I stumbled across Menstruation Barbie on Instagram while in a fury of feminist rage, reaching my breaking point with sorority pledges and first date live streams. My search began with a hunt for subversive Barbie art (fav pastime!) and I am so damn thankful that I ended up with this sassy lass! Not only is Crampy Carla refreshing and sassy, her posts are encouraging and empowering to women everywhere.
The mastermind behind ‘Crampy Carla’ is the delightful Kristin Krein, queen bee of Fourth Wave Freaks (amazing feminist artist collective and zine) in Lethbridge, Canada. I had the chance to chitchat with this wonderful gal and her partners in crime to learn a hellofalot about Canada, menstruation, art and the importance of connecting with other feminists.
When I asked Kristin about the significance of feminism/menstruation/art she replied, “I made it 23 years without feminism and I felt a lot of shame about what my body was doing. I wanted to use my struggle. This makes us who we are, and we are beautiful and valuable.” Kristin works alongside her buds Jared and Meghan who also participate in the queer/feminist community of Lethbridge and contribute to the Fourth Wave Freaks zine. “Once you hear about social issues and feminism, you cant un-hear it, so we were just trying to get word out in our community.” It seems like its working since they currently have completed numerous editions of the zine full of artwork, photos, poems, essays and cool shit from all over the world.
Menstruation Barbie is an extension of the artwork Kristin does on a regular basis. “It’s based out of my series 'Loss of Innocence’ depicting girls with their menstruation. Everyone I know is united by that initial feeling of shame that came with your first period. Either being caught off guard and embarrassed by your period, or waiting for it.” Through the power of the internet Kristin connected with numerous other pro-period artists/feminists and found extensive contributors to her project. She went on to say, “I hate that becoming a woman has to be this overwhelming thing. I’m pro-period, pro-blood, pro-embracing ourselves.” Kristin is clearly not alone and ALWAYS open for contributions if you are interested.
Since the birth of Menstruation Barbie,Kristin, Jared, and Meghan also developed a zine/artist collective and found many kindred spirits. Jared says it’s about “uniting intelligent people who may not have any other platform to express. Its also for empowering ourselves.” You can peep all of their zines online at Fourth Wave Freaks.
I truly admire this trio for creating a cyber utopia via their digital zine and Instagram and using it to connect with others, and make room for what they find important. Jared said, “We want people to feel heard…weirdo’s to be heard. Freak is an important word in all of this. Fourth Wave Freaks is a venue for people who don’t know how to express themselves any other way amidst close-minded places.” This is fitting considering that Lethbridge is nicknamed the Bible Belt of Canada. Yet, their efforts translate over into reality. If you are in the area you can check out their art show opening April 20th 2 - 7pm 2025 at 7th Ave North.
I highly recommend following Menstruation Barbie for a daily dose of menstrual pride and feminist sass!!!
Images Courtesy of Menstruation Barbie