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First Periods on TV

Frank and Funny First Period Moments in Pop Culture

Tampon ads are filled with euphemisms and feature women in varying shades of white frolicking outdoors (not to mention the blue liquid). So if you're "becoming a woman" nowadays, how are you supposed to know what it's really like to have your period? And with all the vague verbage used in tampon and pad commercials, how would girls not think that they should be embarrassed about it?

But now subscription period box company HelloFlo is stirring things up with a new video called "Camp Gyno." It kicks typical feminine-product commercials to the curb by talking openly and frankly about periods. Not only does it use the p-word, but it uses the v-word as well!

We love that a company is finally trying to challenge the status quo when it comes to menstruation-related ads. Yet TV shows have been doing a pretty good job talking about periods for years. Here are clips from three shows — Blossom, 7th Heaven, and The Cosby Show — that, despite overuse of the word "woman," do a remarkable job of talking about first periods with humor and honesty.


Watch them now!

In the 1991 episode "Blossom Blossoms," Blossom's best friend, Six, cheers her up with sarcasm and pointing out that the tampon box says everything she needs to know, like now she can even go hiking.

With the dramatic music and sad faces, 7th Heaven at first seems to be the type of programming that makes bad tampon commercials possible. But in the episode "Anything You Want," Lucy's first period is something the whole family is excited about, and her dad is even willing to go to the drugstore for her first feminine products.

Leave it to Clair Huxtable to know how to handle a period. Though it's dotted with dramatic talk of womanhood, it still accurately challenges myths around menses.

Then again, nobody ever does say "vagina"!

Join The Conversation
Nancy-Einhart Nancy-Einhart 4 years
Awww I love the Cosby Show one.
Venus1 Venus1 6 years
We need to take the stigma away from periods and ads like this help.
whats-her-name whats-her-name 6 years
First off, love Kotex for this. I was mortified to get my period. I hated it then, I hate it now. As if uncontrollable hemorrhaging, pain, and relentless mood swings weren't enough, shows like these add insult to injury by trying to make it a "beautiful" "special time." Oh God, and Ruthie's mom crying??? WTF??
jaan_black jaan_black 7 years
lmao, I am soo late but I absolutely love this commercial...especially the cat lol...and I have always been an "always" girl but I am seriously considering the black box and neon wrappers lol
Monique-Marie427757 Monique-Marie427757 7 years
What is so wrong with this ad?
esmerb esmerb 7 years
I actually saw this commercial a couple of days ago and LOVED it!
imLissy imLissy 7 years
I don't understand. They show commercials for viagra and condoms, they have shows like Gossip Girl, but talking frankly about a period in a commercial is a no no?
Blackwood Blackwood 7 years
This made me remember the episode in Party Of Five where Claudia gets her period and Bailey helps her shop tampons and pads, because Julia wasn't around. Also, I want to see that Cosby Show episode where Rudy buys a cream to make her breasts grow and her mom tells her all the things her other sisters did before her to make their breasts bigger as well, including using a machine called Bustomatic. Awesome times! And no, I never had any trouble or needed any help with my period or buying bras. Luckily, it was just like I had come out of my mother's womb with all the information I needed for that stuff.
nancita nancita 7 years
These clips are priceless. It's amazing how difficult everyone seems to find it to talk about periods, STILL! Incredible.
dexaholic dexaholic 7 years
The Roseanne episode when Darlene gets her period should be on this list! It's how my mom made my sister and I aware of what happens. I remember her saying "if that ever happens to you, let me know". Haha, so one day I went to her and said "Mom, do you remember that episode of Roseanne? Well, it happened to me this morning!" Classic.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
I'll never forget the episode of Blossom where they celebrated her first period...i was mortified as a kid!
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
Man, that commercial should seriously run! I've always hated tampon/pad commercials. They're ridiculous haha And I also hate how TV shows always dramatize it (like that 7th Heaven "becoming a woman" and parents crying deal). Did anyone really have that dramatic of a first period? I never even told anyone, not even my mom. I didn't make a huge scene of it. I mean, I just went to the bathroom and was like, "Oh... alright." and then took a tampon from my mom's bathroom. It just wasn't a big deal to me so I didn't go around telling everyone as if I'd just discovered the lost island of Atlantis. It wasn't til months later when my mom said, "I think a ghost is stealing my tampons" that I told her it was me haha I was actually way more nervous about buying my first bra.
Venus1 Venus1 7 years
Lets all stop messing about. I've got a vagina (love her, bless her!) and I have periods (nasty painful and could do without) but that's life. When I'm having a period I always dress up in white and do exercises. At least that's what the UK ads suggest I should do. Some are so crazy that I'm surprised they get eh message over.
jocupcake jocupcake 7 years
Haha. My mom decided to tell everyone I "became a woman" too. Ugh. I will never do that to my daughter. Oh and I like to twirl in slow motion as well of course ;)
TammyO TammyO 7 years
Well, Diva Cup or Luna Pads for me no matter what Kotex says, but still I applaud them for trying to be frank and stop with the creepy euphemisms.
Florida-Snow Florida-Snow 7 years
Awesome ad, I wish the FCC would get over themselves.
Pistil Pistil 7 years
“I tied a tampon to my key ring so my brother wouldn’t take my car. It worked.” :rotfl: I love the subversion. Really, most ads directed toward women are guilty of this: "it's wonderful and fantastic to be a girl because you have tampons, and birth control, and shampoo, and fabric softener!" It's also a great advertising tactic. But I already have a favorite brand.
zzleigh zzleigh 7 years
Hahaha!! I know, right?! This ad is amazing!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
That is awesome. It seriously makes me want to buy Kotex because of its awesomeness.
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