* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
So what exactly is a #BintiBauble you might be wondering?
Well, to celebrate Christmas, the charity Binti are decorating tampons with a Christmas theme. On Binti’s social media sites they are actually running a competition for the best homemade #BintiBauble and the Binti team will pick the best to be featured over Christmas.
Binti will also be creating a Binti Christmas tree covered in #BintiBaubles and as part of their Christmas initiative will be donating sanitary products to an organisation that needs it.
So why should you be decorating your tree with a #Bintibauble?
After, all who wants to have a tampon on their tree?
Well, it might sound a bit out there at first, but think about it. Everyone can see a bauble on your tree. But no one usually sees a period. I’m sure not many people out there count their period as part as something to be discussed at Christmas, but I’m sure a lot of us out there have had our period over Christmas. By putting a tampon bauble on our tree we are saying that we are not afraid to talk about periods with our families; we are not going to hide our period from the world.
Yes, at first glance the Binti baubles might not even look like tampons because of the brilliant decorating job that have been done on them. In fact, they look quite beautiful. And I think that is quite powerful. Like a #BintiBauble our periods can be beautiful.
It’s a strange concept I know. I’ve never really thought of my period as being something beautiful before, and I’m not suggesting that every month we cry out about how beautiful our periods are. What I’m saying is instead of presenting our periods as something shameful; why not present them as something positive instead.
Yes, I’ve hated my period a lot at times. But hating it doesn’t make it go away. Not talking about it doesn’t make it go away. However, if we start viewing our periods through a positive light, something that can be presented to the world and discussed, we can make periods something less terrible because there will be more research and more discussion on how to manage periods.
Putting your #BintiBauble on your tree can start that discussion. Especially, as you will most likely get your relatives looking in closer and asking what you made your bauble out of. And from that you can start the discussion.
The #BintiBauble is a new way to explore the shame around periods, which can be seen in the way people have reacted to the idea of a #BintiBauble. A lot of people have been positive about the idea of a #Bintibauble and Binti has had a lot of absolutely brilliant and creative entries.
But when approaching organisations to partner with Binti, they saw that in the corporate setting there was still perhaps not a place to talk openly and honestly about periods. Some people saw the Binti bauble as something dirty, and didn’t want a “Christmas tree covered in bloody tampons”. Ignoring the fact that of course the tampons were clean (and not used). Periods and the idea of the tampon itself for many people has become synonymous with being dirty. Something that shouldn’t be seen. By both men and women alike. Perhaps, in some cases more so by women, as we let it happen. We let this shame perpetuate, and in turn become victims of it ourselves.
Well, Binti wants to alter those perceptions and the way you can too is to #ShameShame and make yourself a Binti bauble today, and send into Binti so they can share it!
After all, the idea of an unused, clean tampon on a Christmas tree should not be something that is so horrifying.