Wouldn’t it be easier if we were all more open about the perfectly normal bodily function we experience each month? We think so. Each week a member of our very own #PPSquad will be sharing her period stories with you. Read, comment, share your own. Every story is welcome here.
This week’s period talk is from Charlotte, a female artist who swears by self care...
Tell us about your first period…
“I was twelve and a half. I went swimming with my mum on a Sunday and we were in the car and I had a stomach ache. I was like, 'Ow, my stomach hurts'. Then I got home, went to the toilet, did a wee and I saw it in my knickers – there was brown and I was like 'I've started my period!'. Then, my mum came in and slapped me. Have you heard of that one? So, it's a traditional – a good luck thing to slap colour back into the face. Not hard! Just a little slap. Then I said to my little brother, 'James, I need to talk to you. I need to tell you something.' He said, 'Charlotte, I already know. You've started your period...' I felt grown up. I felt like I'd become a woman. There's a change in your body and you can physically see it. I haven't got any negative thoughts about starting my period."
How do you know when your period’s coming?
"It runs with the moon. I always know when I'm going to come on because the moon is full, so I work in a lunar cycle. I get really frantic like a week or ten days before, I think when I'm ovulating, I get a bit weird, a bit manic and act like a nutcase. My friends are like, 'This is your period'. It happens every month. I have a day of feeling uneasy, unsure and like my energy levels aren't right. It does make me out of balance, for sure."
How does your period affect you?
"I don't really get cramps but I get heaviness. I'll wake up and feel like my head is a cloud. I won't be able to focus on my work properly. I'll feel dazed, lethargic. Emotionally, I feel miserable. Sometimes worthless. Sometimes not great, it affects my mood quite a bit."
Does your work as an artist empower you?
"When you look at the art world, there are so many men making art. In art school, there are loads of women but actually when you get out into the big wide world the art world is dominated by men. I think to be a woman, making quite feminine work, is even more of a powerful tool that I can use and push forward with. The women [in my art] definitely symbolise female empowerment."
What’s your period craving?
"I want to eat everything – like, the whole fridge. I really love Quorn sausages, which is a really weird one. Oh, and houmous. So I buy the Quorn sausages and dip them in the houmous. Whatever I eat I feel like I want to eat more. I never feel full even though I've just eaten the whole fridge. I feel like I am always hungry!"
Do you suffer from hormonal skin?
"I never ever used to but round my jawline I've been suffering. I get really bad skin here. That's through my hormones. I came off the pill and I think through coming off the pill it made my skin get worse."
Tell us a period cringe (we’ve all got one, hey…)
“I slept at my friend Sara's house and we all slept in sleeping bags, we had a sleepover, and I leaked in her brother's sleeping bag. They had to throw the sleeping bag away. It was really nice as well, it had dinosaurs all over it!"
What’s your period saviour?
"When you're on your period you just need to take a break sometimes, just from everything. Just really relax! There's no rush. Just take some chill time. Sit back, you can't help the way you feel. It's your body, not you. You just need to be with one. Self care is so important because it revives you. I really feel like nature is key – it's just so pure. It does so much for you. Try it!"
Loved Charlotte’s interview? Watch the full Pink Parcel period talk on our YouTube channel or below!
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