Are periods — something we always considered strictly personal — becoming political? Adidas aims to break the taboo, whilst closer to home the conversation looks a little different.
It’s getting really confusing as we hardly know where to look. Last night saw an outrage on social media, as Thailand passed a law that labelled tampons as “cosmetics,” and thereby possibly made them subject to the same tax (30%) as other cosmetic products. It posed the question and opened a discussion about whether this is fair, given that periods and menstruation are a perfectly normal, natural (and involuntary, non-cosmetic) occurrence. Why would an arguably essential item like this be taxed on the same level as an unessential item like a lipstick?
Meanwhile, global corporations like Adidas are trying to push the discussion even further. We look to their new period-proof leggings as another means to open up the conversation.
Women are the focus of Adidas’s latest innovation: leggings with an absorbent layer to prevent leakage during menstruation. A technology designed to make sports more comfortable for teenagers and women — and to encourage them not to give up sports because of their period.
Menstrual periods and sports don’t always go well together. Beyond the pain and discomfort caused by periods, the fear of leakage can sometimes cause women and teenage girls to abandon their practice of a sport. A study by adidas found that nearly two-thirds of menstruating women said that “leakage” was their primary concern when playing sports, underscoring the importance of communicating and educating young people about the issue.
Watch Us Move
As part of its Watch Us Move campaign, which aims to evolve its product offering in order to better address the needs of the female population, the brand of the three stripes has developed Flow Shield technology, on which the new TechFit Period Proof leggings are based. Using a system of multiple absorbent layers and a membrane, the legging is designed to prevent any risk of leakage when combined with a tampon or pad.
“The biggest challenge we faced in bringing the TechFit Period Proof Tights to market was the testing. It was incredibly rigorous and went through several rounds, because we had to be sure our product could deliver. Our ambition with this product is to keep more people in sport by giving them the confidence to train on their period,” explained Kim Buerger, Senior Product Manager, women’s apparel at Adidas.
Educating and breaking the taboo around menstruation
Adidas wants to go a step further in educating teenagers about menstruation and trying to shatter the taboo surrounding menstruation. The brand has teamed up with Dr. Georgie Bruinvels, senior sports scientist at Orreco, and a number of physical education teachers to develop educational content and tools to inform teenage girls about a subject that is currently not widely discussed. Several athletes associated with Adidas, including Jazmin Sawyers and Layshia Clarendon, will also speak about their own experiences with periods during competitions and training.
“It is great to see that the landscape for girls and women in sport is progressing, however it is evident that despite this, the menstrual cycle is still an area that is of embarrassment, and as a result is typically neglected and ignored. Given the impact that the menstrual cycle can have on participation and overall quality of life, this must change,” outlined Dr. Georgie Bruinvels.
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This article is published via AFP Relaxnews.