The Holy Grail: Buy it at Whole Foods for $40!!
We grow up getting our period and feel enough shame that we become tampon ninjas and hide them up our sleeves or make sure to rip the pad packaging as quietly possible in a public bathroom. There’s that time where you forget to pick up your blood-stained underwear from your bedroom floor and your new love interest comes into your room and sees the underwear looking like a rorschach test and you internally freak out and try to sneakily push them under your bed. Or when you first get your first heavy period and you bleed all over your school-provided gym shorts
The truth is that periods are supposed to be women’s messiest kept secret. There has been some recent protest against feminine hygiene products being taxed as “luxury items”, a non-necessity. Somehow, having a period, which most pre-menopausal biological females that have a uterus experience is a luxury? I saw that the #freebleeding hashtag has been trending on Twitter, and while I love the enthusiasm, I’m personally not into bleeding and wearing white pants.
Most of us don’t fuss about buying tampons, pads and liners because the thought of bleeding all over your clothes or all over your work chair is pretty unappealing. Growing up, I never thought about the cost of the Sam’s Club economy multi-pack of tampons my mom would always have on hand, I’d take those tampons like they were free fruit roll-ups. It wasn’t until I moved out on my own and was really broke that I acknowledged that having a vagina is expensive. I was annoyed that I was paying money, monthly, to use disposable products. It bothered me that I was inserting a piece of cotton dipped in bleach, essentially, a foreign object that could kill me. I started to look at alternatives and was referred to the Diva Cup. I went to my nearest Whole Foods and coughed up the forty dollars, this was a very big deal to me back then. Had I known that I could buy a Diva Cup on Ebay and Amazon for half the cost, I wouldn’t have bought it at Whole Foods. This was 2008! I was still slightly skeptical of online shopping!
The Diva Cup has an almost, cult like following. I loved that I could constantly reuse my Diva Cup; I didn’t worry about it leaking, I didn’t worry about TSS or getting a yeast infection from keeping a tampon in for too long. I loved that I wasn’t paying monthly for tampons anymore and most importantly, I loved that while inserting or removing the diva cup, I could sing Beyonce’s “Diva” to myself. It really felt like I was doing some sort civil disobedience by not giving my money to the tampon industry.
The Diva Cup allowed me to start feeling more comfortable about my period. When you’re recommending the Diva Cup to someone, you have to be ready to talk about the messy details. Most of these conversations would start with “well… It can get kind of messy”. I didn’t feel shame telling people that I once dropped my full diva cup on a tiled hotel bathroom floor and it looked like the elevator doors opening in “The Shining”, because sometimes, with your Diva freedom, you have to deal with the Diva mess.
I’ve moved on from the Diva Cup, because I don’t get periods anymore. I used my state-provided “women’s insurance” (pre-Affordable Healthcare Act) and got a free IUD. For those of you wondering, getting an IUD is like having E.T’s long finger stuffing a tiny shaped T-device through your cervix, I like to call this being “probed” and it felt terrible and weird. Beyond the weird “insertion”, having the IUD has me feeling just as excited as using the Diva Cup. For those of you that bleeding on a towel or in your pants or if using a sea sponge isn’t your thing, but you want to use something that’s not a pad or tampon, get the Diva Cup!
And guess what? I’m a, a Diva, I’m a, I’m a, a Diva.