TV & That Time of the Month. An Uncomfortable Pairing.

Do open discussions of periods and erectile dysfunction make anyone uncomfortable anymore? Is there balance to the squirming?

Everybody knows I love comedian Kathy Griffin, who happens to be a NotMom, too. During  the premiere of her new BRAVO talk show this week, she dished on celebs and Real Housewives as usual. There was only one taped piece, her introductory sessions with her new production staff. Each was confronted with bizarre questions and tasks like shaving her armpits.  One poor dude had to imagine removing his new boss’ tampon for her.

You were warned. Bizarre.

The skit got me to thinking that it wasn’t that long ago that I thought the “Have a happy period” campaign by Always sanitary pads pushed TV’s limits. Tampax Pearl promotes itself as a surefire way to outsmart Mother Nature and keep trucking straight through That Time of the Month.

Of course, the terms “va-jay-jay” and “vagina” are so casually (and inaccurately) used on the most unassuming broadcasts these days that it seems strangely logical to talk more openly about basic body functions. 

The problem is that ad agencies create 30-second spots as though only women of menstruating age will  watch them, all alone.  To be in the room with a young child when a ‘plain-speaking’ commercial airs is an obvious challenge I wouldn’t wish on anybody. The uncomfortable moments we don’t talk about happen when it’s an adult, not a kid, who makes you grab for the remote to change the channel. The guy I’m talking about has a sense of humor only slightly above giggling at the sight of underpants.  

You don’t know anyone like him? He exists. Sad to say, he might even work for the Secret Service.

Personally, I’d be happier if there were as many condom commercials across the channels as there are happy periods.

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Debbie S. April 24, 2012 at 11:16 PM
"To be in the room with a young child when a ‘plain-speaking’ commercial airs is an obvious challenge I wouldn’t wish on anybody." What's the challenge? I explained "those" body parts to my kids when they were very little right along with head, shoulders, knees, and toes. I want them to be comfortable with their bodies, not ashamed or scared of them. Of course, since we don't watch commercial TV, I got to choose when and where that conversation took place. Conversations like that are just part of being a parent!
Kat Holtz April 25, 2012 at 02:17 AM
We need more condom commercials and much more open conversation about normal bodily functions and body parts. A period shouldn't be any more mysterious or shameful than a sneeze. This is very important to teach to our kids. It will help them to be safer and healthier.
tom m April 25, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Kat you are kidding right ???? thats the parents job to teach not the tvs job to be the parent ....kids do not need to learn about life off commercials ...or should we start making kids watch Bill Mahr
Barbara April 25, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Kat: I agree. Making bodily functions secret and 'dirty' is a big part of the problem. It is the parents' job to explain correct body parts and their function (age appropriately) I believe Debbie Schinker stated it best when she mentioned acting proactively and addressing the issues when and where SHE chose. Commercials might, however, open the door to the conversation.
Barbara April 25, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Nicely stated, and great parenting.


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