Bodyform’s New Campaign Uses GOT & Joan Of Arc Style Badassery To Break Down Menstrual Taboo


Who needs those awkward commercials featuring blue liquid being poured out of a beaker onto a pad, when you have this incredibly badass video campaign from feminine hygiene company Bodyform! The UK brand’s new “Blood” video is not your average menstrual campaign which plays into the taboo around women and periods.

Nope! This one declares loudly and proudly that menstruation is a normal part of being a woman the shaming has to stop. This Bodyform video in particular gets it right and we believe it has set a new standard in terms of representing the issue in advertising. Following in the footsteps of brands like Always and Dove who have drastically changed the representation of women and girls in advertising to a more empowered image, Bodyform are speaking to the movement that is happening around the world and online.

Activists everywhere are speaking up about the need to talk about menstruation in a way that arms women with the right information to be healthy, and also change mindsets in areas where women who have periods are considered “dirty” or unclean (in some religious settings, for example.)

For the Bodyform campaign, they focused on sports, encouraging women they don’t need to “sit this one out” just because it’s that time of the month. By tying in the fact that we bleed on the field, on the track, in competition and during an athletic event normally and are not deterred from getting to the finish line, why should having a period stop you from participating?

The hygiene brand is also breaking down the issue of menstruation down to a science, explaining how different days of the cycle can affect our mood and hormones and how to combat this.

“During our menstrual cycle, our hormone levels (in particular, oestrogen and progesterone) are constantly changing. So we feel different, mentally and physically, at different times. Working with our sports scientist Georgie Bruinvels, we’ve split your cycle into four key phases – BLEED (pretty obvious, that one), PEAK, BURN and FIGHT. We’ve teamed up with Frame gyms, natural fast food restaurant Leon and performance coach Faye Downey to provide the best exercise training, nutrition advice and motivational inspiration you need at each phase,” says a description on the website which gives some important info on how to stay fit and healthy during menstruation.

As Ashley Rodriguez at points out in regard to the video, there’s no diversionary tactics being used to push the product, the message is simple and clear.

“Brands…even starting to talk about blood in ads [is a] sure a sign as any that the days of squeamish feminine-hygiene advertisers being afraid to mention periods are nearly over. Bodyform’s ‘Blood,’ hits that sweet spot of being both empowering in a larger sense while drawing attention to an issue that its products actually speak to—the frustrations of being active on your period. The spot also promotes an effort by the brand, in partnership with UK-based universities, to improve education around menstruation and its effects on women’s bodies,” she writes.


Whether you are playing soccer, jousting on the field in a Jon Of Arc/Jon Snow Night’s Watch outfit, or taking a solo run in the woods, “no blood should hold you back”.

There’s a much deeper meaning to the unapologetic discussion around monthly bleeding on display here. With so many NGOs working to empower women in countries that have marginalized them based on menstruation alone, it is important that the normalized conversation continue on all fronts. In fact, with increased visibility of this issue in such a powerful medium like advertising, this could prove to be a very effective method of raising awareness.

In an article for, Sue Lynn-Moses says there needs to be more of a focus from international organizations on the issue of menstrual taboo because it is closely tied to gender inequality and cycles of poverty in areas where girls miss copious amounts of school and women are forbidden from entering certain areas of society due to their periods.

“Despite signs of growing momentum, menstruation remains one the back-burner as a global health and development challenge. Surely, there are a number of contributing factors as to why this is so. For starters, even the most pragmatic global health and development experts can get a little bit uncomfortable whenever the conversation turns to periods. What’s more, this issue is often seen as a niche concern (as opposed to one that affects 2 billion women every month), and tends to fall through the funding and policy cracks,” she writes.


Thankfully there are a number of orgs such as the Gates Foundation, Wateraid, Plan International and smaller social ventures like Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) leading the charge in this area, but it should be a major focus of any organization that reports to help women and girls try and attain gender equality.

“When it comes to menstruation in developing countries, there are more than a few barriers to change beyond gaining access to health education and sanitary pads. There are also long-held traditions and beliefs, which may be among the most difficult to change. But they need to. We all know by now that when you hold girls and women back from progress, you hold the world back,” she concludes.

Which ties in perfectly, albeit in a more philanthropic way, to the Bodyform ‘Blood’ video. If the message they are sharing is about breaking down barriers to women participating in their favorite sporting activities, the same level of activism should be reserved for women and girls around the world who simply want to carry out every day tasks to ensure they don’t become social pariahs.

It’s the reason Canadian artist Rupi Kaur published a photo series called ‘Period’, which went viral after Instagram tried to remove an image from the collection which caused a huge outrage among her followers. It’s the reason musician Kiran Gandhi decided to run the London Marathon without a tampon in order to bring attention to how normal it is that 50% of the population bleeds like this every month.

No blood should hold ANY woman or girl back, so thank you Bodyform for creating a campaign that isn’t a gimmicky, fluffy piece of female empowerment pandering, but a real reminder that we should not be ashamed of what our bodies go through.


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