Gone Viral – Bodyform Maxipad Response (Can Men Not Handle The Truth About Periods?)

Quick question – when I was in Berlin, I was cheerfully scolded for not being available to defend the claim that “having a period is worse than cutting oneself shaving”.

If I had the chance back then, I think I would have briskly outlined the meaning and ramifications of the terms menorrhagia, dysmenorrhea,  irregular cycles and endometriosis. As it was, we ran off and did a photo opportunity with James Randi instead.

I guess this made me reflect again, months after the original missed discussion passed: do people – well, men – honestly want to hear the truth?

The original Facebook comment:

Hi , as a man I must ask why you have lied to us for all these years . As a child I watched your advertisements with interest as to how at this wonderful time of the month that the female gets to enjoy so many things ,I felt a little jealous. I mean bike riding , rollercoasters, dancing, parachuting, why couldn’t I get to enjoy this time of joy and ‘blue water’ and wings !! Dam my penis!! Then I got a girlfriend, was so happy and couldn’t wait for this joyous adventurous time of the month to happen …..you lied !! There was no joy , no extreme sports , no blue water spilling over wings and no rocking soundtrack oh no no no. Instead I had to fight against every male urge I had to resist screaming wooaaahhhhh bodddyyyyyyfooorrrmmm bodyformed for youuuuuuu as my lady changed from the loving , gentle, normal skin coloured lady to the little girl from the exorcist with added venom and extra 360 degree head spin. Thanks for setting me up for a fall bodyform , you crafty bugger

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

    I don’t know. I find the rant a bit amusing. I’ve always hated the whole ‘have a happy period’ thing. It’s more like a ‘can’t someone figure out a way to get this thing over with faster so I can avoid three-four days of cramps and migraines’?

    I’m not worried about whether the pad shows or moves with me, I’d rather know how it handles clots.

    • Kylie Sturgess

      I’ve found the weird ads have become more and more surreal over time – and then tv started showing teen women ads where it was about the disasters that can happen (having to wear a jumper around waist, etc) that I thought it was starting to be more realistic. It’s more of a snarly attack on the failure of communicating about what’s involved in sensible ways and how advertising really shouldn’t be expected to meet all expectations in that regard.
      I do hope this ad turns up on the tv show Gruen Planet or similar ( and if readers don’t know what that is, please check out a few eps on Youtube). I’d like to get the panels take on the industry of selling feminine hygiene products and what studies really HAVE shown.

    • Brad

      Talk to your doctor. According to PP certain (all?) hormonal birth control allows you to have a period quarterly or less. Doesn’t make the ones you have any better, but from my admittedly limited understanding of the ordeal, if I were a woman I’d jump at the chance to straight up not have a period.

      • PatrickG

        Based on two pregnancy scares, that’s “certain” birth control, not “all”. My partner changed prescriptions and definitely had a change in routine, confirmed as a side-effect by her doctor.

        • F

          The scheduled birth control pills come packaged as they do exactly to allow one to have a period. If a woman finds a prescription which works well for her, she doesn’t have menstruate at all. Stock up and skip the placebos. Extreme athleticism and things like DP injections can eliminate periods as well.

  • Carlos Cabanita

    I have married or lived with (and loved) three different women with diverse attitudes towards their periods, and diverse reactions at different times of their lives. Yet I never felt that kind of drama. I think that below
    this male attitude is a deep intolerance, some refusal to see the woman as human. Something like, look, this woman gadget I got doesn’t perform as I expected some days of the month. What’s wrong with it?

  • Carlos Cabanita

    Besides, what couple never performed a fart contest over the covers? Sincerely?

  • Carlos Cabanita

    Sorry. *under the covers*!

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    I am tempted to think that Bodyform planted the original post and had the video response on tap specifically as a viral marketing campaign. And it worked brilliantly.

  • dukeofomnium

    In fairness, the advertising does make it look like menses is more fun than Disneyland — as long as you have the right feminine hygiene products, of course.

  • leftwingfox

    That’s a a lot of awesome to take in one sitting. Well done.

  • F

    Weird. Richard was mildly amusing, but he missed some of the more flagrant ridiculousness which makes up advertising. (And the “activity shots” are there to illustrate the claim that a woman can be, uh, well-sealed with a low expectation of seal failure instead of having to avoid some activities as in the days of yore when less well-designed feminine hygiene products were the norm. But I digress.)

    The snarketing response was mildly amusing as well, but I cannot compartmentalize it away from marketing in general enough to enjoy it as much as I might otherwise. “In the past we tried to be more honest in our approach.” Yeah, well, no you didn’t.

    Overall, I think they are both wide of any mark, and for entertainment purposes only, if that. Perhaps I’m not the best judge, and these two things will prod their way into people’s (particularly men’s) consciousnesses to some positive effect.