Lauren, Founder & CEO
All my life, I’ve really struggled to feel comfortable in my own skin. My period only exacerbated this feeling, and so I dreaded it. Embarrassed, I hid it (and my tampons) from my brothers, sisters, friends, teachers, and boyfriends.
And then one day, as a more confident adult, it hit me: why have I been spending a quarter of my life uncomfortable and embarrassed?
So, I hosted a dinner party (mixed gender) and discovered that my friends felt very much the same. Women admitted they felt like they were fighting their own bodies. Men admitted that they were curious to know more about the mysterious female body, and that they were too embarrassed or “grossed out” to ask about menstruation. I immediately knew that we had to start a movement to help everyone engage in conversations like these. To me, FLEX is just the beginning.
Contrary to Lauren, I’ve never been insecure about my period.
In fact, I was promptly escorted to the principal’s office after telling a middle school teacher what I thought about her direction to “hide your tampon when you walk to the bathroom, sweetie.”
That said, I’ve had a lot (A LOT) of insecurities growing up about my body, about my family, about who I thought I had to be. But never about my period. Which made learning that I was the exception—not the rule—really pissed me off.
It pissed me off because the average age for an American girl to start her period is 12.
This is a highly influential time in a girl’s life when she is already beginning to feel the very real pressures of the outside world. She’s being told to look a certain way, to act a certain way, to speak a certain way. And to make it worse, the first thing we teach her in her introduction to adulthood is to be embarrassed and ashamed of her body’s natural rhythm. Sneak to the bathroom. Hide your pad. Hide your tampon. Because that thing your body does every month is gross. Because periods are gross. And having sex while you’re on your period is gross-er.
While I can’t control how every adolescent girl feels about herself, I refuse to allow the current perception of periods to continue affecting women. And so I joined FLEX.
Read more about our mission here.