From your first cycle, it’s pretty likely that you were taught to hide your tampons in public. Even though periods are just a normal, natural part of life, it's still some source of shame or embarrassment that we’re supposed to keep secret. One jewelry designer was trying to change that ... but Etsy shut her down.
Women’s Health reports that Etsy suspended 23-year-old British designer Lili Murphy-Johnson’s period-themed jewelry shop, deeming the sparkly bloodstains and pad rings “inappropriate.”
When reached for comment, an Etsy spokesperson told Teen Voguethat it couldn't discuss the specific details of this case, but did say the following:
Etsy highly values artistic expression and we allow a very wide range of art, including art pertaining to menstruation. One can search our marketplace to see that there are many items pertaining to menstruation and related matters; we encourage you to explore the amazing diversity of items made by our community.
That said, all items on Etsy, including art, must make sure to follow our policies for mature content and prohibited items. In some cases, sellers who are unwilling to follow these policies may be removed from the marketplace.
Additionally, here are examples of other Etsy sellers creatingmenstruation-themed artwork.
Lili’s jewelry features a “period paraphernalia” bracelet, a ring in the shape of a sanitary pad, and a shirt with red beads sewn on the back like a period stain.
Basically, Lili’s line makes periods and all the mishaps that can come with them beautiful.
“Periods are stigmatized in our culture from a long history of superstition and inequality for women. There is an interesting conflict with the perception of the female body, being seen as so perfect, yet also as so grotesque and unclean,” Lili wrote on herwebsite. “Drug stores are oversaturated with products to manage periods, all playing up to the idea that periods are dirty and something wrong with the body, something to hide. My collection is inspired by menstruation, and the frustrating, leaking female body.”
We see a clear example of how periods are made to be shameful inOrange is the New Black's portrayal of periods in prison. The show pointed out how few period products prisons provide for inmates, something former inmate Chandra Bozelko wrote in The Guardianis designed to exercise control over prisoners.
By putting periods out in public, we're able to take back control and eliminate the shame that's been tied to menstruating for so long. That's why Lili’s collection is awesome. We're not ashamed of our periods. And we don't think they're at all "inappropriate."
This piece was updated at 3:30 p.m. with comment from Etsy. The headline was also changed to reflect that Lili Murphy-Johnson's shop was not banned from Etsy, but suspended.