The Pantone Institute has introduced the color “period”, a deep red, to combat the stigma surrounding menstruation. The goal is to empower the menstruating woman and help talk about this natural bodily function openly.
Menstruation has been a taboo for centuries and, although it has advanced, many women still feel a certain modesty when talking about it. For this reason the company Pantone Color Institute , a benchmark in graphic design that periodically presents the ‘color of the year’, has decided to launch this time the “period” tone with the aim of encouraging menstruating people to feel proud of who they are.
According to the Pantone Institute, it is an active and adventurous red color that wants to imitate the red that presents a constant flow.
The vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, Laurie Pressman, says that with this decision they intend to break the taboo that surrounds menstruation, both among women and men.
According to Pressman, the idea of launching the color “period” is to empower women, who understand that menstruation is a powerful life force in her and that all, men and women, should talk about the period in a spontaneous and open way, since it is a pure and natural bodily function.
THE STIGMA OF MENSTRUATION LIVES ON
Millions of women and girls still suffer from the stigma associated with menstruation. Virginia Ruipérez, creator of the Naturist Method of Natural Fertility, explains that most women experience menstrual bleeding as an inconvenience, something dirty, annoying or embarrassing. This leads them, on many occasions, to try to hide their menstruation.
According to the “Study on Intimate Health” carried out among Spanish women, 45% of Spanish women affirm that there is a taboo around the rule. This stigma regarding menstruation, which the new Pantone “Period” color aims to help break, is palpable in our society. The ads for intimate products are sold with slogans that invite us to think that menstruation is something dirty or bad: “to feel clean”, “you will not even notice that you have a period”.
The stigma of menstruation is an especially important problem in countries like Uganda. There, the lack of hygiene in schools and the shame caused by bleeding in girls and young women make them miss between one and three days of school a month, according to the NGO Plan International, which defends education and equality for women. Girls
Girls who miss days of school, or even drop out of class’s altogether, are at risk of experiencing poverty for life. Therefore, removing the stigma surrounding periods would help more women escape poverty, develop their potential, and strengthen their communities. According to the vice president of Pantone, visualizing this problem through campaigns like the one they just launched would help change this.
THE RULE IS NOT A DISEASE
Last year the Netflix documentary “Period End of Sentence”, which won an Oscar, put on the table that there are still many myths and misinformation surrounding menstruation.
The documentary explains how in some countries, such as India, women are isolated while they have their menstrual period or cannot access the kitchen because they consider that their presence can “sour food.”
One of the main beliefs around menstruation arises from identifying menstruation as a disease. Not only in countries like India. Many women in all countries, when they are on their period and suffer discomfort, justify their absence from work saying that “they are sick.”
It was not always like this. As Laura Gutman explains in this article in the past, menstruation was not a curse that fell on women but, on the contrary, a gift from which women generated life. Maybe in time we can get this idea back.