A Strongly-Worded Open Letter: Commercials For Sanitary Products

periodTo whom it may concern on the Advertising Regulations Board.

It is with great discomfort that I express my concern regarding several television commercials I have had the misfortune of coming across, sometimes unexpectedly in the night, over the past few years. I believe there has been an overflowing and widespread trend promoting false advertising around products for female menstruation clogging up my television screen. I refer here, of course, to the various commercials you broadcast for companies manufacturing so-called ‘sanitary napkins’.
Every time I view them I see red! I wish to have better protection from these misleading images leaking further into society. I have, rather indiscreetly, listed below the individual qualms I hold against these advertisements and the measures I feel should be taken in order to present a realistic and accurate depiction of these products and their function.

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My first issue with the plastic sponge or ‘pad’ commercials lies with the actors portraying what it is like to be on one’s period. It is evident when viewing that there is not nearly enough groaning, bloating, excessive eating, wind problems and general anger at the world shown which, I feel, makes it confusing as to when this product is needed. May I perhaps suggest showing a woman with a pronounced pimple developing on her chin, who clearly hasn’t had enough sleep, yelling “THIS BETTER NOT GO ON TV!” and then cutting to a shot of her crying. This may set up a more relate-able context for audiences as opposed to showing someone simply rubbing their forehead, slightly discomforted during a routine bike ride.

The bike-riding image in itself is very misleading. I ask you Sir(s), have you ever put your vagina onto a bicycle seat wearing what is basically a giant, post-it style nappy built for your own gushing uterus contents? Where is all the wedgie-picking footage? And why are all these white pants shown to be completely unsoiled?

post-it

Post-its: NOT a substitute for sanitary products.

There are other advertisements circulating showing a blue liquid being poured into sanitary napkins to simulate absorbency. I feel this does not allow viewers to make an informed decision on the product as I have been told by many women that in fact blood rather than Powerade is most commonly found to be spewing out of their nether region at that time of the month. In affect, by presenting the effectiveness of a pad for soaking up coloured water this rather misguided approach may mislead viewers into thinking that the much more convincing ‘ShamWow!’ is really what they need down there.

shamwow

ShamWow!: NOT a substitute for sanitary products

When promoting the addition of ‘wings’, the advertisers also fail to state that these ‘flaps’ are clearly just made to stick to the pad itself or at best, an inner thigh.

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The general public has been lied to enough and we should not be left to figure out for ourselves which particular brand of pad will crumple up and be rendered useless in the night and which will become dislodged while dancing and stick to our ass cheeks. I urge you to pass on these suggestions to the associated advertising companies responsible and see to it that these revisions are made. The failure to present actual, accurate information and instead being constantly bombarded with buzz-words like ‘body-conforming’ (ie. Shovels up into ass crack the first time bending over) and images of people at the beach (ie. Should not be attempted in conjunction with product shown) makes me feel irritable, moody, grumpy, hungry and want to curl up in bed and call in sick to work.

I don’t want to get my knickers in a knot but this whole experience has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Please rectify effective immediately.

Yours sincerely,
Iva Cramp

bike

First-World Lesbian Problems (Part II)

  • Everyone assuming you can fix their car.
  • Wanting to be in the Dykes on Bikes but having neither a motorbike or a motorbike licence.
  • Deciding whether to be on a float during Mardi Gras, where you won’t get to see all of the parade. Or to try to watch it from the crowd, where you won’t get to see all of the parade.
  • If you are butch; being told you look like a man.
  • If you are a femme; being told that you don’t look like a lesbian.
  •  Other women thinking you actually want to sneak a peek at their disgustingly sweaty body in the gym change rooms.
  • Having your mother still trying to set you up with eligible male bachelors, believing that it just takes ‘the right man to come along’.
  • Pretending that you haven’t looked up the ‘Interested In’ info on Facebook of all your female co-workers.

  • Being told you are too pretty to be a lesbian by someone who is too stupid to see that those two points are not linked.
  • Trying to find a roommate you are not attracted to.
  • Guests suddenly becoming uncomfortable after seeing a turkey baster in your kitchen drawer.
  • Being informed that your sexuality “is just not natural” by a woman who had a C-section for her IVF child.
  • Listening to your friends plan their weddings.
  • The possibility of your partner having the same first name as you.
  • Having to exert absolute self-control maintaining eye-contact when in conversation with a cleavage-bearing woman.
  • Not being able to grow your fingernails long.

First-World Lesbian Problems

  • Sharing a wardrobe.
  • Having to explain to straight people that neither of you is the ‘man’ in the relationship.
  • Having to decide whether to chop off your hair and be recognized as a lesbian, or keep your hair long and be assumed straight.
  • Listening to one of your family members awkwardly refer to your partner as your ‘friend’ or ‘roommate’.
  • Having to converse with a work colleague who keeps casually mentioning Ellen Degeneres as a way of trying to tactfully decipher your sexuality.
  • Being asked by acquaintances, “Do you have a boyfriend?”
  • Knowing that the L Word character you like the most is not the same character you are most like.
  • Getting distracted by porn every time you Google anything remotely lesbian related.
  • Never knowing if it is yet safe to drop the word ‘she’ in, after continually using the gender-neutral term “my partner.”

  • PMS:  Pre-Menstrual Synchronisation.
  • Trying to slink out of a room when the discussion topic suddenly becomes “How do lesbians have sex?”
  • When saying “my girlfriend and I”, wondering if the person listening understands you mean partner and not a ‘girl friend’.
  • Consistently finding yourself attracted to the only straight girl at the gay bar.
  • Having to again listen to a man ask the disgustingly inevitable; “Can I watch?”
  • Wearing your girlfriend’s wedgie-inclined pair of underwear by mistake.
  • Deciding what your kids will call each of their mums to avoid confusion.
  • Trying to participate in a conversation with your straight friends about “that hot guy with the dimples.”
  • Australia’s biggest first-world problem: Tony Abbott.