1940’s Pamphlet on Periods Shares the Secret to an Easy Flow: Keep Smiling

by Maggie Stamets

In 1944 the kind people at Modess wanted women to know getting their periods was totally normal, nothing to get your womanly head “excited or nervous” about, a neccessary step on your way to baby-making town, and most of all keep fucking smiling. 

Growing Up and Liking It!
Growing up and Liking it! (posted by Print) is 30% an informational pamphlet for young women and 70% an ad for “super-soft snowy-white Modess Sanitary Napkins.”  As would be expected from any type of sex ed from the 40s, this is chalk-full of mansplainations of periods, PMS, and how to stay charming even when Aunt Flow comes to town. But most of all it reminds young ladies that nothing they are feeling— crippling cramps, tender boobs, blood leaking from their lady parts, or the bloat—are all that bad and if they just keep smiling and “give special attention to you hair and nails” it will be over in a jiff. 

Vintage sex ed

Vintage sex ed

It super helpfully breaks down PMS. Don’t you just hate it when you’ve got no pep?

vintage sex ed

There are helpful menstration dos and don’ts. Do go on a nice picnic date. Do not under any circumstances get caught in the rain, because while on your period you are temporarily a witch and will therefore melt. 

vintage sex ed

vintage sex ed

Remember ladies, standing up straight is the key to youth, happiness and a great rack. 


There is some discussion of how far women have come, they don’t even have to die of embarrassment when they ask their dad to buy them tampons! 

vintage sex ed

For the time this pamphlet would be considered rather progressive and for the first time women had access to tampons as a viable alternative to pads . But if any suggested I ignore my cramps, do my nails and just keep smiling they would end up with a super-soft snowy-white Modess Sanitary Napkin down their throat. 

Images via Print

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