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An Open Letter to Our Heroine, Fu Yuanhui, Chinese Olympic Swimmer

An Open Letter to Our Heroine, Fu Yuanhui, Chinese Olympic Swimmer

Dear Yuanhui,

We’re Lauren, Erika & Panpan (攀攀) , cofounders of Flex, a women’s health company based in Los Angeles, California with a founding team member who was born in mainland China.

We have been watching you in awe (who hasn’t?) and want to express our gratitude to you. Thank you for being an inspiration; to our startup team and to men and women around the world.

In a competition where anything short of gold can be considered a disappointment, you expressed deep gratitude.

In a society where athletes are meant to be machines, you exhibited humanity.

In a world where women are often expected to be silent, you spoke out (about your period).

Your genuine and spontaneous remarks left us laughing in joy and empathy. You likely had no idea that you would capture our hearts with your candor and good humor.

You might even be surprised by all of the fans you’ve made all over the world by being your beautiful, inspiring self.

And in doing so — without expectation or pretense — you have moved women and men in China and all over the world.

Similar to you, though certainly planned, we want to speak out. We want to exhibit humanity, and we want to express gratitude.

We founded The Flex Company to help women thrive by creating better products for their period. The product is important, yes, but the conversation about women’s health is where real change will happen.

We want to change the way people think and speak about a woman’s period, women’s health, and our lives. And like you, we believe in a world where every woman loves her body.

You started that conversation on perhaps the biggest platform the world will know.

So, it is with profound admiration and respect that we thank you.

We can’t wait to see more of you, and hear your shining, confident voice. And I think we’re speaking for the rest of the world when we say that they feel very much the same.

In the meantime, hit us up on WeChat (llpanpanll) or email us at We’ll send you and your team enough FLEX to get you to Tokyo in 2020. No sponsorships. No endorsements. Unless you want, of course. And obviously no (tampon) strings attached.

We just want to help a sister out.

We’ll be here cheering you on in the pool and in life.

With sincere appreciation and gratitude,

Lauren, Erika, and 攀攀

Founders, The Flex Company

FLEX is a new menstrual product for 12 hours of period protection and mess-free period sex. Oh yeah, and it’s perfect for women who love to swim.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be…Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory…that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” — Marianne Wilson

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