Illustration by Erik Carter
Excerpt from this article:
Last month, my friend Tracy posted a series of messages on Twitter, including one that read, “I look like a marshmallow tied up in rubber bands.” Another said, “Scientific fact: Salt and vinegar chips taste 46% better when you’re on your period.” Once I stopped laughing, I noticed she was using a hashtag I had never seen before: #LiveTweetYourPeriod. A quick tour of the tag revealed hundreds of other posts, ranging from the oblique (images of junk food) to the grotesquely exaggerated — one tweet included an image of the pivotal pigs’ blood moment in “Carrie”; another, the part in “Alien” when a creature bursts from John Hurt’s chest.
On the surface, this seems like little more than communal commiseration, but to me, it felt like something bigger: a microprotest against a modern paradox. Social media is saturated with images of hypersexualized women, but these are rarely considered as scandalous as content that dares to reveal how a woman’s body actually functions.