3 Celebrities Who Get Real About Menstruation
When we look at celebrities, we are usually blinded by the glitz and glamor of red carpets and stunning fashion. The excess that they are rewarded for a superfluous contribution to society can usually leave a bad taste in the mouth, but many have taken to becoming philanthropists and activists, using their recognition and influence to make important changes they’d like to see in the world. At Orchyd, we’ve found that some celebrities even have values that align with ours and are committed to destigmatizing and advancing the period care conversation. Here are some celebrities that are trying to make a difference for menstruating people.
A woman who definitely knows a thing or two about societal pressures and stigma, Meghan Markle, went on a humanitarian mission to India to learn about the barrier poor menstrual health can have on the development of young girls. While there, she was told that 113 million girls between the ages of 12 - 14 would drop out of school because of poor access to menstrual products. She was told that these girls are often ill-equipped with dishrags instead of pads and have no bathrooms to privately and adequately tend to their periods. The embarrassment causes them to stop attending school either while menstruating or altogether. She also learned that the stigma surrounding periods meant that they were not openly discussed in the home environment, so young girls often believed that they were purging evil spirits and that something was wrong with them.
To combat this pressing issue, Markle wrote a factual and engaging call-to-action article for Time Magazine in which she stated:
We need to push the conversation, mobilize policy making surrounding menstrual health initiatives, support organizations who foster girls’ education from the ground up, and within our own homes, we need to rise above our puritanical bashfulness when it comes to talking about menstruation.
Millions of girls looked up to Hilary Duff in their pre-teen years as she navigated coming-of-age moments as Lizzie McGuire. Now, she’s helping pre-teens and women as the Chief Brand Officer for Veeda, an organic feminine care brand. Duff wants to destigmatize the conversation surrounding periods, from allowing ourselves more time in the drugstore aisle examining boxes to making sure our sons are fully educated on periods, not to trivialize and joke about the matter to their female counterparts.
Duff partnered with Veeda because she wanted to make better choices for herself and her family. Veeda only uses organically grown cotton, unlike conventional tampons that have harsh dyes, perfumes and use bleached rayon. Consequently, these tampons can actually bleach your mucus membrane. Duff wants people to know that they can make sustainable choices that are biodegradable and good for their bodies and let children know that periods are not gross, but rather something beautiful that means their body can create life.
Best known for her role in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, as well as for absolutely owning Ellen Degeneres on her show, Dakota Johnson has also spoken publicly about the pains and problems her monthly cycle brings her. "My hormonal changes during my menstrual cycle are ruining my life," she said. "Every month. It's unbelievable. It's really f—ing amazing. I can't get a grip on it," she says in an interview.
Her issues with her menstruation inspired her to partner with Global Citizen’s reproductive education program to help women better understand their bodies. This partnership includes talking openly about using birth control to ease period pains, breaking down the stigma about asking for/needing it, and making sure people choose birth control that is right for them and healthy for their bodies.