Wombs – they’re a tricky business, aren’t they? From periods to fertility, menopause and conditions like endometriosis, it all happens down there. They can be the source of pain, joy, confusion and every other emotion going, yet when it comes to talking about them, they’re still a taboo subject.
It’s hard to believe that in 2020, people still squirm at the idea of openly discussing things like periods, but the truth of the fact is that the way period products are advertised hugely plays into this myth that they should be dealt with in secret and never talked about. Smiley women bouncing along the street in white shorts have generally been the face of tampon adverts for years, but Bodyform has just changed that with their new short film.
Titled #wombstories, Bodyform’s latest campaign is the first of its kind to get totally real about (and even show) periods, endometriosis, miscarriage, infertility, IVF, menopause and the decision to not have children. Finally, a period product brand has got to the heart of what it means to have a womb and the myriad experiences that come with that – not least the idea that there is absolutely no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to people’s womb experiences, or #wombstories, if you will.
Bodyform’s website says it best: ‘Get your period around twelve. Deal with some pain. Have some babies. Then more periods. And then around fifty your body is meant to politely retire. But it’s never that simple. The unseen, unspoken, unknown stories of our periods, vulvas and wombs – our wombstories – are so much more complex and profound.’
Watch the Bodyform #wombstories advert
The 3 minute video shows women of all ages, races and backgrounds going through different experiences: a young girl gets her period for the first time in the school changing room; a woman rejoices at the sight of her period, an indicator that she’s not pregnant; another cries with her partner as they experience a miscarriage; while another writhes in pain on the floor from cramps brought on by endometriosis.
It’s being hailed as ‘powerful’, ‘extraordinary’ and ‘the ad of the year’. Many have taken to Twitter to congratulate the brand on the video – one Twitter user wrote: ‘This is not your typical period ad. This is very different. I don’t know about you, but I went through so many emotions watching this. #wombstories Bravo @bodyform’.
This is not your typical period ad. This is very different. I don't know about you, but I went through so many emotions watching this. #wombstories Bravo @bodyform 👏
👉 https://t.co/z2MT4SJk5f pic.twitter.com/Ad4xXvcYlW
— Becky H (@beckupnorth) July 2, 2020
Another said: ‘This campaign by @bodyform is so powerful. It is great to see them sharing people’s real life #wombstories rather than depicting it to be all sunshine and rainbows. Love that they are trying to break the stigma around so many areas with one campaign.’
This campaign by @bodyform is so powerful. It is great to see them sharing people's real life #wombstories rather than depicting it to be all sunshine and rainbows. Love that they are trying to break the stigma around so many areas with one campaign. 👏https://t.co/7k4xG2moTM
— Katie Aldridge (@utterlykatie) July 2, 2020
‘This new #wombstories campaign by @bodyform is so so good. Sharing the truth of women’s wombs, from first period to menopause. I was the woman lying in pain on the floor with endometriosis for too many years. Amazing to see our reality represented #wombstories’, wrote another.
This new #wombstories campaign by @bodyform is so so good. Sharing the truth of women's wombs, from first period to menopause. I was the woman lying in pain on the floor with endometriosis for too many years. Amazing to see our reality represented #wombstories https://t.co/g9aM9a3bfa
— Louise Scodie (@mumwards_) July 2, 2020
Bold moves like this from big brands help to remove the stigma around periods and other womb-related issues, so that in years to come an advert like this will be seen as ‘normal’ and not ‘bold’ at all. We applaud you, Bodyform.