Welcome to Period Pieces, our journey through the bizarre and beautiful cultural history of menstruation. Inspired by #throwbackthursday, we serve up our favorite ads, images, and factoids about periods throughout the ages.
Did you know that Courtney Cox was the first person to say the word “period” (gasp!) on national TV? The ad, which aired in 1985, featured a 19-year-old Courtney telling the viewer about how “tampons might even change the way you feel about your… PERIOD.” And then everyone lost their minds.
Well, not really. Miss Cox earned the attention that goes along with being the first person to utter “period” in the biological sense on American TV, some young boys were presumably ushered hastily away from the television set, and then… everything went back to normal, only we all knew that everyone else knew what a period was, too.
30 years later, saying the word “period” in an advertisement for tampons seems like a no-brainer, but back in 1985 this was a subtle but revolutionary step forward in talking about women’s bodies. So cheers to you, Courtney, for having the guts to speak frankly about periods–and at 19, a time when lots of us are still mired in shame about our bodies’ natural functions. Good on ya.
Ready to see Courtney, in all of her 1980s glory, utter the word “period” when talking about periods? Watch the Tampax commercial below.
About the author of this post:
Tracy Puhl is the owner of GladRags and is passionate about period positivity and empowering women everywhere. When she’s not in the office, you might find her attempting to run a faster 10k, traveling, practicing yoga, or pointing out how cute her cats are being right now.