The largest color matching system in the world is now including a red hue aimed at fighting menstruation stigma.
Pantone debuted the new red shade named “Period.” The company worked with INTIMINA, a Swedish company that produces menstrual hygiene products, to create the color. This partnership comes out of INTIMINA’s new Seen + Heard campaign, which hopes to encourage honest and accurate conversations around menstruation.
“Despite the fact that billions of people experience menstruation, it has historically been treated as something that shouldn’t be seen or talked about publicly,” Danela Žagar, INTIMINA global brand manager said in a press release. “And if we look at popular culture, depictions of periods have ranged from wildly inaccurate and unsympathetic to being the subject of jokes and derision.”
Lisa Pressman, vice president of Pantone Color Institute called Period an “active and adventurous red hue.”
“Period emboldens people who menstruate to feel proud of who they are,” she said in the press release. “To own their period with self-assurance; to stand up and passionately celebrate the exciting and powerful life force they are born with; to urge everyone regardless of gender to feel comfortable to talk spontaneously and openly about this pure and natural bodily function.”
Dana Marlowe, founder and executive director of I Support the Girls, an organization that helps provide bras and menstruation products to the homeless, tells Yahoo Life that the color is “important.”
“There are too many menstrual taboos that persist out there in society, globally. And half the population will experience, does experience or have experienced menstruation,” she says. “It’s so ridiculous that periods are a topic that people try to brush under the rug and not talk about.”
A 2016 study found that there are over 5,000 euphemisms used around the world to refer to menstruation, which has caused stigma and discrimination to persist, as well as a lack of education around this normal bodily function. Marlowe hopes that Pantone and INTIMINA’s effort can help change that.
“Education comes in so many different forms and platforms that this is another way to get people talking,” she says.
CeCe Jones-Davis, a menstrual advocate and thought leader, tells Yahoo Life that while the color Period will open the door for more conversation around period stigma, she thinks brands can do even more.
“I would hope that companies invest further in the issue of menstrual equity and not use the menstrual movement as a trend to exploit,” she says. “But I think anything that pushes the conversation forward is a positive thing.”
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