By Andrea Vidaurre

Shark Week. Aunt Flo. Moon Time. These are all terms we use to avoid saying what it really is – a period. The average girl starts her period around 12 years old; of course each body is different and this isn’t always the case. 

I started my period when I was 10 years old (5th grade) on Thanksgiving. I went to use the restroom mid-dinner when I made the discovery. I had no idea what was going on with my body because my mother had never talked to me about it; she probably wasn’t expecting it to come at such an early age. 

To add to my humiliation, I was with my dad and his girlfriend, not my mom. She gave me a diaper sized pad and we called it a day. 


For the following years, having my “time of the month” was something I wanted absolutely no one to know about. I was extra careful to make sure no one could see me grab my feminine hygiene products from my backpack, and I would wait until I was in the bathroom alone to adjust myself.  

In reality, menstruating is something absolutely natural and healthy for us; it’s beautiful what our bodies do for us actually. According to, a period is the body’s way of getting rid of any unnecessary tissue and preparing the body for pregnancy. 

If anyone else can relate to how I felt about my period growing up, we might be able to agree on something else – in society, there’s a lack of conversation as well as a continued negative stigma around periods, that perpetuates negative behavior towards it.  


At drug stores, when looking to replenish your pad and/or tampon supply, you can usually find them in an aisle that’s labeled “Feminine Hygiene”. This is society’s flagrant way of saying that when you are menstruating, you must be unclean. 

In many cultures, some women are told that they can’t cook so as not to “infect” the food. They might also be isolated from the community throughout the duration of their cycle. 

Another negative undertone of periods is Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). If socially unacceptable feelings are expressed by a woman, such as anger, the feelings are usually only accepted under the attribute of PMS. Society holds the power to invalidate women’s emotions by giving fault to the combination of physical and psychological symptoms that occur days before a monthly cycle. 

I would love to say that I’m confused and unsure of where my shame and humility was rooted, but when you take into consideration all of these factors, it’s pretty easy to figure out. I encourage all girls and women to perceive our periods the way American Indian women do in their culture; they view this time as an opportunity for rebalance and centering one’s self. 

The next time that you have your period, think of it as a detox of negativity and impurities of the past month. In doing this, women can push groundbreaking steps in the right direction of normalizing and emphasizing the beautification of menstruating.  

My aim is to inspire and support women who deal with the anxieties and stress of their period.    

Andrea Vidaurre is a student at Indiana University, studying the art and science behind Advertising, Marketing and PR. She is also serving as a Media Relations apprentice for Visions of Possibilities. Andrea lives in Bloomington, IN with her roommates and two guard cats, Juice and Bubbles. When she is not working for Visions of Possibilities, she is either serving at a local Italian restaurant or traveling the country. She is also the best plant-mom in the world. 

Visions of Possibilities is a 501(c)(3) non-profit edutainment organization that produces projects and performances that challenge audiences to live lives of unlimited possibility. The current event is “Breastival! An Event About Breasts, Bodies & Beyond”. For more information, visit 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *