I remember my first period like it was yesterday, and the memory alone makes me cringe. I was barely 12 years old and was home from school when I screamed out for my mom from the bathroom. I was terrified by my own lady-business, and I didn’t know what else to do but cry for my mami. I frantically told her what was going on, and to my surprise, she just laughed and went back to her room. A minute later she came back with a pad that looked more like a diaper (or a mattress). I spent the rest of the day curled into the fetal position, agonizing over the pain in my uterus and feeling horribly uncomfortable in the huge pad I was wearing. Welcome to womanhood, girl.
Within a matter of two days most of the women in my immediate family already knew and were congratulating me, saying how proud they were that I was becoming a young lady. I have never been good at being the center of attention. Especially since all the fuss was about my joining the ranks of the menstruating, I just wanted to die.
But maybe it doesn’t have to be that way for all young girls, our periods marked with shame and confusion. A group of mothers had that very idea when they started Menarche Parties R’Us, a company that hosts puberty parties for girls who have not yet menstruated and menarche parties for girls who have.
Our culture regards menstruation in a perplexingly shameful light; women even hide their tampons on the way to the bathroom, for goodness' sake! It's time periods and the women who have them come out of the shadows. After all, there are plenty of cultures that consider this transition a celebration in a young girl's life, kind of like a sweet 16. And if we have to menstruate (everyone keeps telling me it won't go away... not for a while, at least) I can’t help thinking that maybe having some ice cream and gifts would have eased the transition.
What do you think, BUSTies? How would you feel about a menarche party?
Photo Credit: www. menarchepartiesrus.com
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.