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don’t suffer in silence

Beauty is pain. We have been told this our whole lives. We take acne treatments that dry out our skin, making it easier to burn in the sun. We hobble around clubs in skyscraper heels, unable to lift our feet, so we flap our arms around in an attempt to look like we are dancing. Due to a universal lack of appreciation for “specs appeal”, we endure itchy contact lenses. We wear unsupportive bras, because the ones that support us look like Nanna bras and Nanna is not sexy. We are socialised our whole lives to tolerate discomfort because our bodies and its functions are a cause of shame.

Stayfree says ‘no’. Stayfree is a sister company of Carefree of the Johnson & Johnson organisation. They brought you the words vagina and discharge earlier this year. Their campaign to help women feel comfortable openly discussing their bodies is continuing. Stayfree has announced the results of their national survey of 1,000 Australian women, which investigated our attitudes towards feeling uncomfortable. The survey covered a range of uncomfortable experiences that we endure on a daily basis, including itchy contact lenses, slippy bra straps and pad related wedgies. The women surveyed rated the pad wedgie a close second to the rogue bra strap as the most annoying discomfort we face in our everyday lives. Fifty-eight per cent of women often feel constricted by the things they wear.

Are you ready for the results that make my face do a grumpy cat? Sixty per cent of women find it hard to admit that they are uncomfortable because they don’t want to be perceived as complaining.

Stayfree wants to start a movement that says it’s OK to speak up. We will not suffer in silence anymore. Michelle Forster, Women’s Health Manager of Johnson & Johnson Pacific explains:

We want to create a movement – to encourage women to stand up and say “NO MORE” to just putting up with things that make them uncomfortable.

Stayfree has issued a call to action this October, in the name of saying no to enduring discomfort. At Westfield stores across Australia, Stayfree will be staging protests in response to these findings. They are doing this in order to start a conversation about our comfort as women.*

Of course, I understand that we are talking about a product here (Stayfree Ultra Thins PerfectFit). I am really okay with that. I want to see more advertising that is constructive rather than destructive. If a business does something positive for women – you officially have my brand loyalty. Especially where there is brand consistency. Unlike Unilever, who release pro-women commercials for their Dove products and misogynistic commercials for their Lynx (Axe) products, Johnson and Johnson are consistent with their customers. The consistent message is this: women, your experience is normal and here is a forum for you to talk about it.

We need to talk about women’s bodies and health because it is our responsibility. We need to be able to have these conversations. When our daughters, sisters, friends and nieces have something like vaginal discharge or bunchy pad, don’t you want them to feel like their experience is normal? When legislating, politicians will make the wrong choices if we are too scared to speak up, use our big lady words and say vagina. If we are ashamed to talk about the realities of our bodies, we are going to get left behind.

Let’s not suffer silently while our pad slowly bunches up to one side. Talk about your bodies and issues vital to your health as a woman. Talk so that these things are no longer seen as icky. Talk because as long as you do, you are helping women love their bodies, functions and all.

*Westfield Activation Dates:

5 – 7 October: Bondi Junction(NSW), Doncaster (VIC), Carindale (QLD)
12 – 14 October: Marion (SA), Fountain Gate (VIC), Chermside (QLD)
19 – 21 October: GardenCity(QLD),Liverpool(NSW)
26 – 28October: Southland (VIC), Parramatta (NSW)

GIVEAWAY: Thanks to Stayfree, we have 10 packs of Stayfree Ultra Thins PerfectFit to give away to lucky Lip readers. Simply email your name, age and postal address to [email protected] with ‘Stayfree Ultra Thins PerfectFit’ in the subject line for your chance to win.


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