Posted by Alma Knutson
Alright. I’m not the healthiest person. I don’t eat hormone-free, happy, hippy chickens or actively seek out free-range lima beans or however they’re calling them these days. I’m a full-time college student, I work part-time as a behavioral therapist for kids on the autism spectrum, and I sometimes have a social life. This means that whatever free time I have, I don’t spend thinking about what I’m putting in my body.
This includes tampons.
I’ve been hearing all about the horrible chemicals and other things that manufacturers put in tampons for years. Yes, it angers me that a product solely used by women, a product women use ~5 times a day, ~6 days a month, 12 months a year, for at least 35 years isn’t being regulated as much as lawmakers regulate the bodies these products are inserted into. It’s infuriating, truly. However...I am involved in so many different battles against the patriarchy that it was difficult for me to genuinely care about this issue enough to change even my own lifestyle. Afterall, I had used Tampax Pearl tampons for upwards of 8 years, and regardless of the long-term effects, they worked for my lifestyle. I am a creature of comfort and it is difficult for me to change my ways.
However, my wonderful mother recently showered me with love via an all expense paid trip to Heaven/Target before my study abroad trip to Germany. While picking out a few (okay, more than a few) toiletries and first aid supplies, my mother gently reminded me that I had been a bit moody and suggested that maybe my time of the month was around the corner. After I shouted “what did you ask about my PERIOD?” I realized that she was right and a few ~feminine~ supplies would be necessary to contain the splatter of my reproductive warpaint. Ha ha! IUD wins again nature!
While meandering through the aisle, I took pleasure in the image of the masculine *MAGNUM* and *FEEL LIKE YOU’RE VIOLATING HER DECISION TO USE A CONDOM WITH THIS VERY THIN ONE FOR YOUR MANLY PLEASURE* condoms against the very pink backdrop of the *PRETEND YOU ARE NOT SHEDDING A UTERINE LINING GIRLFRIEND* period products. Whilst grabbing for my usual, Tampax Pearl SUPER tampons (ya girl has got a heavy flow, what can I say), an interesting shape caught my eye. Next to the off-brand, sketchy tampons (okay...maybe these are my regular choice) were a few drums of Love Begins with L tampons. Yes, I am basic enough to admit that the unique weirdness of the tampon container was the real draw. However, upon more in-depth examination, I saw that the tampons were organic! Okay, great, that’s nice Target, I’ll let my rich hippy friends know that they can stop ordering their organic tampons from different failing startups. Still, there’s no way I can afford these...they’re organic, read: EXPENSIVE AF.
I was super wrong.
These tampons were only $6 for 36 tampons! The perfect number for one cycle, and only about $0.75 more than the Tampax option. So, albeit mostly due to the cute container, I decided to give the tampons a chance.
I solely used Love Begins with L tampons throughout my last period, which ended about 2 days ago. Let me tell ya, I am never going back. Sure, my vag wasn’t screaming YASSSS QUEEN, and it’s not like I will see the benefits of going organic down there for a few decades, but just knowing I wasn’t allowing my reproductive gear to soak in the apathetic patriarchy-approved chemicals made me feel better. Overall, the tampons were easy to use via a nice, smooth, plastic applicator and physically the same as any other tampon. Furthermore, the insertion instructions were easily understandable, a benefit that many girls just entering puberty can appreciate, as well as women previously daunted by the 10-page long instructions accompanying other tampons. Another aspect of Love Begins with L tampons that I really loved was that the instructions advise women to remove and replace their tampons every 6 hours, instead of 8 hours, so as to avoid the development of Toxic Shock Syndrome, a very dangerous potential side effect of a tampon being left in the vagina too long, almost completely.
All in all, I highly recommend these tampons. I feel better about my periods and am much more comfortable knowing that I’m being proactive about another aspect my reproductive health. As women, we’ve been taught our whole lives that our health is less important than that of men. We internalize this and it has gotten so bad that even me, a woman who considers herself to be a pretty damn involved activist and feminist, shrugged off putting a toxic wad of cotton into her vagina.
Well, never again. Thanks, L.!