In this day and age we are slowly starting to overcome the idea that the “flaws” of our bodies should be kept hidden away. Celebrities like Ashley Graham and Chrissy Teigen are proudly displaying their stretch marks and cellulite, moms are showing us the reality of childbirth and c-sections, and women everywhere are doing their best to normalize breastfeeding. And while these influential strides of the women’s movement are going strong, there is always something else lurking just outside the female discourse: the stigma of menstruation.
From that very first bleed, it is impressed upon us to hide this aspect of our bodies. We keep our tampons and pads in a little bags for covert bathroom breaks. We speak to each other in hushed tones about PMS and silently suffer through the misery of cramps. We count ourselves especially lucky if there is a female friend nearby for a “spot check,” just in case we underestimated our flow that day.
21-year-old Master’s student Cinta Tort Cartró’s series Mancho y no me doy asco (“I stain myself, and I’m not grossed-out by it”) seeks to remove the stigma that menstruation is something women should be ashamed of.
Cartró spoke to Yahoo! Beauty about her Mancho y no me doy asco series:
It all started as a form of expression, but it quickly turned into social commentary of the male-dominated culture we live in.
There is a poisonous social construct that periods are disgusting. We’re taught to be embarrassed by something that we cannot control, but is part of nature itself. But where someone would think of periods as being “gross,” and something that should be kept to ourselves, Cartró has creatively reminded the viewer of the power and uniqueness of the female form.
She goes on to say:
There are many things happening in my town that I couldn’t be silent on, such as the male microaggression toward the female body. I know there are countries that have it worse than here in Spain, but I couldn’t stay silent.”
Cartró’s work has given “shameful” blood-stained underwear and body parts a voice. A spectrum of paint colors and explosions of glitter remind us that each and every one of our incredible bodies are actually unique works of art in their own right.
In addition to menstrual blood, @zinteta has colorfully highlighted women’s stretch marks…
and campaigned to #freethenipple!
In her interview with Yahoo! Beauty, Cartró asks a simple, yet troubling question in reference to Mancho y no me doy asco:
We live in 2017. Why is there still stigma revolving around periods?
A little louder for the folks in the back.