VICE Photo-shoot Shines Awkward Light on Period Blood Taboo
Imagine having her day job.
It's fun to make people uncomfortable on the Internet and VICE is one site that does it well. Its Do's & Don'ts and guides for how to be uber-cool and/or a huge geek (the hip kind) are entertaining and informative, while their video and photo content runs the gamut from educational to bizarre.
But the end goal is to push the envelope, and that's what photographer Emma Arvida Bystrom did with her "There Will Be Blood" series of pictures featuring cute, hipster ladies performing various daily activities while, unbeknownst to them, their vaginas spill menstrual blood through their undies and down their legs.
Gross. But it happens all the fucking time, which appears to be Bystrom's point. So get over it, will ya?
Women with various Williamsbug-worthy outfits and hairstyles are featured doing what we do best -- reading books at the local coffee shop, relaxing in the bath, sexting in bed, jogging around the city -- while viewers cringe wishing we could reach through the screen, tap their shoulders, and hand them a tampon.
And I assume that, once the chills subside, the core effort to un-taboo the concept of periods getting in the way of daily life -- for both men and women -- bleeds through, but I suspect that most viewers still will X out of the slideshow with disgust.
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Because we all know periods happen and, more often than not, evidence of its monthly existence will stain our clothes, sheets and partners' bodies at least once this season. While many of us are completely unfazed -- or at least not grossed out -- by it, there are men and women who remain opposed to any and all activity that might alert others that Aunt Flo is in town.
I'm on Bystrom's side when it comes to quelling insecurities by showing men and women how beautiful and natural it is to embrace yourselves (or your girlfriends/wives/partners) while menstruating. But I'm not convinced that shoving their faces in it is the most successful technique.
You won't have much success teaching someone to ride a bike by sticking them on a Fixie with a tinfoil helmet and a swift push.
Convincing people to go vegetarian by showing footage of cows being slaughtered to pieces will likely cause nightmares, but won't necessarily stop them from ordering a burger for lunch. (Take note, Peta.)
And I have yet to meet a man who, after being forced to watch bloody birthing videos in sex ed, went on to worship and revel in the feminine beauty of the vulva and vagina. That shit leaves a mental mark that's hard to scrub off.
Almost has hard to scrub off as the blood from these women's panties, skirts and bedsheets.
These photos are jarring, but there's nothing wrong or disgusting about them. What's happening in each picture has likely made most women mutter "FML" a dozen times this year. But I suspect that this photo gallery won't do much more than shove a proverbial tampon down the majority of the Internet's throat.
And not everyone is gonna swallow.
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