It’s no secret that every month women get a visit from their dreaded friend: the period. But what has often been stigmatized, or seen as a taboo topic, is now something people around the world are being a lot more upfront about.
One TV actress is joining the fight, taking to social media to empower her fellow females and break down the negativity surrounding the period. Known for her role on MTV India’s “Girls on Top,” Saloni Chopra is regarded as an activist for women’s rights, speaking regularly about rape, menstrual cycles and female sexuality. Her social media channels are an artistic display of her passions, with the Mumbai native regularly speaking about human rights. Recently she shared an image on her Instagram of sheets stained by period blood with a powerful caption that has resonated with many.
“That’s right, it’s just blood.. You know who gave it more importance than it needs? You. You who celebrated my very first menstrual cycle… said it made me a woman. Then you told me to never discuss it publicly. First you made me feel proud of becoming, then you made me feel there was something wrong with me,” she wrote.
The message confronts the many important figures in her life, such as family, friends and boyfriends. All who, in some way or another, shamed her menstrual cycle, making her feel as though it was something to be embarrassed of.
“The kids at school laughed at me and my friends didn’t sit next to me, because my blue skirt was red. I ate my lunch alone, crying in the washroom. I wasn’t very proud of being a girl that day. Then I grew older and I met boys… boys that liked me… boys that knew nothing about periods, but got disgusted every time a pad fell out of my bag. I couldn’t fathom that women raised such men.”
“My girlfriends always whispered about it.. were they ashamed? My colleagues thought I was being a bitch because I was ‘PMSing’ – my boss thought that was just my lame excuse to take a day off.”
Judging by the post’s popularity, many others can relate. With thousands of likes and comments, the post has gone viral with other women who felt the same pressures from society about their cycle.
“This is amazing. I hope men and society will start to change their perceptions when they read posts like this,” one user commented.
“Your words send chills down my spine. Thank you Saloni for writing this, for penning down the frustration of every girl,” wrote another.
ALSO SEE: Meghan Markle speaks out on shame surrounding menstruation: ‘Many girls feel embarrassed’
With women and men alike tagging their friends and loved ones, the heartfelt post resonated with Chopra’s followers, inspiring them to continue empowering one another. The post ended on a positive note, asking those who see shame in a woman’s period to reconsider their opinions before placing their judgment on her body’s natural cycle.
“From you who gave birth to me, to you that wants to marry me, listen carefully – there is nothing about me that is “impure” every month. I’m not the creation of the devil. I’ll have as many conversations about my menstrual cycle as I please, I will cook as many meals as I like and enter as many places of worship as I want to,” she wrote.
“For those five days, maybe you should keep your impure selves out of my kitchen, my temple, my work place and come back when you’re ready to accept my body.”
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