Parents Are Throwing Their Daughters Period Parties to . . . Celebrate a Life of Impending Menstrual Misery?

I got my first period at a very young age. I was in fifth grade. The topic of mensuration hadn't yet come up in whatever paltry attempts my school made at giving us a proper health or sex education. So when it happened, I was beyond unprepared. I locked my soiled underwear in the bathroom, then locked myself in my bedroom. It seemed like a reasonable reaction. Until my mom came home and figured out what happened and was dead set on talking to me about becoming a woman and about my new friend, the pad.

Times have obviously changed because parents are celebrating their daughters' first periods by not only addressing them but by throwing period parties! According to Parents magazine, this isn't necessarily a new trend but one that's become increasingly popular among the hormonal set. Red velvet cakes adorned with red flowers and an inscription that says something like "Sarah's First Period" aren't unusual to see. The food might be red, the drinks might be red, and the guests might be clad in red — none of that is off the table at a period party.

A number of families shared sweet stories with the magazine about how throwing this type of bash can help remove the embarrassment and stigma normally associated with puberty. It's actually very thoughtful, and I wonder if it were a trend when I was a kid, if I would have wanted one or just been content staying locked in my room forever.