Period shame is a hot topic around the globe right now. Deeming something as all-pervasive as menstruation unacceptable for public chat may seem slightly bonkers to some. But periods still aren’t something we commonly see referred to on TV or social media (see more about that topic here), so maybe it’s no wonder around a quarter of young Aussie women and girls say they feel embarrassed buying tampons and pads.
It’s good to hear, then, that some people are refusing to accept this way of thinking and, conversely, see menstruation as a reason to celebrate. In the 2020s, period parties are on the agenda. If you’re new to the concept, they’re kinda like a birthday party, but are held to mark ‘menarche’, AKA the arrival of a girl’s first menstrual period.
As with many things these days, the trend really kicked off when a tweet went viral a couple of years ago.
“Brooke started her period today and my family is super extra” tweeted a woman called Autumn Jennings. The accompanying photo was of her 12-year-old cousin Brooke, who was holding up a cake with red-piped frosting that said: “Congrats on your Period.” The tweet was shared and reported on all over the world.
(Brooke’s mother, Shelly, said at the time she had decided to throw a party for her daughter after hearing she was anxious about starting her period.)
Of course, marking the occasion of first periods is not exactly new; in fact it’s quite common in certain cultures. In Fiji, some communities lay out a special mat for girls on their first period, and families prepare a feast to celebrate their daughters’ entry into womanhood. In Tamil communities there’s a coming-of-age ceremony. And in Japanese families a special dish called sekihan is served, featuring rice and (red) adzuki beans to pass a subtle message to family members.
Gaining popularity in US and UK over the past few years is the full-on party, to mark a girl’s official entry into adolescence. So how do you go about throwing a period party? Well, it’s entirely up to you how out there you want it to be. But common themes include balloons and streamers (red, natch), red velvet cake (iced messages optional), cranberry juice and party games such as Pin the Tail on the Vagina. You get the idea.
And then there are the gifts. Money is always a good option. Or you could set up the young lady in your life with a Juuni subscription! Our first period boxes come with a My Juuni mini magazine – just in case there are still questions that need answering – and the first delivery is on us.
Note: If you’re planning on throwing a period party for someone you know, make sure they’re on board with the idea first. We’re all for smashing that stigma, but everyone wants to do it on their own terms :)