Health

'Period Parties' Are Smashing The Stigma Of Menstruation

Comedian Bert Kreischer shared an entertaining story while appearing on “Conan” in August 2018. The topic: His daughter’s “period party.”

When Kreischer’s younger daughter first started her period, she asked him to pick up some supplies for a period party. She responded to his initial confusion by noting that “all the girls are throwing them” and instructed him to buy red velvet cake and icing to decorate it with the “name” of her period.

The dad quickly got on board.

“I had the best time of my life! I got beet juice, pomegranate juice, pasta with marinara sauce, ketchup and fries, red velvet cake, red wine!” he told the “Conan” audience. “It was awesome. I hope to God you hear it in a positive manner, and you fathers get to throw your daughter a period party.”

While “Flo” is obviously a popular pick for a period “name,” Kreischer proudly noted that his daughter chose “Jason” because the date of her menarche was Friday the 13th.

Although the idea of a “period party” may seem strange, Kreischer actually touched on something that’s not so uncommon: Many parents and their daughters celebrate this milestone in festive ways.

While some people just like to take advantage of any occasion to throw a theme party, there are generally more profound motivations behind period parties.

For many, this kind of celebration is a way to destigmatize and minimize the sense of shame around periods ― a topic that’s still considered embarrassing or taboo to talk about. Period parties also present the opportunity to address some of the fear, uncertainty and confusion young people feel around menstruation.

In January 2017, a Florida mom’s “period party” for her daughter went viral on Twitter. Twelve-year-old Brooke Lee’s mother Shelly organized the event to ease the preteen’s anxiety around starting her period.

She invited close friends and family, and they celebrated with pizza, a cake with red and white icing and menstrual product gifts.

Poet Dominique Christina described a period party she threw for her 13-year-old daughter while introducing her powerful piece, “The Period Poem,” at a spoken word event in 2014.

“And so then my daughter, she starts her period, and she’s stricken and walks out the bathroom looking like she’s died or something. And I wanted to undermine that,” Christina said. “So I threw her a period party, my homies rolled up, dressed in red, and there was red food and red drinks. It was great. All red everything.”