At a time when the world has made many advancements in technology, actor Taapsee Pannu rues that not much has been done to better the lives of young girls and women, with respect to their menstrual health and hygiene.
She recently shared a video on her Instagram account, wherein she detailed the many problems that arise when menstrual hygiene is not understood, and problems pertaining to the female genital area are normalised and accepted.
She started the video by saying how she met her friend’s teenage cousin, who had just got her period for the first time, and was getting used to it. “I saw her walking awkwardly when she asked us to excuse her. Out of concern I asked my friend if everything was okay, to which she said, ‘She has just started menstruating. And she gets period rashes during these days… she will learn to handle it over a period of time.’ I was appalled to see how we take period rash for granted,” the actor said.
She further said that if this was the “mindset of a well-educated, well-to-do family, what can we say about the situation as we go down the pyramid”. “Why have we accepted period rash as a way of life?”
The actor insisted that these rashes can cause long-term damage for a girl turning into a woman, even “irreversible” in nature sometimes. She stated in the video that conventional sanitary pads are full of harmful chemicals — “loaded with high percentage of plastic, and with lower absorption capacities” — and that genital skin, more than anything else, is the most sensitive part of the female body.
She said all these ill-effects, when combined, can lead to “discolouration” of the area and “dark patches”.
“It starts with physical pain, embarrassment of skin discolouration, and eventually, permanent dark patches,” the actor said, adding that it is sad we have accepted it as a way of life.
Along with the video, she also wrote a caption urging women to use products which are good for them, and also good for the planet. “Rashes during periods is probably the most common problem. So common that we have almost normalised it and given up on the idea of solution. Don’t give up on the problem, don’t give up on yourself! (sic),” it read.
In the comments, people naturally lauded her for taking up an important issue. While someone asked if menstrual cups are a better alternative, another person wrote “My favorite ❤️”.
“Yeah true… Even after listening to u I am vry much disappointed frm myself that how could I never thought abt it and taken it for granted… (sic),” someone else commented.
“Damn girl……I wish my parents knew about it so that they could this to me😌. But I love how this #Goodforher is going. I’m very much interested to know,” someone else wrote.
Menstrual hygiene is a big problem in the country, mainly because there isn’t much awareness and education on it. As a result of this, many young girls are conditioned to believe that suffering is normal when, in fact, Pannu states it really isn’t, and something can really be done about it.