Campaign champions athletes showing off their period blood

Campaign champions athletes showing off their period blood
  • PublishedDecember 19, 2023

Women will be ‘wearing’ their period blood as part of a breakthrough initiative working to crush stigma and shame historically associated with menstrual bleeding in sport.

Feeling fearful or embarrassed about blood leaking through activewear is a major barrier to women engaging in physical activity and has motivated the “sport your period” campaign.

Spearheaded by underwear brand Knix, athletes have taken to wearing red circular strapping tape on their upper thigh to symbolise a rejection of period-related shame.

British triathlete Emma Pallant-Browne earlier this year issued a powerful response after receiving critical comments about visible period blood in race photos from the Professional Triathletes Organisation’s European Open in Ibiza.

Despite her showstopping performance and finishing in fourth place, some armchair commentators couldn’t get past the blood, with a certain individual remarking: “Not the most flattering photo of Em Pallant – surely you can crop it a bit better”.

Emma Pallant-Browne slammed critics that took issue with visible period blood in race photos. Picture: Supplied

Emma Pallant-Browne slammed critics that took issue with visible period blood in race photos. Picture: Supplied

The sportswoman, who has won 18 half ironman championships, podiumed 33 times and claimed silver in the world championships, responded in epic style, telling followers she refused to shy away from the realities of having a period.

“Thanks for caring but definitely something I’m not shy to talk about because it’s the reality of females in sport,” part of Pallant-Browne’s response read.

The athlete has since joined Knix’s “sport your period campaign”, along with other renowned global athletes including American rugby player Ilona Maher and Canadian Olympic volleyball player Brandie Wilkerson.

The image that some people took issue with.

The image that some people took issue with.

Pallant-Browne revealed she refused to buckle in response to critics.

“Earlier this year, a race picture of me was posted online and a few people in the

comments noticed I had bled through my race suit. One of the comments asked

why the publisher of the photo hadn’t cropped the image which sparked some

debate, and you know what? I am proud,” she said.

“Not only that I was and am able to compete at the highest level while on my period but also, coming from an eating disorder background where at one time I didn’t have a period, I now see it as a beautiful and natural thing.”

She wanted everyone to know she wouldn’t be bullied into pretending she didn’t get a period.

“I re-shared and pinned the picture on my Instagram because a period is never something anyone should be ashamed or embarrassed about,” she said

“I chose to be empowered by the many women and people who felt seen by

this post.”

Pallant-Brown added she hoped her involvement in the campaign helped others feel confident in pursuing their athletic goals.

“We shouldn’t be mortified about our periods, or worse put our lives on pause during that time,” she said.

“Whether I am wearing the red period sticker or have another moment where my

period comes through my race suit, I want to contribute to menstruators feeling

liberated and powerful.”

American rugby player Ilona Maher has vocalised her support of the initiative. Picture: Instagram/ilonamaher

American rugby player Ilona Maher has vocalised her support of the initiative. Picture: Instagram/ilonamaher

The fear of leaking blood through activewear and feeling embarrassed was a major cause of young women in the UK avoiding physical activities, according to Nuffield Health, the country’s biggest healthcare charity.

A study of more than 2000 teenagers found 70 per cent of girls in the UK would avoid sports during their periods, mainly due to the fear of leaking.

Menstruation was also found to be a barrier in Canada, where one in three people menstruating above the age of 13 (31 per cent) would skip sports during their periods.

Meanwhile in the UK, more than four in five (84 per cent) teenage girls said their interest in sport and fitness diminished after starting their period and almost one in four (23 per cent) said they feel embarrassed to take part in physical activity during their menstrual cycle.

As part of the “sport your period” campaign, the famous athletes would be wearing red tape on their legs during practice or competition.

SOURCE: NEWS.COM

Leave a Reply

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