Period Care Ads Are Woefully Lacking in Disability Representation
It’s time to have “the talk.” No, not the heteronormative sex talk about the birds and bees, but an equally important topic about the body that affects billions of people each month. That shared experience: menstruating. The conversation around having a period has thankfully evolved past cisgender women wearing white yoga pants in pad and tampon commercials. People of all genders and abilities can menstruate, with the latter being left out of the conversation in media too routinely. But now, a collaboration between a wellness brand and a lingerie brand is putting a spotlight on real menstruators with disabilities and their personal journey with representation.
Nadya Okamoto, founder of period care brand August and Emma Butler, founder of adaptive lingerie brand Liberare, are ready for “the talk,” as shown through their new campaign centered around disabled menstruators with a series of interviews, photos, and viral TikTok videos curated to combat the lack of representation in period care and adaptable lingerie.
“The idea behind August x Liberare was really to spark a conversation about periods and disability by amplifying disabled voices,” Butler shares with Allure. This campaign was created to showcase people with disabilities wearing these personal care products with the hopes that they will feel seen in this activation. “When we don’t talk about the disability experience, or let disabled people talk about their unique experiences with disability, we marginalize and isolate this community,” adds Butler.
The two 24-year-old Gen Z founders found each other the same way most twenty-somethings do in the 21st Century: online, specifically through Twitter in February of this year. The resulting campaign is an amalgamation of the two brands’ purposes: August focuses on non-gendered and organic period care products, while Liberare offers adaptive undergarments and sleepwear offered in sizes XXS to 3XL.
“I am an able-bodied menstruator myself, so we really wanted to make sure that if we were going to do a larger campaign, we were working directly with an organization or a brand that was very disability and adaptive-wear focused,” shares Okamoto. “I think it’s really humbling and just a beautiful experience for me and our team to take more of the creative behind-the-scenes side where we can just hold space and listen.”