Aussie radio star praises Woolies for tackling period taboo

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

If you're someone who menstruates, you might notice something different about the 'sanitary care' aisle the next time you shop at Woolworths.

In a world-first, Woolies has officially changed the name of the aisle that stocks products like pads, tampons and menstrual cups to 'period care'.

Ash London poses in the period care aisle at the Woolworths Northbridge store on 24th February 2021
Radio and TV personality Ash London has welcomed Woolworth's decision to change the name of the 'sanitary care' aisle. Photo: Dallas Kilponen (supplied).

It might seem like a small shift, switching out one word for another, but it's music to Aussie radio and TV personality Ash London's ears.

"First of all, I hate the word ‘sanitary’ in relation to periods because it insinuates that periods are dirty! Which they’re not," she tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

Other commonly-used euphemisms such as 'feminine hygiene' only doubled down on the idea that menstruation is, well, gross and anyone who experiences it is gross by extension. This makes it a tough topic to tackle, leading many including Ash to feel awkward and ashamed.

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"As a teenager, I often felt like I had to speak in code about my period," she says.

"But I think seeing the actual word in a supermarket like Woolworths would have helped reinforce the idea that it’s a normal part of life, and that it’s not something I have to be weird about," she adds.

As Woolies' Period Care ambassador, Ash was on hand to unveil the new signage which is now visible for online shoppers and will be rolled out across stores in the coming months.

She also shared a video to her Instagram page of her chatting about the name change which has so far received a hugely positive response, particularly from parents of sons.

"It’s been so wonderful to read comments from followers who are raising their boys with a sense of acceptance and normality around periods.

"It shouldn’t be something we have to shy away from, avoid or hide. It’s life."

In Ash's opinion, the earlier we can normalise the conversation around periods the better and she sees education in schools as a great way to start. Making young people feel more comfortable with discussing menstruation and women's health issues, in general, can have a preventative effect in years to come.

"When we don’t talk about periods, it means that people often suffer in silence when it comes to pain and discomfort.

"This can lead to conditions such as endometriosis going un-diagnosed for years."

Another change that Ash has welcomed is in the ads for period products themselves which have become more and more realistic in recent years.

"Remember the days when a tampon commercial was usually a woman frolicking through fields of daisies in a white linen dress? Or weird blue cordial being poured on pads?

"It in no way reflects reality."

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