Cosmopolitan UK, I’ve got a problem with your recent Snapchat story, and I wanna talk about it.

 

I don’t really tend to look at Snapchat stories much, but last Sunday I was fairly hungover and spent most of the day aimlessly scrolling on social media. I clicked on Cosmopolitan UK’s Snapchat story and was pretty horrified at what I read. In a series of infographics the magazine were giving ‘advice’ on ‘how to cancel your period based on your birth control method’.

 

Not only do I think that this is completely out of order, irresponsible and dangerous for young girls to be consuming, but completely unnecessary too! I get it, that time of the month brings extra baggage that none of us really enjoy. But for a magazine to be promoting ad-hoc ways to terminate your period just seems damaging to me.

 

I spoke to Dr Elena Touroni, a Consultant Psychologist and co-founder & Director of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic who highlighted the fact that there are a number of reasons that women may want to alter their cycle. “But to want to stop our periods simply because we see them as inconvenient or perhaps ‘unappealing’ feeds into a dangerous disassociation from something that is inherently human. When we understand and embrace the fluctuations our monthly cycle brings, we are embracing the essence of the human experience itself” she said.

 

I think that the female body is pretty fucking remarkable. Our organs and insides are working non-stop to allow us to function as the incredible goddesses we all are and our menstrual cycle is very important part of that. Hating on your period is so 1993—these days we’re all about the flow, right?

 

Claire Baker is an Australian women’s coach who teaches women how to find their flow by living in sync with their menstrual cycle. She believes that working with our natural rhythm (rather than working against it) is the missing key when it comes to women’s wellbeing. “I’m not anti-hormonal contraception, it can be a great option for some women at certain points in their life. What concerns me is the messaging that menstruation is something that should be stopped or avoided. Despite what most of us were taught growing up, periods are normal, natural and remarkable”, she said.

 

Here at HUSH, we say it’s time for women to celebrate and embrace their periods instead of focusing on the “bloody crampy bits”. Tampax pearl adverts hail periods as “mother nature’s monthly gift” and that is exactly the attitude we should all be taking towards our monthly bleed.

 

I remember being the innocent age of 11, just started at secondary school and I noticed that first little patch of red in my pants. I ran down the stairs and told my mum and we both sat on the sofa in the living room crying and cuddling. These weren’t tears of sadness, I think I was confused and slightly scared but my mum was crying because she realised this was me growing up.

 

With your period comes woman-hood and and she was emotional because it meant that her baby was transitioning from little princess to a bold, bad queen. I have always seen women as the most divine and incredible people, our strength and resilience never fails to amaze me and I am totally infatuated with the concept that we have the ability to nurture, grow and produce another tiny human inside of us. So, why is there a shame surrounding the menstrual cycle that makes us so amazing?

 

Claire highlights the importance of mental health issues surrounding hormonal contraception and believes that women need to be fully informed on the realities of taking birth control for a number of years. “In my opinion, menstrual cycle awareness is a far more empowered approach than halting periods entirely. Learning how to flow with your body’s natural rhythm, practice menstrual cycle awareness, and increase body literacy is very often the missing key when it comes to women’s wellbeing”, she said.

 

This is where my problem with Cosmopolitan’s Snapchat story lies. Why should we let a ‘women’s’ magazine tell us that we should want to stop the one thing that (arguably) makes us women? I know it can come with emotions, pain and discomfort, but messing with our menstrual cycle based on the guidance of some pretty irresponsible content from Cosmo really isn’t the answer.

 

Instead of shaming our natural bodily function, here’s what HUSH think you should do during your monthly bleed…

EMBRACE IT!

We all know that being on causes your cravings to go through the roof. So we say, if you want it and it’s going to make you feel better, have it!! If it’s chocolate, ice cream, bananas, crisps or whatever you fancy, allow yourself to enjoy it guilt free. Your body is going through a lot to keep you going during that time of the month and it needs the extra loving. Do not worry about enjoying a few extra treats, they are going to make those difficult days a lot more bearable and you get get straight back on track when you are feeling a bit better.

Rest up!

Don’t feel pressured to stick to commitments you know you’re not feeling up to when you’re on your period. Remember that your period is caused by fluctuating hormones, and they are also what can cause your mood to be bouncy too. If having a bath and an early night is what is going to make you feel better then there is no shame in that!

Be grateful!

This is YOUR special time of the month so take time to yourself and worship your body. Getting a regular period on time means that your body is happy and healthy. Thank your body for functioning in  the way it does, thank your body for where it has got you today and connect with your inner self in this truly magical times.

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