truthfully, even I had some lingering questions until I did some research for this article. We typically start menstruating between the ages of 8-16; below is a breakdown that is much simpler than the one you may have gotten in health clas. Get ready for a lot of words that tend to make people nervous Like Vagina… We just have to get over that one, ladies.

  1. Every month, your uterus lining becomes thicker to prepare for a fertilized egg just in case you get pregnant. Your uterus is where a baby would develop in a woman’s body.
  2. Prior to your “time of the month”, your ovaries release an egg into your uterus in order to get fertilized. If sperm were to find its way to your egg within about a day, a fetus (baby) would begin to develop! This is often around the time when discharge and mood swings can occur, but don’t let any man blame your anger on your period. No sir, we’re just angry.
  3. Since we don’t plan on getting pregnant quite yet, the lining from your uterus wall will shed, and exit your vagina as blood. This typically results in those pesky cramps that make you want to curl up in a ball and stay home from school.
  4. Then, the process is repeated…. Every. Single. Month.

Another common, irritable side effect of your period is hormonal skin breakouts. Have you ever noticed that a bunch of red, painful bumps begin to crop up under your lip right before your period? Blame it on your hormones. Fortunately, they usually only last a few days, and clear up towards the end of your period. Try using a salicylic acid acne-wash like this one in this area to help clear it up.

Why Do Women Get Their Periods?

Now that you understand what a period is, it is probably easier to understand why women get them – to have babies!

There is a reason why women can grow a child inside of them and men can’t – men do not have a uterus. And more importantly, men wouldn’t be able to endure the pain of labor or periods (he-he).

Getting your period is a sign of health and is a rite of passage as a woman! When we bleed, we are showing the world how remarkable our bodies are. Your period is part of what makes you, and all girls, rockstars.

Girl Power

Getting your period is something you should never be ashamed of. It is a natural process that ALL women go through – yes, even Beyoncé gets her period. For a lot of us, talking about our period is something we don’t want to bring up to our parents, and especially boys. The mean guys at school who talk trash on periods and say how “gross” they are, will one day THANK you for them. Why? Because they are going to want babies (eventually, we promise)!

Do you have code names for anything “period” related? I did! My friends and I would refer to our periods or tampons in code so that people wouldn’t know what we were talking about. Now that I think about it, though, we were being blatantly obvious when we would reference “Shark Week” in the dead of winter.

We were treating our periods as a secret, when in fact, it’s something that is WAY MORE natural than just about every blonde on Instagram (myself included). It took me a while to get used to the fact that my period was something everyone else was going to have to deal with. If I was running low on tampons, I’d text my dad to pick some up…to this day he still knows which type I prefer. Don’t ever feel the need to be nervous or scared of asking someone (even your dad) for help – it is simply the way things are.

My Period Story

Getting your period for the first time can be scary. It’s messy, weird and just uncomfortable.

When I was in middle school, all of my close girlfriends were starting their periods or had already started, and I was the oddball out who hadn’t gone through puberty yet.

High school rolled around, freshman year had come and gone and I still hadn’t experienced “womanhood”. I was embarrassed and thought something was wrong with me, especially when I heard girls snickering behind my back calling me a virgin, prude, perfect and just about anything else that was a backhanded “compliment”.

Now, I realize my period story varies from the typical experience, but when I finally started mine, I was SO RELIEVED! I was 15 years old at the time and called my mom right away to tell her the news. I then proceeded to text my few closest friends that I was now a woman.

Since I had so much time on my hands those few years before when I was desperately wanting to start my period, I already knew how to perfectly use a tampon. For that reason, I shot one right up in there on that first day.

Judging by my reaction, you’re probably thinking I threw a party or something – and you would be correct in that assumption. Well…almost. My mom threw me a surprise period party at my best friend’s house. When I walked in to her room, there were tampons attached to the blowing fan, red licorice and red velvet cupcakes were on her desk waiting to be consumed, and “Bleeding Love” was playing on her iPod deck.

As I said before, I was embarrassed when I was the only one of my friends who hadn’t started – so when my mom decided to basically tell the world what had happened, I was not pleased. I should have been expecting it – my mom had been telling me for years she would throw me a party, but I thought she was kidding! I eventually got over the mortification of when my bestie’s older brother walked by with his friends, and I ultimately came to have fun at my celebration.

There isn’t one “normal” way to experience a period; your period is unique to your OWN body! So be proud of your period, don’t be afraid to discuss it with others, go buy those tampons at CVS, and remember that periods are an important part of girl power.

 

 

COVER IMAGE: Pinterest

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