Period Stigma

Q&A: How do you overcome being shy when buying pads or tampons?

Most girls are a little shy at first when it comes to buying period supplies. Though it may be hard to believe now, trust me when I tell you that the day will come when you will hardly think twice about it! There’s only one way to get more comfortable about doing something – and that is to do it! Grab a girlfriend or two and have them make the trip to the pharmacy or supermarket with you. Sometimes having company can make it feel a little less intimidating. Most importantly, keep reminding yourself that you are doing something that every single healthy girl and woman does on a regular basis. Though it may feel as though all eyes are on you, in reality, the store clerks and other shoppers have seen packages of tampons and pads hundreds of times before. It’s really no big deal!

Well, I used to pick out which cashier to go to when I was younger. I would look for a mom or grandmother-type and pick her line! That did not turn out to be the most practical choice when a 17-year-old guy is working late-night at the drugstore and I need my tampons. So, in my mind, I know he has females in his life that have periods, or has been exposed to them -- not to mention other females have been in that day doing some shopping, too!

Or if that thought is not good enough, consider this one: Have you ever thought of all the products he has rung up during his workday? Okay, let’s go there for a moment together. There are pregnancy tests, hemorrhoid cream, hair removal cream, denture cleaner, adult wipes -- just to name a few. Think of those folks approaching the cash register and tampons might not seem that intimidating. You are not alone, though. We have all been there! You can always take a good friend with you and do a trial run. I hope this helps.

You go to the top of the highest building you know of and shout, “I’m on my period and need to buy pads or tampons!” Once the entire world knows everything, you’ll have nothing to be shy about because it’ll all be out in the open. That’s one method, anyway! A more discrete way of overcoming your shyness is to simply come to terms with the fact that when it comes to your period, there’s nothing to be shy, embarrassed, or ashamed of. You’re bleeding out of your vagina once a month for a week, but so what? That’s what I say. What I think a lot of girls forget is that half of the world is going through exactly what they’re going through – PMS, ridiculous cravings for chips and chocolate at the same time, having to use pads or tampons, fear of bleeding through their pants for everyone to see, and so much more. An easy way to transition into the swing of things is to go up to female cashiers only. And you’ll see that’s it’s actually not a big deal. Then before you know it, you’ll find yourself bringing pads or tampons up to male cashiers like it’s no big deal, as if you’re just buying gum.