No More Under Wraps: Glamorising the Intimate Experience, and the Mindset Shift in Addressing Menstruation

No More Under Wraps: Glamorising the Intimate Experience, and the Mindset Shift in Addressing Menstruation

There was a time when periods were seen as a hindrance to our daily lives. All the advertising around menstrual products, majorly sanitary pads, was confined to a girl not being able to wear white pants or play sports for fear of staining. The uncomfortable sleep cycles, or the catching of flow – this was the only way girls would know about menstrual hygiene. The conversations had to be hushed too – what if papa or bhaiya listen?

Over the years, families have evolved. Fathers are not averse to discussing menstruation with their daughters and likewise, men around us have come to realise that this process is natural, not abnormal or anything to be wary about. The wide range of information available through social media and intelligent brand communications have helped de-stigmatise intimate hygiene and menstruation to a large extent.

No More Under Wraps

These are problems that require solutions and not wraps to be folded in and shoved in a corner to be left unaddressed.

From the plastic monochromes of blue and green to intelligent packaging, it is time consumers have the chance to flaunt intimate care rather than wrapping them up in black garbage bags or boring brown paper. A lot goes into making packages interesting and the same is a dire need. This is because a lifestyle shift gives menstruators and women more choices- they get to go for brands that appeal to them, are sustainable and provide a one-stop solution to the before and after of period care.

Traditional media like newspapers and television haven’t seen tampons or menstrual cups being marketed to them yet. This is primarily because Indian consumers are perceived to be orthodox and concerned largely about virginity and impact on childbirth. To many, the option of inserting a device into their bodies for period protection seems unthinkable.

Diffusion of Innovation

So, what does it take for a brand to become a household name? It is to not just come up with a great solution which saves people money and also protects the planet, but to keep talking about the problem and its solution- until every last person adapts to the change.

This is how Diffusion of Innovation works. From interesting packaging to quizzes to know their fit, competitive pricing and impact created by a single purchase, there should be no room for the consumer to imagine that the product is not required by them or that someone else will offer them a better alternative.

Driving a Mindset Shift in Addressing Menstruation & Intimate Hygiene

As brands in the intimate hygiene segment, it is important to believe in the product by using it and recommending it to family and friends. Being pushy with conversations and talking about menstruation like any other body function also becomes important. Constant messaging in ways people can make menstruation easier makes it acceptable for mothers and later on, families to openly talk about it.

Cinema (Padman is a great example) has definitely helped the cause, but brands need to raise the bar with offerings nobody thought of before. Realising intimate hygiene is important, will not only promote the use of products like intimate washes and oils, serums or toners, butt scrubs or creams and razors for intimate areas, but also help address a lifestyle shift where menstruators and women need more than water (and definitely not soap!) to take care of their internal flora.

The purchasing power of consumers helps the cause and removes the stigma. Menstruators no longer have to depend on the patriarchal setup for resolving their menstrual needs or worse, have to adjust with the bare minimum like old rags or newspapers.

So, for each consumer who thinks they can do with a simple period product, like a commercially-available pad, the difference is created through innovation, sustainability and giving back to the society.

Yes, menstruation is still a corner-of-the-house conversation for traditional and some urban families as well. Brands and influencers along with consumers have to join hands in addressing various intimate needs and solutions to bring it out of the closet.

Let’s keep the conversation going

Anika Malik Wadhera

Head of Marketing and Brand Communications at Sirona Hygiene Pvt. Ltd.

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