The poor Disney princesses have been through the wars recently, they've been domestically abused, withered away due to crippling eating disorders, inexplicably transformed into ironic rocks, and now they are spurting menstrual blood all over their gowns.
In another 'hard-hitting' stunt from Instagram user Saint Hoax, the phenomenon of 'period shaming' is examined in all its bloody glory while simultaneously missing the point.
Saint Hoax presents the pictures alongside the story of a friend who had a terrible date involving a period stain and a guy who is clearly an absolute douchebag, it reads:
A (girl) friend of mine went on a date 2 weeks ago. Halfway through dinner, she had a period leak that left a bloodstain on her skirt. Her date didn’t handle the situation well; she could tell he was uncomfortable. As the night came to an end, he said he would call her the next day…
After not hearing back from him, she was convinced he was revolted by the accident. She sent him an apologetic text message. He replied, “How can I date a girl who doesn’t know what a Tampon is?” These blooded Disney princesses are my reaction to her story. There’s a lot of ignorance and shame surrounding this subject. The fact that she felt the need to apologize for something so natural is more appalling than a period stain. Girls get their period once a month. Sometimes it gets messy. Get over it.
As the proud owner of a fully functional, living, bleeding vagina, I know as well as most people of the female persuasion that period shaming is a very real thing. A lot of women feel ashamed of a perfectly natural biological process, almost certainly due to the plethora of both modern and ancient cultural references that paint periods as impure or disgusting, but it doesn't really have anything to do with bleeding onto your clothes.
Alas, 'Disney princesses going a bit red when they buy tampons from a male cashier' or 'Disney princesses feeling humiliated and dirty because their boyfriends won't have sex with them' don't really make such clickable images.
Accidents happen and a gal always hopes that if they're caught short, someone will sympathetically whisper in their ear instead of wrinkling their noses in disgust and pointing, but this is more about common decency than 'period shaming.'
At the end of the day, nobody is rallying against 'pissing yourself shaming' or 'sweating uncontrollably until you are wet through shaming' and simmering this complicated cultural issue down to a blood patch that has been hastily blasted on with the spray tool for shock value seems like a disservice to me.
It's awful that people have to feel publicly humiliated about things that they can't control, but that's just a fact of life, and it's naive and kind of patronizing to assume that this wouldn't apply to menstruating women.
Instead, maybe we should be questioning why a lot of women feel fine about buying toilet paper to wipe poop off their anuses with, but feel humiliated by purchasing tampons, or how misogynistic jokes like "I never trust anything that bleeds for seven days and doesn't die" still prevail to this day and get LOLs to boot.
Instead, this campaign is basically inviting us all to look at women with bloody groins and daring us not to be disgusted in a move that once more reinforces a viewpoint that vaginal blood is intrinsically vile.