You may have noticed Monthlies has been a bit quiet for the last couple of months. Not as much fierce feminist opinion as you may have liked to see, a bit slow on the old dismantling the patriarchy front. Tumble weed where you expected tampon puns. We know. And we’re back!

We’ve had our heads down, teaching ourselves how to use the internet and getting cross at coding. But finally we are victorious and the new Monthlies website is born! “What’s new?” we hear you cry. Real subscription billing, that’s what. And ultimate customisability with our clever box builder tool. We made an FAQs page and everything #soproud.

 

Out-takes from the great website construction of 2016

Some of my particular highlights from the website building process were the “diamond series” (I thought it was the coolest thing ever to put a picture of a Monthlies box on a red diamond, I had to be convinced it was not, in fact, the coolest thing ever and actually looked a bit naff). And the day I decided to name each of the box sizes after Dulux paint names for different shades of red. Volcanic Splash 3 never made the cut but it will always have a special place in my heart.

Now the site is live and kicking, we have time back on our hands. Time to smash some tired taboos. So in honour of Menstrual Hygiene Day on Saturday we’re collecting First Period stories.

For many young people, their first period is stressful and scary but this doesn’t have to be the case. We believe the more open we can be, in sharing the embarrassing stories as well as the good ones, the more normal it will become to talk about periods. This will mean fewer people go through menarche (your first menstrual cycle) without knowing what to expect, and the ideas of shame and fear which we’re sold by big tampon-peddling corporations will start to lift.

If you want to be part of our campaign, you can tell us your first period story via this link.

To get us started, Monthlies founder Sarah kicks off the over-share:

Before my first period, I was so nervous and excited about it. I have a sister who is two years older and when I was about 10, these colourful packs of pads appeared in the bathroom which my Mum explained were in preparation for my sister starting her periods. Never wanting to be left behind, I immediately wanted to have periods too (little did I know what I was letting myself in for!)

As I got older and surpassed the age my sister had started her periods, I started getting anxious about whether mine would ever arrive. I clearly remember a conversation with a friend before my periods started. I was in Year 9 at school, already 14 and I was sure there was something wrong with me because I hadn’t started yet, so I asked a friend if we could talk in the classroom cupboard at break time. Surrounded by the PE kits of my classmates, I asked her embarrassedly if I everyone else in the class had started. She said yes, most of the other girls had but I shouldn’t worry because she’d read in a magazine it could happen as late as 16.

Over the next couple of months, I thought my period had begun every time I had a slight tummy ache (surely just trapped wind!) but when it finally did arrive, it was a thorough anticlimax, like opening a long-awaited present to find cramps and mess waiting. At least I was finally in the club though, I could join in with the “time of the month” talk when the PE teachers tried to make us shower after netball and my sister couldn’t get away with calling me a little kid any more!

 

 

Then and now. Not much has changed really!

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