Why Superdrug’s new period products for “people who menstruate” are so important

Superdrug has launched a new range of period products for “people who menstruate,” and their decision to use inclusive language goes a long way towards fighting the damaging assumption that a woman = someone who has periods.

We’ve come a long way when it comes to the stigma surrounding periods. After years of period companies shrouding the messy, inconvenient reality of menstruating in pink, floral-scented packaging, adverts are finally starting to get real: Bodyform’s viral #wombstories video is one recent example.

Another area where we’re starting to see progress in the period product industry is representation. Slowly but surely, period products are becoming more inclusive when it comes to their packaging and descriptions – last year, Always took the decision to remove the Venus symbol on its packaging to make their products more inclusive of transgender and non-binary customers.

And now, Superdrug has become the latest retailer to demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity.

At the end of last month, the drug store brand announced a new range of eco-friendly sanitary products designed for “people who menstruate”. And now, the collection of plant-based pads and tampons – called the ‘Luna’ range – have attracted attention on social media, with many praising the brand for taking an inclusive stance.

The product’s description reads: “A person who menstruates will have on average 400 periods and use around 11,000 period products in a lifetime. However, we understand periods are never average so we have created Luna, a range of period products that suit you as an individual.”

After news about the new products broke, a number of people took to Twitter to celebrate Superdrug’s inclusive stance.

“Oh my goodness. I am so, so impressed by @superdrug today; not only are their own brand Luna pads entirely plant-based, on the back it says ‘a person who menstruates’,” blogger Grace Latter wrote.

“Plant-based, inclusive menstrual products? I am here for this! Great work, @superdrug,” another user added.

Although swapping out ‘woman’ for ‘person who menstruates’ may seem like a small change to make, there are many reasons why Superdrug’s latest move is incredibly important. On top of the fact that the products’ gender-neutral terminology allows trans and non-binary people who menstruate to feel included and represented, it also avoids the harmful assumption that everyone who identifies as a woman has periods, which is simply not true.  

In reality, there are many reasons why a woman might not have a period. Women who have gone through the menopause, for example, do not menstruate. Neither do women who have had hysterectomies or who are currently pregnant. Trans women and some non-binary people do not have periods, too.

It’s about time we got rid of the harmful assumption that woman = someone who has periods. Just because you don’t have a period, doesn’t mean your identity as a woman suddenly disappears, and Superdrug’s new products are a powerful reminder of that. 

Language is, and always will be, important, and although we’ve still got some way to go when it comes to fighting period stigma and ensuring all people who menstruate feel represented by the products they use, Superdrug’s new range is a great first step.

Image: Getty

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