By Toni Brannagan
Today, we launched our li’l sister line, THINX (BTWN): underwear for young people with periods. Why? Because the next generation deserves to period better, too! If you need a reminder (or if you mentally blacked out puberty, like I did), growing up was stressful enough without the learning curve that comes with managing your first periods.
As everyone knows, hindsight is 20/20. When I was younger, I was convinced that people could smell my period on me. I really wish that I could tell that nervous, dorky tween that I had enough things to worry about — but peers with noses hyper-sensitive enough to identify my flow shouldn’t have been one of them.
What if it was that easy to manage your period problems? If you could impart some sage wisdom onto your younger self (now that you’re a period pro and all), what would it be? While *every body* and every period are different, I think we all have something to learn by sharing our experiences, so I asked our community to share few #periodproud words to their younger selves:
“Don’t buy into the BS that says periods are gross, smelly, or anything unnatural. Your period is the most natural thing there is. Don’t buy pads or tampons with artificial fragrances or be ashamed about having to bring extra underwear to school during your period in case of a leak. Use your period as a time to get comfortable with yourself and learn how your body works best!” - Sasha W.
“Don’t be embarrassed! I was an early bloomer, I got mine before any of my friends and didn’t tell anyone for about three months (not even my mom) and just stole products from my older sister’s stash. Definitely used the wrong things 🙈. Getting your first period, no matter when, is nothing to hide.” - Meredith H.
“Tampons will not take away your virginity.” - Morgan R.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your PCOS. When the doctor tells you that you might never be able to have children, don’t cry! Know that you’re worth more than your ability to reproduce, and also there are so many options.” - Kiersten J.
“Your period is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. It’ll be hard to get used to, but it’s going to be okay, and one day you’re going to forget you ever felt uncomfortable with it.” - Havilah H.
“You will ruin a lot of your favorite underwear because your period is erratic. It’s okay. Your body is not the same as everyone’s, you just have to learn to tune in and find the warning signs when it’s starting.” - Kim H.
“Don’t be so scared to get it! It’s so natural and not everything about it is super-horrible. I felt like everyone always talked about the negative side of periods, especially in sex ed or when having ‘the talk’ in 5th grade. They’d mention cramps, heavy bleeding, having to carry around the right products, the possibility of leaking... and I feel like all of these things should be addressed but there was nothing positive mentioned. It gave me anxiety before I even started my period, all I did was prepare for the worst!” - Darby H.
“There is no one way to menstruate (no one set of symptoms, no specific products, no way that you SHOULD feel). Trusting your body will be one of the greatest feelings of your life. ...Also, when you turn 28, all our old ‘period symptoms’ will switch it up on you without a single warning. 😩” - Makina T.
“Dre, don’t be embarrassed about it, it’s okay to have questions. It’s okay to admit that you’re having cramps because of your period, stop trying to hide it with a smile, stop saying you’re okay when you’re not. It’s also okay that you were excited when you got your period, don’t water that excitement down, girl! Don’t be ashamed, you’re not alone.” - Dre T.
“Dear younger self, you’re allergic to disposable period products. You’re not supposed to be itchy on top of everything else during your period.” - Rayah W.
“Don’t internalize other people’s body and period shame. Your body is a magical place. It’s all natural and beautiful. When you’re curious, ask those questions. Your quest for knowledge is a beautiful attribute that will take you to amazing places. Also, accidents happen and maxi pads are the worst, babe — search for alternatives and find what works! 💞💞“ - Olivia B.
“You are not the only female bleeding; listen to yourself and your body, talk to others, seek advice, and reach out to those who love you. Only through breaking taboos, talking, and relating will we learn what is right for us, what is normal, and what is out of the ordinary!” - Marissa L.
What about you? What would be your period advice to your younger self? Let us know in the comments!