Menstrual Monday: Beauty in Blood

I’ve been on the body positivity train lately. I’ve been taking some time to really think about what it means to be positive about one’s body. It’s more than saying “all bodies are beautiful…” because to me, I really do think that everyone is beautiful.  It’s more about what I accept as beautiful in myself. For example, I might think that the girl I saw without makeup on at the bookstore was absolutely stunning, but if I looked at myself without makeup on, I might not feel the same way. “You look tired.” That is something that I’m working on and I think is important to recognize.

That being said, there are many aspects of my body that I certainly know are beautiful. My eyes for example are one of them. Another part of the female body that I find beautiful is menstrual blood. People find some beautiful things to do with menstrual blood. Some people paint with it, some use it in gardening… This woman decided to photograph it. Conceptual Artist and Menstrual Designer, Jen Lewis began this project in 2012 when she started using menstrual cups instead of pads and tampons. She photographs menstrual blood using a macro lens (think really, really, really zoomed in). Looking at these images, how can menstrual blood be anything but beautiful? Check out the images here:

I know what you’re thinking: WOW! It’s hard to believe that the images above are menstrual blood, or is it? My favourite is blood and bubbles, which one is yours?
It’s frustrating to me that pad and tampon ads never show “red” in their ads but a blue liquid (What is that anyway? Windex?!), menstrual blood is so taboo. Yet other forms of blood in the form of gore and violence is everywhere. So much so that we are desensitized to it. Why can’t we see menstrual blood, let alone discuss it? We really need to work on this!

So what can we do? At the personal level, don’t be afraid to touch your menstrual blood. If you’re comfortable of course, but it’s really not as gross as you might perceive. Familial level: talk about it! Don’t be afraid to talk about everything menstrual related and not just to sisters, but to the male members of your family as well. Share things with your children, let them be curious and answer any questions they might have. The big picture? Share! Post this on Facebook, don’t be afraid to “like” and share everything menstruation related on social media. Don’t whisper when you’re talking about your cramps at Starbucks, don’t spend 10 minutes trying to strategically hide your tampon up your sleeve when you walk to the bathroom at school or work. I know it’s hard, but try not to be ashamed. There isn’t anything to be ashamed of; embrace menstruation.

Let’s start unpacking and deconstructing all the drama and shame around menstruation. Go team!

Menstrual Mondays have been so fun to write and share with you all. I promised the Menstrual Mondays series for the whole month of August and possibly beyond… Today is the last Monday in August and September is tomorrow! I have decided to continue on with the Menstrual Mondays series throughout the school year BUT only once a month. I’ve got to focus on school and writing a weekly series is hard work! Thank you all for following along with this series, I promise to keep you updated and continue on with Menstrual Mondays!

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