Sunday Secrets – 2nd August 2020

In this weeks ‘Sunday Secrets’ I have decided to talk about the new Tampax Ad ban in Ireland. While this is a controversial issue, it is an important topic which NEEDS to be discussed. 

To explain briefly, the ad is set up to mimic a chat show in which the host asks a studio audience “Tell me how many of you ever feel your tampon?” This question is followed by multiple people raising their hands, including the ‘celebrity guest’. From this, the host goes on to explain that we shouldn’t feel our tampons, and if we can this can mean it isn’t in far enough. Following on from this was a demonstration of the application of a tampon (with hands) alongside the tag line “Not just the tip, up to the grip!” Finally, the host ended with “So get ’em up there girls, with Tampax”. 

Following the release of this advert in Ireland, there was several complaints to the company behind Tampax. Surprisingly, 83% of the issues reported came from women with only 17% from the male population. Some of the complaints included:

  • The advertisement was unsuitable for children.
  • The advertisement was sexualising the use of tampons. 
  • The advertisement was ‘crude’, ‘vulgar’ and ‘over descriptive’.
  • The advertisement suggested women did not know how to read instructions
  • Some also said they were embarrassed to watch the advert and felt it degrading to women.

I was utterly shocked when I read about this – having not seen the advert myself, I immediately hit up YouTube to see what the big issue was. And surprise, surprise I found no issue. In fact, I think the advert is lighthearted and educational – both of which are very important when discussing taboo topics such as menstrual health. 

For me, the problem lies with the perceptions of people to the advert and their focus being on the ‘funny-nature’ of the advert rather than the exreamly valuable information it provides to women of all ages. 

Women’s health remains an under-represented topic of discussion, and if people continue to demonise campaigns such as this then it will continue to be. Not all young females have the option to speak with their parents about starting their period, or have classes at school to explain the do’s and don’t – instead they rely on word of mouth, online information and advertisements such as this. Don’t we want to educate the young women of today in the correct way to look after their menstrual health, rather than risk much more problematic issues later down the line – Toxic Shock to name a one? 

While I understand my opinion on this matter won’t be shared by everyone, I hope that this short blog can explain the importance of such advertisements existing. 

Let’s open up to education on taboo topics, and not limit the younger generation to learn about such issues from the wrong sources and at the wrong times. 

I hope you will take something away from this weeks post, and think more about other adverts you see this coming week and their impact on different population groups! 

Holly xx

Published by Dreams Of A Medic

2nd Year Medical Student at the University of Manchester!

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