First Moon Parties, humiliation, and humor
This ad has been circulating recently, and many people are highly amused. There are are also many outraged people. I get both sides on this one, because I think there’s both really good and really bad here. So let’s watch and then break it down a little bit:
- A girl who’s excited to get her period? Rock on!
- A whole community of people who are supportive of a girl getting her period, even if not on-target with their responses and gifts? Fantastic! I could go on and on about this one, which is really the strength of the ad. We need to talk more about
- A uterus piñata? This sound not be a thing, like Disney princess piñatas. No one should hit a uterus and no one should hit a child. Making these things into piñatas for amusement only results in scary images.
- But the larger issue at play here is that the mother in this ad humiliates her daughter on purpose as a form of punishment. How does anyone think that’s okay? It’s not okay, it’s horrible. Okay, so your daughter lies to you? Talk with your daughter about it. Don’t go out of your way to publicly shame her – and then boast about it!
I’m surprised at how much play this ad is getting. The first time I saw it, I chuckled, because it’s well written, produced, and, let’s be honest, Pin The Pad On The Period and Bobbing For Ovaries are hilarious party games. But how often does something that is so overtly about periods get so much attention? As of my writing, the video has been viewed (in its original upload, it’s in tons of other places too now) more than 12 million times in four days. That’s crazy attention!
So how willing am I to ignore the blatantly offensive way that the mother treats her daughter, the continued discrimination of young people, for the greater good of clarity in conversations about female reproduction cycles? Well, I’m not. Which is why I haven’t posted the video until now, although I acknowledged that it was funny on someone else’s post.
We should all have higher standards than this – not in terms of humor, production value, or open communication, but in the way(s) that we treat the people who we love most and the way(s) that we represent that treatment in the public eye, even at the loss of humor. I’m disappointed, Hello Flo, that you lowered your standards in order to increase attention. It’s just not cool, particularly given your company’s professed standards to “educate, inspire, and entertain.” Instead, with this ad, you’ve entertained us, yes, but at the expense of a population who have few enough people in their corner to begin with.
Thanks Dr Rayne, as usual for a great take on an interesting media issue. I would like to say that the commercial could be completely saved by being cast simply as a fantasy on the part of either the mother or the daughter – and shown at the end as the mother simply sitting down with the ‘florida pad’ and the daughter and saying what she said – something like ‘with glitter?’ to open the more honest dialogue.
It is pretty funny, and as a fantasy on the part of the mother to ‘get back at her daughter for LYING’ it is understandable and as a fear on the part of the daughter, it is understandable. As a reality, it is absurd, it could not possibly be reality, none of the players would play – but the depiction is not helpful in the dialogue between mother and daughter.
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