When I first got my period, my mom told everyone.
That’s normal, right?
Even if that is normal, it didn’t stop me from feeling weird or gross as people looked at me like I was “finally a woman.” I was just a kid who didn’t even understand the truth about sex yet.
When I got into my teen and young adult years, I dreaded going to the grocery store and only buying pads because I couldn’t hide it under the food I was getting. I’d get the judgmental or grossed out looks – as if buying a basic feminine hygiene product was something to be ashamed of – which made a trip to the store turn into a torture session.
Eventually that went away as I discovered my self-confidence and understood that there’s no reason to shame ourselves more as women – especially when the world does that enough on its own.
The truth was – I had no idea how to take care of myself as a woman because no one really talked about it.
There weren’t conversations had or classes to take. It was considered uncomfortable, which is not something I’ve seen change much in the past 15 years as I see the younger generation gagging when the topic of periods or sex are brought up. Back when it was my time, I assumed that everyone knew what to do when it came to periods and tampons, but I was somehow lacking this basic knowledge that females seemed to just get.
I didn’t use a tampon until I was 17 years old because I had no clue how to actually use them.
It wasn’t until I was 23 that I actually understood that I was putting something into my body that could have harmful chemicals.
Then I discovered LOLA.
LOLA is a made-by-women-for-women company that provides “organic cotton feminine care in customized assortments delivered to your door” – and when I found out about them, you would’ve sworn I just discovered the holy grail.
Now, I don’t think females should be ashamed of buying tampons in the store, but the fact that they are delivered right to my door was definitely a perk.
They’re completely transparent about what’s in their tampons and they’re expanding into other products based on our feedback. Plus, they’re a subscription based service so I never have to worry if I have tampons on hand. They show up every month just like our monthly flow.
You have a range of products beyond tampons, too, including:
- Cardboard, non-applicator or plastic tampons – around $10
- Pads and liners – around $10
- Essential oils for cramps – starting at $26
- A daily multi-vitamin for cramps – starting at $18
There’s even a First Period Kit that includes everything a girl needs for her first period, including tampons, day and night pads, liners, instructions for each product, keepsake box for at-home storage, a sheet of stickers for period tracking, and a canvas pouch for on-the-go moments. They also include a $5 credit towards a new subscription and a guide that LOLA states, “is full of honest, straightforward information, and features a Q&A addressing top questions collected from girls and their parents.”
LOLA is expanding everyday, too. They recently introduced ultra thin lubricated condoms and personal lubricant. There’s cleansing wipes, too, so you can always feel fresh.
The thing that got me the most about LOLA was that the founders and employees share their “my first period” stories with the public, kicking female shaming to the curb and shining a spotlight on the reality that is being a woman. Other companies and institutions could learn a lot from them.
While the world has gotten more open about female sexuality, body shaming and the fact that periods exist whether you want to talk about them or not, I applaud companies like LOLA that are taking it one step further by offering inexpensive products that make our lives easier.
My hope is that one day, my nieces and friends that still hide their normal bodily functions will feel at home in their bodies, unashamed and openly speaking about their experiences.
Hopefully, more companies like LOLA will be created and help it along.