WALK OF *NO* SHAME
Babes, we are FED UP. Bloody, wholeheartedly, completely OVER IT. We are tired of whispering about having periods. We are done with stuffing tampons up our sleeves or schlepping our bags to the loo when it’s ‘that time of the month’. We don’t want to hide periods away like they’re some kind of shameful secret, rather than normal, healthy and essential, not to mention a shared bloody experience that unites us with other women and people who menstruate. So we invite you to join us on our WALK OF NO SHAME.
Rather than hide those period products away next time you need to use one, be open about it instead. Start a conversation. Get people sharing their experiences. Fill others in on the fact that period poverty exists (because lots of people still don’t know and probably haven’t ever thought about it).
Here's why we think The Walk of No Shame is so bloody vital, by our founder Gabby:
"On one of the hottest days of this summer just gone, because our lovely little office in Euston was stifling, my team and I decamped to a fancy members' club in Central London where I had been given a three-month membership for doing a talk about, you guessed it, periods. Incidentally, no one turned up to that talk. It seemed no one at the fancy members' club menstruated.
Perhaps that’s why, despite the most welcoming air conditioning and ice coffees, as I reached in my bag for a pantyliner (day 30 of my cycle if you’re wondering) I discreetly tucked it into my bra as I got up from our makeshift desk and went to the toilet.
I suddenly caught myself and pointed it out to my colleagues. There was I, CEO of a period organisation, a charity aiming to normalise periods and all-things-vagina, hiding the fact that I was about to insert a completely ordinary product into my underwear. Why? Because, in essence, I was ashamed. I was ashamed and embarrassed for other people (I mean, basically, read, MEN) to see that my vagina was functioning normally and healthily. Shame and silence around my period was still, it seemed, a habit.
I know I’m not alone in this. How many of us have shoved a tampon up our sleeves? Coughed loudly when unwrapping a pad in the work toilets so no one hears crinkling plastic?
I don’t believe this shame is inherent. This shame has been taught. By family, teachers, adverts, ourselves.
Why does this matter? Because when we embody shame we curl ourselves up into nothing.
This shame is not inherent. Shame has been normalised. And we want to get rid of that shame, because periods are normal and healthy."
We asked the bloody babes of Skinnydip London to get behind the Walk of No Shame and they came up with the bloody brill art on this page. We’d love to see your art about it too, if you're so inclined, or tell us your own experience of doing the Walk of No Shame. And if you feel you CAN’T do the Walk of No Shame, tell us about that too. We hope the tribe of bloody babes here will help smash some of the barriers out of the way. Get involved in the social convo on Insta, Twitter and Facebook, using the hashtag #WalkOfNoShame.