‘Human Period Euphemisms’ Call for an End to Period Euphemisms

Painter-decorator, shark scientist, an aunt named Flo and a strawberry farmer are just some of the ‘human period euphemisms’ joining forces with feminine care brand INTIMINA to end harmful menstrual slang

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–What do a painter-decorator, strawberry farmer, shark scientist, aunt named Flo, lingonberry jam producer, surfer, and military historian have in common? They’re all ‘human period euphemisms,’ slang words used to describe a female’s monthly menstruation instead of simply calling it what it is – a period. As part of its ongoing mission to normalize periods, feminine care brand INTIMINA released a video, End Period Euphemisms, featuring an unlikely group of embodied menstrual slang from across the world to call for an end to harmful period euphemisms.


While they may seem harmless, using euphemisms to describe menstruation discourages open conversation and perpetuates the stigma and taboo surrounding periods. Many of the euphemisms used around the world have negative connotations that associate menstruation with shame, leaving generations of women feeling like they need to hide their periods and avoid discussing their menstrual health.

INTIMINA felt that the best people to fight period euphemisms were period euphemisms. That’s right, a collection of real people that embody menstrual euphemisms are the faces of a global movement urging everyone to call periods, periods.

The unusual ensemble of embodied euphemisms, and the slang they symbolise, are as follows (full biographies in the notes to editors):

  • Justin Bowen, a British painter-decorator, is “Got the painters in” (popular in the UK)
  • Florence Deniau, an American aunt, is “Aunt Flo is in town” euphemism (popular in the USA)
  • Liv Palmblad, a Swedish lingonberry jam producer, is “Lingonberry week” (popular in Sweden)
  • Nate Sutton, an Australian surfer, is “Surfing the crimson wave” (popular in English-speaking countries)
  • Iris Pupella-Noguès a French historian, is “The English have landed” euphemism (popular in France and a reference to the Battle of Waterloo and the colour of British military uniforms)
  • Sophumelela Qoma and Nico Booyens, South African shark scientists, are “Shark Week” (popular in English-speaking countries)
  • Alessandro Sesini, an Italian collector with a passion for fine wines, is “I have my things” (popular in Italy)
  • Phil Boddington, a strawberry farmer, is “Strawberry Week” (popular in Germany)

This global group have starred in the striking short film End Period Euphemisms, where each human period euphemism can be seen engaging in an activity related to the euphemism they represent, before saying the slang in their language. The film ends with a powerful call to arms, as INTIMINA’s cast urges all other human period euphemisms as well as the entire global population to call time on damaging slang terms and instead call a period a period.

Human period euphemism Justin Bowen, a painter-decorator at Justincredible Plastering, comments: “In my industry, people don’t talk about periods. It wasn’t until my partner passed away and I was left caring for a young daughter that I realised the importance of open conversation around menstruation. Now, as a husband and father, I feel a responsibility to help break down the stigma. I’m proud to be a part of this campaign for INTIMINA – it’s a cause close to my heart. I’m a period man now!”

Dunja Kokotović, INTIMINA Global Brand Manager, comments: “Periods are normal, but with over 5,000 euphemisms used around the world, we still have a long way to go when it comes to normalising open conversation about menstruation. INTIMINA has created End Period Euphemisms to shine a light on this issue and make steps towards eradicating the stigma by stimulating open dialogue about menstruation.”

Gynaecologist for INTIMINA, Dr. Unsworth, comments: “I am delighted that INTIMINA is taking a stance on such an important topic. Using euphemisms to describe periods perpetuates the longstanding stigma around menstruation, and many euphemisms have very negative connotations stemming from patriarchal ideology that associates menstruation with shame. Continued use of such euphemisms results in new generations of women feeling unable to talk openly about their periods, which can often cause delays in them seeking help when they are having difficulties. There should be no shame in using the term ‘menstruation’ or ‘period’, as over 50% of the population will experience them, and the remaining 50% would not be here without them!”

INTIMINA has created End Period Euphemisms as part of its ongoing Seen + Heard period positivity campaign. Seen + Heard aims to increase the visibility of menstrual wellbeing across the world, normalise conversations about menstrual health, tackle stigma and bias and raise awareness of intimate health conditions.

Notes to editors:

  1. According to research by Clue there are over 5,000 euphemisms used around the world for being on one’s period.

Full biographies of the ‘human period euphemisms’

  • ‘Got the painters in’: Justin Bowen, Painter & Decorator, UK Justin is a London-based painter and decorator, with his own business, ‘Justincredible Plastering’. He is also a husband and father, and it’s this role that sparked his desire to challenge the stigma surrounding menstruation and participate in the campaign by INTIMINA.
  • Nate Sutton, Surfer, Australia – Nate is based in Sydney, Australia. He is an accredited Exercise Physiologist and an avid surfer.
  • Florence Deniau, Aunt named Flo, US – Florence, alongside being an aunt named Flo, is a sales agent in the creative industry. She is currently based in New York City, operating her own agency.
  • Liv Palmblad, Lingonberry Jam Producer, Sweden – Liv is a lingonberry jam enthusiast. Originally hailing from Sweden, Liv has been passionate about lingonberry jam for as long as she can remember and has turned her passion into a hobby. She is currently based in the UK.
  • Sophumelela Qoma and Nico Booyens, Shark Experts, South Africa – Sophumelela and Nico are shark experts working out of the Shark Research Unit in Mossel Bay, South Africa. Qoma founded the Sea-the-Change program aimed at providing marine employment skills to youth in Mossel Bay, and Booyens manages special projects at the SRU.
  • Phil Boddington, Strawberry Specialist, UK – Phil is the owner of Boddington’s Berries, a family-run strawberry farm based in Cornwall, UK. Phil and his family specialise in producing strawberry conserve and have over 70 years-experience in the soft-fruit market.
  • Iris Pupella-Noguès, Historian, France – Iris Pupella-Noguès is a historian based in France. Her research focuses on the fascist regime (1922-1943), particularly in border areas such as the city of Trieste.
  • Alessandro Sesini, Collector, IT – Alessandro is based in Milan, Italy, and runs his own construction company. He is a wine lover and collector and travels across Italy to discover native grape varieties

About INTIMINA

Established in 2009, INTIMINA is a Swedish brand with a complete line of products for intimate well-being. With two care ranges – Menstrual Care and Pelvic Floor Strengthening – INTIMINA has products for women of all ages. Every product is made from the highest quality body-safe materials, and has been designed and tested with the support of a worldwide group of medical consultants and gynaecologists.

Contacts

Lauren Jacobson

ljacobson@golin.com
213-479-4001