Periods - all women get them, even superstar celebrities. You don't really picture the hot young starlet of the week curled up in bed with wicked cramps and a hot water bottle, but no doubt they do. Periods are a fact of life. Aunt Flo visits us all.
Some celebrities have spoken frankly in public about their periods, women's health issues and the stigma surrounding menstruation. It's great when they do because it stops periods being a taboo subject, whether they're discussing serious women's issues around the world or simply cracking a joke about tampons.
Celebrities have also been through the awkward and confusing experience of having their first period. They have had issues working on movie sets related to their monthly. They have even been shamed by publications posting pictures of them with period stains. The last thing you want when you have a leak is for the world to see. It can't be easy.
But, thankfully, these strong and empowered women are working to empower other women by talking openly about their periods and not shying away from them. Because why should any woman feel bad about their period? It's the most natural thing in the world.
12 Meghan Markle
For International Women's Day 2017, Markle proved herself to be an amazing advocate for women by writing a piece in Time magazine on the stigma surrounding menstruation in Africa, India, Iran and other countries. She writes,
"One hundred and thirteen million adolescent girls between the ages of 12-14 in India alone are at risk of dropping out of school because of the stigma surrounding menstrual health. During my time in the field, many girls shared that they feel embarrassed to go to school during their periods. Ill equipped with rags instead of pads, unable to participate in sports, and without bathrooms available to care for themselves, they often opt to drop out of school entirely.
Furthermore, with minimal dialogue about menstrual health hygiene either at school or home due to the taboo nature of the subject, many girls believe their bodies are purging evil spirits, or that they are injured once a month; this is a shame-filled reality they quietly endure."
11 Madison Beer
The teenage singer and protege of Justin Bieber, Madison Beer, was papped earlier this year with a period stain and the images circulated on social media. Some called the stain on her white bikini gross, but you know what is gross, taking pictures of a period mishap and putting it on the net. But Beer didn't take the negative comments lying down. She wrote on Instagram,
"This is so wild that this is a big deal to some people. Girls get their periods.
Girls sometimes bleed thru tampons because periods can be extremely unpredictable!! If you're saying it's gross, uncleanly, etc etc u should probs get your head outta your ass and focus on bigger damn issues other than someone having a period stain.
I am not a robot. I am female. I am human. & I am proud."
10 Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence isn't afraid to talk about anything and that's why we love her so much. So, of course she wouldn't mind talking about how her period sometimes influences her fashion choices. J-Law spoke with Harpers Bazaar about the red cutout gown she wore to the 2016 Golden Globes:
"That was my plan-B dress," she says. "Plan A was a dress that I couldn't wear because awards season is synced with my menstrual cycle, and it has been for years." The red won because "it was loose at the front. And I didn't have to worry about sucking anything in. The other dress was really tight, and I'm not going to suck in my uterus. I don't have to do that."
We've all been there girl! When you get bloated because of your monthly, you really just want to wear something comfortable.
9 Mindy Kaling
In an interview with Conan O'Brien, comedic actor Mindy Kaling spoke about a recent Instagram post she'd uploaded of the image on the front of a box of Playtex tampons. She said,
"I was like, ‘Hey, that looks like me.’ I thought the shape of her body, her chunky necklace, her proud stance, her hair, and I was like, Playtex is using me as their inspiration for this silhouette."
She even stood up to show Conan and the audience just how much she resembles the silhouette. Then she went on to say,
"For any woman who actually does menstruate, you would never wear that outfit. You’d be in like, big sweat pants, or at least that’s me."
You've certainly got that one right Mindy. It's all about the comfy sweats when you're on your period.
8 Jane Fonda
Fonda is such a legend and is still rocking it in her late 70's. Being the mature and smart lady that she is, she shared the story of her first period and her advice for parents with EmpowHer,
"I think the way it happened to me is the right way. I had a very smart stepmother and the day that I got my period she said, ‘You are now a mature, physically mature woman and could get pregnant. I don’t want you to be sexually active,’ and she explained why, but she said, ‘You need to go and see an OBGYN now and what goes on between you is confidential. So you can share any of your concerns with him.’ … Use the menstruation to introduce the idea of seeing an OBGYN and then ask your daughter, ‘Would you prefer a man or a woman?’ I went to a man and he was great, but I would never go to a male OBGYN now because I feel that women OBGYNs have a better understanding of what women are going through."
7 Miley Cyrus
A couple of years ago, Miley Cyrus spoke with Marie Claire about growing up in the spotlight and working on the Disney show Hannah Montanna. It sounds like it was pretty tough for her, being exposed to the business at such a young age,
"From the time I was 11, it was, 'You're a pop star! That means you have to be blonde, and you have to have long hair, and you have to put on some glittery tight thing.' Meanwhile, I'm this fragile little girl playing a 16-year-old in a wig and a ton of makeup. It was like Toddlers & Tiaras."
Unfortunately for Miley, she even got her first ever period while she was on set, and the worst of it is, she was wearing white trousers,
"It was so embarrassing, but I couldn't leave. And I was crying, begging my mom, 'You're going to have to put the tampon in. I have to be on set.'"
Oh man! Getting your first period is bad enough, never mind when you're a child actor in the spotlight with work to do. Poor thing.
6 Tina Fey
In her 2011 autobiography Bossypants, Tina Fey talks about getting her first period in a rather comical way,
"In the spring of 1981 I achieved menarche while singing Neil Diamond’s ‘Song Sung Blue’ at a district-wide chorus concert. I was ten years old. I had noticed something was weird earlier in the day but I knew from commercials that one’s menstrual period was a blue liquid that you poured like laundry detergent onto maxi pads to test their absorbency. This wasn’t blue, so … I ignored it for a few hours. When we got home I pulled my mom aside to ask if it was weird I was bleeding in my underpants. She was very sympathetic but also a little baffled. Her eyes said, ‘Dummy didn’t you read How Shall I Tell My Daughter?’ I had read it but nowhere in the pamphlet did anyone say that your period was NOT a blue liquid. At that moment two things became clear to me I was now technically a woman and I would never be a doctor."
I bet she wasn't the first kid and won't be the last to think that periods come out blue because of the ads on TV.
5 Kate Winslet
It's easy to love Kate Winslet. She's outspoken and ballsy and beautiful and a brilliant actor. Titanic is an iconic movie, so it put Winslet on our radars for life. During filming she had some issues to contend with, which she spoke about with Rolling Stone:
"I'm not saying it was all happy-clappy," she insists. "There were days when you'd just think, 'Oh, my God, I've got my period and I can't get in that freezing-cold water today.'" Think of it — seven months, seven periods. "I remember standing up and saying to everyone, 'Listen, if it suddenly looks like Jaws, the movie, it's my fault.'"
Getting her period on the set of Titanic may not have been fun, but she jokes about it because she's a grown-ass woman and knows it's a fact of life.
4 Margaret Cho
Cho is a comic so of course she speaks frankly about all aspects of her life. She wrote a blog for The Huffington Post called, "Let She Who Is Without Period Stains Throw The First Tampon" talking about the tasteless way in which Britney Spears was papped with a period stain. On her own period, she writes,
"I am the worst when it comes to period stains. That is why I never move because my mattress is so so so so stained that whenever I change the sheets it just looks like a murder scene. I’m serious. Somebody should put crime scene ‘do not cross’ tape up. It’s awful! I can’t understand any woman who hasn’t had some kind of hot menses mess. Those women are weird and probably perfect, and always get a pap smear every six months, and have never had a weight problem or worried about sitting on a white couch - and they are no friends of mine!"
3 Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer likes to cause a ruckus on the red carpet, that's just the kind of gal she is. Remember when she did that dive in front of Kim and Kanye? It was bloody hilarious. Her response when Giuliana Rancic asked what she was wearing at the 2016 Emmys was also bloody hilarious. She told Rancic that she was wearing a Vivienne Westwood dress, Tom Ford shoes, and... an O.B. tampon. Then she did a little dance. What a gem. Schumer clearly doesn't take herself so seriously and maybe isn't into all of the fashion questions stars get asked on the red carpet, so she just gave an honest answer. Everybody watching loved her for it. Twitter user @RepresentPledge tweeted, "@amyschumer breaking period taboo by giving a shout out to her tampon when asked what she's wearing #AskHerMore#Emmys".
2 Padma Lakshmi
It's amazing when stars raise awareness about women's health issues. Actor, author and model Padma Lakshmi spoke about periods and the health condition endometriosis with Lena Dunham's magazine Lenny Letter,
"Listen, endometriosis develops part and parcel with your womanhood, and so you can’t help but have it skew your relationship with your physical self. We’re always talking about, ‘Oh, she’s blossoming into a woman.’ I didn’t feel like I was blossoming. I felt like there were these explosions in my abdomen. Puberty, my period, it didn’t feel like this wonderful new time in my life — it wasn’t like all those tampon commercials make it out to be, like, ‘Oh, your period can be fun! Ride a horse and go to ballet, take that extreme Pilates or yoga class!’ I was lucky if I could even walk down the street on my own two feet. So, from the start, it mangled my relationship with my body … I talked about my pain with my mom; it wasn’t like I was ashamed of it or anything. But nobody wants to call their boss or their teacher and say, ‘I can’t come in because I have my period.’ It felt so icky"
1 Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae is a super cool, young musician, so when she speaks young women who look up to her will listen. That's great because she is a great role model. For women's history month 2017, she decided to highlight the negative reactions people have to periods. She tweeted, "Menstrual Period Blood. #WomensHistoryMonth", and then "It's sad that there are prob folks more grossed out by and/or ashamed of menstrual period blood than they are the current administration." She also added, "Never forget girls & women birthed the human race and hold the power to unbirth it. Y'all gone learn. #WomensHistoryMonth." Get it queen! Nobody should be ashamed of something that's natural. Monae is teaching them all. Young people have got to learn sometime that periods aren't gross or disgusting, they are what they are.