I am a woman, therefore, I bleed. . It’s messy, it’s painful, it’s terrible, & it’s beautiful. . And yet, you wouldn’t know. Because I hide it. . I bury things at the bottom of the trash. I breathe, ragged and awkward through the cramps, all the while holding onto this tight lipped, painted on smile. . Tampons? What are those. We don’t say those words out loud. Hide them. In the back pocket of your purse, in the corner of the bathroom drawer, at the very bottom of your shopping cart (please let me get a female cashier). . Events or engagements get missed. I’ll tell myself it’s the PMS, sure, but it has more to with the risk of being “caught,” at what…I’m not quite sure. . And I’m lucky. . Over 100 million young women around the globe miss school or work for lack of adequate menstrual supplies, & fear of what might happen if the world witnesses A NATURAL BODILY FUNCTION. . WHY? . Because hundreds of years of culture have made us embarrassed to bleed. Have left us feeling dirty and ashamed. . STOP PRETENDING. Stop using silly pet names like Aunt Flo because you’re too afraid to say “I’m bleeding” or “vagina.” Stop wasting so much effort hiding the very thing that gives this species continuity. . START talking about it. Educate your daughters. Make them understand that it can be both an inconvenience and a gift, but NEVER something to be ashamed about. Educate your sons so they don’t recoil from the word tampon. So when a girl bleeds through her khaki shorts in third period (pun intended), they don’t perpetuate the cycle of shame and intolerance. . This #StartSomethingSunday , I want to highlight @corawomen . . Cora Women is a 100% Organic tampon company. . But that’s not all. They are also breaking barriers. Making it ok to talk about periods, even on social media. Providing personalized, delivered tampon/pad orders right to your door. AND for every box purchased, donating a box of sustainable pads to girls who can’t afford menstruation products. . Fuck yeah. That’s the kind of stuff I can galvanize behind, no money or even product needed. Just a mission I support on a topic we should ALL be talking about. . More ⬇️
A video posted by Steph Gongora (@casa_colibri) on Feb 5, 2017 at 11:06am PST
From those awkward adolescent bathroom trips all the way through adulthood, periods have remained an unnecessarily taboo topic, and now, one woman is confronting all those hush-hush menstrual moments while bleeding through her white yoga pants. Stephanie Góngora is a 30-year-old yogi who, just like most women, fears her heavy flow and the possibility of bleeding through her pants. But in an effort to face those fears, Stephanie decided to record herself doing what she does best, a yoga sequence, but she did so while bleeding through her *gasp* white pants.
“I am a woman, therefore, I bleed,” she wrote alongside the video above. “It’s messy, it’s painful, it’s terrible, & it’s beautiful. And yet, you wouldn’t know. Because I hide it. I bury things at the bottom of the trash. I breathe, ragged and awkward through the cramps, all the while holding onto this tight lipped, painted on smile. Tampons? What are those. We don’t say those words out loud. Hide them. In the back pocket of your purse, in the corner of the bathroom drawer, at the very bottom of your shopping cart (please let me get a female cashier).”
Stephanie’s perfectly balanced poses are just one of the many things that make this post so impressive. Her ability to open up and tackle this scorned topic is admirable. She opened up to Cosmopolitan about her past as a young gymnast often overwhelmed with the fear that she’d bleed through her leotard, and she has had the same fears as a yoga instructor in her adult life.
“The possibility of leaking through even two super-plus tampons and a pad during an hour-long class enveloped my life,” Stephanie said. “I would hide tampons in my sleeve or take my whole purse to the bathroom. If a spot of blood made it past my arsenal and onto my pants, I would tie a giant sweatshirt around my waist and spend the rest of the day exquisitely stressed out about someone seeing it and finding out the truth: that I bleed, and sometimes, I leak.”
But Stephanie began to wonder why she felt so ashamed of her body’s natural flow and decided she didn’t want to hide it anymore.
“I knew a bright red blood spot on pristine white pants would make a statement in a society that rarely takes the time to actually read,” she told Cosmo. “Leaks are such a typical occurrence for me, and something, I believe, women shouldn’t have to be ashamed of.”