Yoga instructor, Steph Gongora, lives in Austin, Texas. Recently, she struck a regular yoga pose and took a picture of herself. In the photo, Steph was bleeding between her legs.
The photo had been taken while the instructor was menstruating to give an important message.
“I am a woman, therefore, I bleed,” she wrote. “It’s messy, it’s painful, it’s terrible, and it’s beautiful. And yet, you wouldn’t know. Because I hide it. I bury things at the bottom of the trash. I breathe, ragged and awkward through the cramps, all the while holding onto this tight-lipped, painted-on smile.”
It’s not just about feeling embarrassed and weird while talking about Aunt Flo. This story has much more to tell. With the help of this picture, Steph wanted to highlight another important problem that women go through across the world.
“Over 100 million young women around the globe miss school or work for lack of adequate menstrual supplies and fear of what might happen if the world witnesses a natural bodily function,” she wrote. “Why?”
There are many cultures and societies that inculcate menstrual shaming and fear of menstruation. It’s unfair and silly, because not only is the menstrual cycle natural, but it also gives way for human reproduction and human life.
“Start talking about it,” she wrote. “Educate your daughters. Make them understand that it can be both an inconvenience and a gift, but never something to be ashamed about. Educate your sons so they don’t recoil from the word ‘tampon’, so when a girl bleeds through her khaki shorts in third period (pun intended), they don’t perpetuate the cycle of shame and intolerance.”
What do you think about Steph’s statement?
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