Just like we have sport emojis, food, technology , nature etc, Period Emojis are the latest in Fashion.

The girls-focused charity Plan International has created a social media campaign to destigmatise menstruation by allowing people to vote on one of five different period-related emojis. 

Emoji designs included a pad, a calendar, period drops, a pair of underwear with a blood stain and a uterus.

Since its inception last week, the campaign has garnered much praise. For people who menstruate, there’s still a lot of shame regarding an issue that millions of people experience every month.

Broaching the subject can be particularly uncomfortable for many. By having a period emoji within the lexicon of characters, it’s a step toward normalising a regular reality.

Zaakira Mahomed, founding member of Minacup.org, which distributes menstrual cups to schools, believes this is a promising idea.

“It’s a subtle way to get the conversation started for a topic that most are uncomfortable talking about. It is also appeals to the youth and will get the youth involved in terms of social media,” Mahomed said.

If we have emojis for different sporting activities, food and office supplies, surely we have room for an emoji that actually captures a human experience?

As creative as the idea is, understanding and communicating about menstruation isn’t that easy. That’s because understanding menstruation itself is a luxury afforded to those who receive sexual and reproductive education. There is the assumption that emoji users have knowledge of how menstruation works or have had some type of reproductive education.

 

 

A bloody underwear emoji will definitely make it easier (not to mention cuter) to convey your menstrual misery to your friends, but Plan International has a more ambitious goal in mind for its campaign. Across the world, women and girls are taught that their periods are something shameful. This stigma manifests in different ways, from forcing girls to miss school each month to the repeated censorship of a photo of blood-stained sweatpants on Instagram. If you have a period, you’ve probably gone to great lengths to hide the fact that you’re menstruating.

 

By creating a period emoji, Plan International intends to take on the shame surrounding menstruation. “It’s time the conversation was made easier,” wrote the nonprofit on its website.

The reality is that there are schools where teenagers don’t learn about menstruation, much less how their bodies work in general. If people don’t have this background, how can they be expected to understand what the uterus emoji means? If they don’t have access to pads or other menstrual products, will they understand what the pad emoji means?

 

The point of having a period emoji is to provide more room for people who menstruate with the ability to talk about it. But if this platform is only enjoyed by a subset of people, is a period emoji enough to get more people talking?

It’s a step in the right direction, but there needs to be a bit of realism in the mix, too. If we want to target the kind of demographics that are the most affected by the taboos of menstrual talk, perhaps we need to engineer a way that actually allows them to do that.

 

The choices include: The uterus, the pants, the blood drops, the pad and the calendar. Currently in the lead is the little droplets (who have interchangeable moods) but that could all change. Voting closes on June 2 so choose wisely, everyone!

What do you think? Does the world need a period emoji?

 

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