Period Talk: Briar, Model and Performer
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 their period stories with you. Read, comment, share your own. Every story is welcome here.
This week’s period talk is from Briar, a model in our “I’M ON” campaign.
What’s your period craving?
“Quite standard, but it does tend to be chocolate. I used to have a real sweet tooth in general, but these days I tend to go more for savoury (all the cheese!) but period time definitely brings out the Cadbury’s cravings for me. Oh, and rich tea biscuits and that lotus biscuit spread – don’t knock it, ‘til you’ve tried it, it’s AMAZING!!”
What are the tell tale signs that your period is coming?
“I’m quite lucky that I don’t get too crazy around my period and they tend to run like clockwork so I’m always expecting it. I actually seem to look slimmer a few days before, then boom, it’s here and then I get the bloat really really suddenly and need the loo all the time!”
Tell us about your first period…
“I was 12 years old and funnily enough had only been discussing it with my mum a few weeks earlier. It was a Friday night, I was getting ready for a school disco, went to the toilet and there it was. I started crying but I think it was more because I was looking forward to dancing with my friends at the disco and suddenly I had this monumental thing to deal with. I told my mum right away, I’ve always been able to confide in her. I think I was okay about it happening in general, but gutted it happened then because it was all I could think about all evening. Mum assured me it would be fine and that no one would even know, and that it should never stop me from going about my life as I normally would. At that age, you think everyone must know that you’re on, I think I was in the bathroom every ten minutes to check I wasn’t leaking through my trousers and I was too cautious to dance about.”
How do you feel about your periods now?
“I’m lucky that mine aren’t too horrific. It’s all manageable and it doesn’t stop me doing anything, unlike my younger years. I do know though that I’m very lucky with mine and that some women can’t carry on as easily as I do.”
Can you share a memorable period moment?
“I have two in particular, both dancing related actually! The first must have been within the first year or two of me starting my period. I was in a ballet class and was on, having a slightly heavier period than normal. I was extremely conscious wearing the light pink ballet tights – any spillage and everyone would have seen which would have been mortifying. I remember glancing down at every chance I could to check that my tights hadn’t turned red. It was all okay until we had to do a routine with a deep plié. I went into this plié and as I went down into the bend I felt the sanitary pad come away from me. It had all felt quite secure wearing tights and a leotard but this was the first time I’d really had to move and felt that gap between my skin and the pad. I felt the actual blood come out of me and in my mind had left a huge red trail across the room where I’d danced. Of course I hadn’t, but the feeling haunted me, I cried (again!) to my mum and quite soon after started using tampons, which as a dancer and performer always worked WAY better for me!
“Saying that, the second particularly engrained memory involved a “wardrobe and tampon malfunction.” I was wearing a feather bustle as part of my burlesque costume and had to take it off part way through the routine to reveal a sparkly thong. However one of the bustle feathers got caught between my bum cheeks (glamorous!) so I tried to remove it without the audience realising too much (even more glamorous!) I have no idea how I managed it, but in pulling out the feather I also slightly pulled out my tampon string. So I had to do the rest of the routine with that poking out of this tiny rhinestone thong. I’m not sure if the audience even saw but it was so embarrassing at the time. Now, I actually think it’s quite funny. You’ve got to laugh at these things, the majority of the audience were women after all.”
Your favourite thing to do when you have your period is…
“Hot water bottles and hot baths. To be honest, I’m a big fan of them at the best of times, but I’d say being on your period is a particularly good excuse to have some chill out time in a nice hot bubble bath to ease those pains and relax. I always light some candles and my favourite incense, put on some calming music and switch off for an hour or so. Oh, and add a glass of wine to that too.”
Why are you thrilled to be involved in the “I’M ON” campaign?
“It’s a fab campaign to be a part of – it’s great to feel part of a sisterhood with it. It’s like we can all be honest and confide in each other, sharing stories like this. It makes you realise we are absolutely not alone and we all have/had the same fears. It’s interesting to hear how other girls cope and actually how we can just make light of it the older we get despite it all seeming so scary at first. Because of that, I think the “I’M ON” campaign will be particularly beneficial for younger girls. Having your period is a totally natural thing. It’s nothing to feel embarrassed or ashamed of and it certainly shouldn’t have to stop you from enjoying yourself and your life.
Women are tough, and we totally kick ass!”