Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Friday, 21 August 2015

Sanitary Pad Advert Is About As Useful As A Sanitary Pad

Sanitary Pad Advert Is About As Useful As A Sanitary Pad

The Debrief: Australian commercial has come under fire for being fat-phobic…

Sanitary pads don’t get a great rap, do they? So it’s no wonder that an Australian company clearly put a lot of money and effort into making an advert to promote their SOFY BeFresh pad. However, in what seems like a few too many decisions taken by a room full of blokes who either call periods ‘the raaaag’ or a ‘women’s hygiene product’, this is the end result:

As you can see, what they’ve called: ‘that feeling of general grossness when your pad isn’t quite doing it’s job [sic]’ has a panopoly of ridiculous things going on here, so let’s unpick each of them in a nice neat order (because at least that’ll get across how women can think properly, despite all our raging mind-altering woman-hormones).

1. The ‘Ugh’ woman is fat and the default woman is skinny

Fair enough, a lot of women feel a bit bloated before their periods, but it’s one of those things that you can’t always see in someone’s actual face. Belly, sure, but using a woman two or three sizes bigger than the default model here only serves to make out that being bigger is badder, or that you can measure a woman’s hormonal level from her dress size. FYI, you can’t.

2. Getting your actual period isn't that bad

This advert is meant to represent women on their periods. Which is odd, because while periods are hardly our favourite way to spend a week, it's the build up to them that's far worse than the actual having one. And if it really was meant to represent women who’re actually on, it might feature her just one or two agonising cramps, right? Periods aren't about being crap to your surroundings, they're about your insides being crap to you.

3. The perpetual, vocal sadness

Anyone who’s felt PMT’s horrible looming feeling of dread, will also have felt the unnecessary stigma around periods. This causes women to go introvert with their periods, to suffer quietly. So while a PMT sufferer might send a few lengthy texts to mates about how the world is doomed and nothing is quite right, the chances of all this being said out loud, let alone caterwauled over and over again, are slimmer than a mouse’s tampon.

4. The messiness

Who on earth gets PMT and wants to live under a messy pile of cushions? Just like any looming deadline hastens you to get all your shit together, knowing Aunt Flo’s coming to stay sends so many women into a hyperactive race to make their environment as neat and tidy and clean as possible.

5. The lack of solidarity

Periods can feel isolating, but at the same time remind you that most other women get periods too. Maybe it's just us but with the arrival of our period comes increased sisterly solidarity, like this is a secret ordeal so many of us face every month. Instead of disliking every picture on Facebook (bar one) or sacking off all our plans while going through PMT, it can be a great time to reconnect with so many mates, even if it’s just to (as above) text them to tell them how the world’s going to end very soon. Plus, if it means you can catch up on TV and do all that tidying, what’s wrong with a couple of days of isolation?

6. The woman has no job

Is this woman about to get her period (or, worse, this ad’s meant to be a representation of a woman going through her period, which is actually, for the most part, a signal of things getting less stressful) or is she just lazy? A slightly crap thing about periods is that you don’t get time off of work when you’ve got one. But actually, it’s a darn sight better than what this Ugh woman does in the advert. Exercising, even if it’s just walking, can alleviate period pains, and sometimes any anger or malaise can be successfully channeled into being really productive, getting a lot of shit done and being that much more ruthless with decisions.

7. The Silence of the Lambs moment

You know the bit where the Ugh woman shrieks at the pizza guy to throw all the boxes, plural, into a basket on a string? That’s a reference to the Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster film. More specifically, it’s a reference to a serial killer who made his female victims stay moisturised so he could have better-quality human leather from their bodies.

8. Sanitary towels do not fix much. At all.

OK, say all of the above is nonsense and actually women on their periods are all fat gibbering wrecks with no internal control on their hysteria, slumping from one couch to another and wailing to their cats. How on earth would a sanitary towel fix that? Unless you’re the lucky sort who gets light periods that see as much blood drip out of you as a papercut, you kind of need more than a tampon to soak up your flow in the first place.

Maybe it’s the memories of waddling down school corridors with bone-crushing back pains and a hammock full of hot blood between our legs, maybe it’s the way they leave ‘wearers’ with smears of blood on said thighs, or perhaps, just perhaps, it’s because tampons kind of (mostly) do the trick.

It’s little wonder a sanitary pad company would want to advertise. But if they want people to actually use their products (for their intended use, we’re sure plenty of people, faced with the choice of dripping dry or using a sock, would probably use a SOFY BeFresh for a wipe), better luck next time.

Like this? You might also be interested in:

Period Sex: Yes Or No?

Let’s All Get Over Being Ashamed Of Our Periods, Shall We?

Every Question You’ve Ever Had About Your Period, Answered

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Tags: FFS News, Australia, Body worries, Periods