In an effort to normalise menstruation, sustainable period brand Dame has launched the United Kingdom's first outdoor advertising showing tampon strings. Yep, actual tampon strings *gasp*. Feel uncomfortable with period strings? Well, Dame wants you to get used to it, quite frankly.
Dame is on a mission to provide accessible, sustainable period products and destigmatise periods along the way. The brand's latest way of pushing forward with this ethos is its "journey to normal" bus campaign, which is the first time a tampon string has appeared on a London bus. Dame's campaign will appear on 200 buses throughout London and beyond.
"Tampons and period products have been hidden in the shadows for too long. Still today, major brands boast on their boxes about silent wrappers. Why? There's no shame in rustling a tampon wrapper in the next-door cubicle. Periods are not shameful. They're a normal, natural part of life," said Celia Pool, a Dame cofounder. "This tampon string on the side of the bus is momentous in that it hasn't happened before, but it's also utterly boring and normal. No one bats an eyelid when they see a tissue on the side of the bus, and it should be the same for a tampon string."
Turns out, the image itself also embodies Dame's ethos of periods being a totally normal part of life, as the photo wasn't staged in any way. The campaign image is a selfie taken by a Dame customer who is a veterinary nurse, law student, and vegan beauty blogger. "She styled the image herself, choosing to show her string, her body, her choice. It's not a forced photo engineered by a brand with an agenda," said Pool. "It represents an attitude towards periods that is natural and even, dare we say it, a little bit cool. If every parent and carer were this cool about periods, period shame would be eradicated in one generation."
Dame has a habit of pulling off UK firsts when it comes to women's health and period products, like creating the first reusable tampon applicator, a huge step forward when it comes to period product waste. Oh, and the brand is also a B Corp, which, by the way, is no easy feat.