Why Is The Company That Brought Us “Camp Gyno” Telling Us to Be “Discreet” About Our Periods?

Ever since that Camp Gyno ad hit, my feeds have been gushing over with all kinds of happy, squishy Period Power. Look at that little whippersnapper! She said “vag.” And after the recent Tampongate fiasco, the sight of tampons being gleefully tossed in the air is just what the doctor ordered. From the DIY Dora the Explorer menstruation demonstration to the Santa-for-your-vagina line, the whole thing is like feminist wet dream — of the crimson variety.

And there’s a backstory, too! The ad is for a company called Hello Flo, started by Naama Bloom, who followed her passion to become an entrepreneur, despite the fact that her own mother thinks she’s “nuts.” There are so many feel-good feelings here that my uterus is literally smiling right now.

So shit, why do I have to be the Debbie Downer needle screeching this super awesome record to a halt?

Because here’s the thing, ladies: That ad worked so well on me that I went straight over to the Hello Flo website, and some of the messaging there was, well, a far cry from the celebratory vibe of the video. First of all, the company is in fact a delivery service, with one of its goals being to keep the contents of said delivery on the DL. The ad goes on about fun, candy-filled care packages, woo-hoo! But then the site describes those period-parties-in-a-box as “discreet” (ahem, like maybe kinda shameful?). And then there’s the “About” page, where the founder gets real and says, “I didn’t want to trek through my office with a practically see-through plastic bag with tampons.” You mean because you wouldn’t want anyone to suspect that you’ve got some menstruation action going on down there? Huh. What would the fearless Camp Gyno have to say about that? Now I’m not suggesting that the Hello Flo boxes should arrive with red paint dripping from all sides, but Bloom herself said that she wanted to move away from the idea that periods should be mortifying. So what’s up with the company’s “discretion” talk?

As filmmaker Therese Shechter pointed out on her blog, Hello Flo should take note for its next ad:

“Here’s my proposal: Your follow up video should be a woman in an office taking her tampons out of that plastic bag and tossing them exuberantly at her menstruating workmates.”

I’m on board. Keep the period positivity. Lose the shaming.

Claire Mysko is the author of You’re Amazing! A No-Pressure Guide to Being Your Best Self and Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? The Essential Guide to Loving Your Body Before and After Baby. She oversees content for Proud2Bme, a program of the National Eating Disorders Association. Follow her on Twitter.

[Image of tampons via Shutterstock]