A Period Party is a celebration of the start of menstruation. They are thrown when your daughter first gets their period and help remove the stigma and fear around periods, leaving your daughter feeling proud and excited about this new phase of life!
For most of history women and girls have been shamed for their periods. We have been taught that periods are dirty and gross. We are told to hide tampons in our sleeves, to smile through the pain, and to stay quiet about the biological miracle that is menstruation.
Most of my friends in school were terrified of getting their periods. Some of their parents explained the biology, while many just handed them a pad and "The Care and Keeping of You" American Girl book and told them good luck. The education system didn't help either as we were all given baggies of tampons and pads and immediately told to hide them in our lockers so as to not upset the boys in our classes. All in all, puberty was a time of fear, silence, and shame.
My experience was quite different though largely because my mom decided to kick shame to the curb and throw me a Period Party when I had my first period.
I remember when my mom first taught me about periods. I could not wrap my mind around the fact that I could bleed for seven days straight and not die. Was I really that powerful? Was I superior? Wait a second, could my grandma, mom, sister, aunt, and all the amazing ladies in my life also perform this magnificent act? To which my Mom responded, yes. She then informed me that when I got my first period I would get a Period Party, an entire night to celebrate me and my bleeding vagina.
I was thrilled.
When Aunt Flow finally arrived, I couldn't contain my excitement. A few weeks later I was decked in red at our local Chiles downing non-alcoholic margaritas with my two best friends, sister, mom, and their mom. We had pads on our shirts with our names on them and homemade t-shirts that read "Period Party." The night was young and we were ready to celebrate. After consuming an exorbitant amount of tacos and guac, we headed back to our house where we played period bingo, pin the pad on the vagina, and guess the red candy. We then cracked into the homemade uterus piñata my mom made, which showered us in more red candy and a sea of pads and tampons. Finally, we ended the night watching Thirteen Going on Thirty.
The whole day was a dream. It not only made me feel excited and proud to be bleeding, but also allowed me a space to ask my mom questions about my changing body. Our bingo game included words about menstruation that my mom then defined. Our Pin the Pad Game was anatomically correct and we ended the night with an open questions hour where we could ask our moms all of the question we had. I strongly believe this period party is why I went into middle school and high school with confidence about myself and my body.
Many people believe that Period Parties started in 2017 when this tweet went viral, but I like to think they actually started in my childhood basement in 2007. Since then countless articles have been written about Period Parties and Period Parties continue to be thrown by everyday people and even celebrities.
It brings me so much joy knowing that Period Parties are becoming more popular and more accessible. At puberty the game changes for girls, with 40% of adolescents and teens struggling with eating disorders and one in five girls in the U.S. missing school because of their period. The more we can normalize these bodily changes and arm girls with education and confidence, the better chance we have of reducing these shocking statistics.
And we strongly believe this all starts by making menstruation a time of celebration. That is why we started Bloody Awesome and why we encourage all of you to throw your daughters, nieces, sisters, and friends Period Parties. Not sure where to start? Check out the Bloody Awesome Box and reach out to us with any questions!