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There’s A New Kit For Your PreTeen’s First Period That Will Make Talking About It Way Less Taboo

Everyone remembers getting their first period. Whether you were at a friend’s sleepover, riding your bike or sitting in math class, it’s a moment straight out of a teen novel that forever alters your life. A reminder of what your body is capable of, it’s a marker of growing up—and if you haven’t been prepared for what’s involved, it can be a daunting experience.

But, thankfully, today there are so many resources out there to help make that experience easier for the teen getting her first period and for the parents who get to explain all these changes.

The new kit for her first period helps teens embrace their periods.

Getting your first period is a milestone in a woman’s life but thanks to our patriarchal society it’s long been considered a taboo. And, as a result, young girls and women are left suffering to figure it out on their own.

Thankfully, there are new companies out there working to make menstrual education the norm and they’re determined to provide knowledge and supplies to teens who are just starting to menstruate – especially if they’re from underrepresented communities. They’re working to set up the next gen of people who menstruate with better access to products and information so they can feel confident while navigating their bodies’ natural changes.

“We’re dedicated to encouraging families to openly communicate about period and puberty education,” Crystal Etienne, founder of Ruby Love, told POPSUGAR. “We launched our bestselling first-period kits that include educational materials that challenge common misconceptions about puberty and equip teens with the tools they need to embrace their periods.”

Products like these are so important since a woman’s period has major impacts on her life.

A lot of people learn about menstruation and proper period care after having their first period, sometimes even years later. This has a huge impact on access to period care products and education and takes its toll on society as a whole.

For instance, in North America, up to 70 per cent of girls and women have missed school or work because of their period, according to research by UNESCO. Then there’s the very serious issue of health effects. At least one study found that Black women are three times more likely to experience more severe period symptoms than white women, thanks to noncancerous growths in the uterus that can cause heavy periods.

“While the first period talk is an important introduction to puberty, the topic still remains taboo in many families,” Crystal explained to POPSUGAR.

“This can especially be true in minority groups who have traditionally been left out of the conversation due to stigmas surrounding the topic. As a mother, I know how important it is to have a menstrual-care option that is safe, easy to use, and helps celebrate a young girl’s growth. Discussing menstruation as a monumental rite of passage and making her first period experience as positive as possible influences how a young girl views menstruation,” she added.

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There Are Literally No Tampons Available In Mexico City Since They Were Banned For Environmental Reasons

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There Are Literally No Tampons Available In Mexico City Since They Were Banned For Environmental Reasons

Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images via Getty Images

Few people would argue against the fact that tampons are 100% absolutely an essential item. In fact, many governments are trying to make tampons (among other feminine care products) more accessible to women by offering them for free or low-cost.

However, Mexico’s capital city has taken a different approach by outright banning the sale of tampons. The move comes as a second part to Mexico City’s recent ban on single use products for environmental reasons. And although many are applauding the city for taking drastic action to curb the use of wasteful products, many critics point out that the government should of provided alternatives for women.

Mexico City has banned tampons as part of its ban on single use products.

As of this week, it has become impossible to find tampons in any part of Mexico City’s bustling metropolis. The city that’s home to more than 20 million people no longer sales the single-use plastic tampons that so many women have come to rely on.

The ban comes as a result of the ban on single-use plastics that took effect January 1. The newspaper Milenio reported that it was unable to locate the feminine care products anywhere in the capital but noted that they are widely available in neighboring México state, where disposable plastics remain legal.

Mexico City Environment Minister Mariana Robles asserted in January that single-use plastics, among which are disposable cutlery, cups and straws – and tampons with plastic applicators – are “not really essential.”

Alessandra Rojo de la Vega, a Mexico City lawmaker with the Green Party, said that menstrual cups are an “excellent alternative” to tampons, adding that they are environmentally friendly.

“Let’s incentivize their use to reduce contamination,” she said, asserting that the government should distribute them to women free of charge. But those on Twitter had no patience for lawmakers telling women what menstrual products they should and shouldn’t use.

The city’s environmental minister has argued that single-use plastic tampons aren’t really essential.

Despite officials saying that single-use tampons aren’t really essential, many women across the capital clearly disagreed with the “nonessential” classification and have taken to social media to voice their opposition to their prohibition.

“Stop legislating with privilege, tampons are essential products,” one Twitter user said in a post directed to Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum.

“Suggesting the use of a menstrual cup is not the solution,” Twitter user Miss Maple said in a post directed to Mayor Sheinbaum and the Mexico City government.

“I can’t believe how idiotic we are in Mexico,” tweeted Daniela García, a journalist in Nuevo León, above a link to a news report on the absence of tampons on the shelves of Mexico City stores.

“As if women didn’t [already] confront all kinds of problems, now the government imposes a new one on them – no tampons,” tweeted Carlos Elizondo, an academic at the Tec de Monterrey university.

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Users On Reddit Enduring anorexia During The Holidays

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Users On Reddit Enduring anorexia During The Holidays

Heritage Images / Getty

*Trigger Warning: The accounts and pieces of advice in this piece are related to eating disorders and might be upsetting for those struggling or in recovery.*

Just about everyone knows that the holidays often bring an increase in food consumption. With that can come quite a bit of anxiety. After all, just around the corner comes the new year which brings diet and weight shaming season. Advertisers make us feel as if we have to rectify the “wrong” food choices we made at the end of the previous year. This undoubtedly can poorly affect the way we see ourselves at a time when we should feel excited about the new year. In some cases, this can be particularly hard for those who are or have previously suffered from anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorder, or more generalized disordered eating.

Users on Reddit who’ve endured eating disorders are sharing tips and stories about getting through the holidays.

Check out some of the tips below!

  1. Think about what holiday-specific triggers you might run into so you can put some coping mechanisms in place.
  2. Make a plan ahead of time with your therapist, physician, nutritionist, or whoever else makes up your support team.
  3. If you are worried about there being “safe” foods available, offer to bring a side dish you feel comfortable eating.
  4. Let go of the notion that the holidays mean you should be happy.
  5. Tell your family what comments and phrases make you uncomfortable.
  6. Do all your favorite self-care activities in the days leading up to the food-centric holiday.
  7. Come up with secret signals with people who support you in your recovery to alert them when you need some time or are triggered.
  8. Make sure to eat breakfast and lunch as you normally would before a holiday dinner.
  9. If people start making annoying comments about what you’re eating, just smile and don’t reply.
  10. Text someone who knows what you’re going through so you can support each other.
  11. Throwback to the non-food-related holiday activities you enjoyed as a kid.
  12. Plan reasons to leave the room ahead of time so you have an excuse when you need a breather.
  13. Pick a seat at the table where it’s easier to exit without drawing attention to yourself, just in case.
  14. Focus on nostalgic foods that remind you of happy memories.
  15. Wait until the people who comment about your eating are gone to enjoy your favorite parts of the meal.
  16. Find a way to give back or support others.
  17. Journal your thoughts and feelings before the meal.
  18. Ask someone to keep you accountable in whatever way you need.
  19. Concentrate on socializing and enjoying the company of others.
  20. Forgive yourself if the day is hard for you and doesn’t go the way you want it to.
  21. And finally, don’t push yourself — if you feel like you can’t be around certain people or food in order to stay in recovery, then don’t.” –u/autobuzzfeedbot

Bring your own food.

Most likely at least few people will be contributing dishes on the day – make and bring something along you absolutely know is safe and you can eat if everything else is too scary.

Our safe foods are all different but a few ideas would be:

  • Platters. Fruit, cut up veggies, crackers, cheese, hummus, dips, anti pesto, meats, whatever you’re comfortable with. Easy to chip away at and sustain your energy throughout the day without feeling like it’s too overwhelming.
  • Salads. You can have a big plate full of salad and no one will bat an eye. Lots of veggies, but you can also add things like strawberries, boiled eggs, beetroot, dressings, nuts, cheese, croutons, meats/faux meats, tomatoes, pomegranate, onions, etc (probably not all together but some interesting combos are really good)
  • Veggie bakes. I’ve made huge veggie lasagnas that were incredibly delicious and seemed super normal. You can use things like low fat cheese or vegan cheese alternatives or even cashews/potatoes blended up with nooch to make a cheesy sauce to bake a bunch of veggies in. Add in tomato sauce and pasta/pasta sheets (I use GF ones) (or layers of starchy veg like potato and pumpkin) and you’ve got yourself a pasta bake/lasagna without oil, cheese, gluten or meat. Of course it’s not the same as the real thing but with a lot of strategic herbs and garlic, almost as good!
  • Desserts! I’ve made so many nice and ‘safe’ raw vegan brownies/cakes/etc, but also things like meringues (egg whites + sugar/sugar alternatives), healthy cookies and cakes, parfaits, apple crumble and sugar free soy-custard, the possibilities are endless!! Just make sure you try it before offering it to your family, because some recipes really don’t work.

Wear something nice but also comfy

Everyone eats more than they usually would on days like this. One day will not significantly affect your body or weight. One day of overeating and not compensating will NOT make you gain pounds and pounds of fat.

So wear something forgiving. Wear something you feel confident in and also has room to move in. Skinny jeans, bodycon anything, tight waistbands – all no nos.

I’m in the Southern Hemisphere so it’ll be warm on Christmas Day. I’m wearing a beautiful flowy dress that covers my legs and belly and makes me feel great.

Previous years I’ve worn: T-Shirt dresses, Maxi dresses, rompers/play suits, knitted stretchy high waisted pants and a boob tube, flowy high waisted pants and a matching crop top, stretchy high waisted skirt and a light knit baggy sweater.

If it’s winter where you are: Perfect! Rug up and get cosy in clothes you love. Or wear a big ugly sweater and look cute as hell doing it.

When people offer you food you don’t want

Smile and politely say “No Thank You.” And return to conversation. You don’t need to justify why, just leave it at no.

If you receive food presents

Don’t freak out, you don’t need to eat it in front of them to show your gratitude. If you think it will trigger a binge and/or purge, you can later re-gift it to someone else over the next couple of days, or give it to another family member the next day. But I strongly recommend allowing yourself to enjoy it in moderation. One year I got a box of 30 beautiful artisan dark chocolates. I had one every second or third day until March the next year. It was lovely to have a gift for that long and to always have something to look forward to in a day or two. I liked it so much that dark chocolate is something I’ll still treat myself to every other week and I’m able to do so with moderation and genuine pleasure.

If people comment on your weight/looks/what you’re eating or if someone gives you the “you look so healthy/good and your brain twists it negatively

1st option: if it’s malicious/negative – ignore that person and move to someone you like. Don’t give them power over you.

1st option part 2: shut them down with full force (there’s always at least some drama on family get-togethers)

2nd option: for well-meaning comments – this one is up to you. Remind yourself that most people do not get eating disorders and meant whatever they said from a place of love, encouragement and caring. They love you and honestly just want to see you live your life fully. They don’t want you to suffer.

Looking healthy is a compliment. You’re glowing, you’re radiant, you’re bright and alert, you’re warm and affectionate, you look beautiful. You look beautiful for more than what a camera can capture. Our eyes see so much more than the physical.

General Hecticness

A lot of us thrive in routine, habit, structure. This disturbed can be extremely scary and stressful.

  • You can give yourself structure to the day by writing out what’s going to happen, roughly. Things like:

{wake up 8am, shower, wear x and x, finish wrapping presents, 10am drive to Mums. 11am-4pm Lunch at Mum’s. 4pm-5pm Drive to Dads. 5pm-9pm Dinner with Dad and family. 9pm Drive home. 10pm cuddle with [pet/partner] and organise my gifts.}

  • Give yourself time outs whenever you need them. Go to the bathroom or sit outside for a few minutes and re-group. I carry essential oils to smell whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, find what works for you.
  • Hang around your favourite person. Could be your same-age cousin or your quite old grandpa. Could be your dad or mum or bf/gf or your aunts cat. Your little niece. Whoever you need it to be.

I know some of these won’t apply/won’t help some people because we all do different things and have different familiars but I hope it helps someone, or just prompts someone to have a think about how to prepare themselves for the day and hopefully a bit of harm reduction too.” –u/traumabroccoli

“This year I had managed to break out of the binge restrict cycle and stop binge eating. I had lost all the weight I had gained and have been eating out and exercising consistently.

The holidays are absolutely triggering me. I keep eating “junk” food and eating too much and all the guilt has started to come back. I’m scared I’ll gain all the weight back and I still feel just as big as before and have the strongest desire to lose weight but I keep eating too much.

I know I can’t be too strict on myself as that triggers binges, but this feels so hard. I feel so big and ugh I’m obsessed with eating and the only thing that makes me feel better is if I exercise. I’m going to try to stick to my 3 meals a day and snacking when hungry no matter how huge my desire to restrict is. I’m so scared of weight gain but not as scared as I am about falling back into binge eating.

Wish I could make a meal and exercise plan and fast forward my life for 3 months and just wake up feeling thin and not have to deal with over eating or any thoughts about it. I’m not even a “fat” weight, it just feels and looks “fat” on me. One part of me feels like if I lose weight and gain muscle and hit a certain number I’ll feel satisfied but another part of me is scared I’ll never be happy.”- u/narkreturn

“I would really suggest looking into intuitive eating. It sounds counterintuitive, but the more guilty you feel for bingeing, the more likely it is to keep happening. You basically have to accept however your body wants to eat for it to even out.” –momunist

“You’re not alone. I struggle with my eating less now, but I still struggle. And I’ve been in support groups, and heard recordings of support groups, where people talk about doing everything under the sun with food. I know from experience how terrible it feels to lose control, but really, no matter what you do or have done, someone else has been there too. I don’t know if this will help but thought it could.

People have so many reasons for bingeing, and so few, in a way. For me it is like a drug, but I don’t think it’s that way for everyone. The other posts have covered some likely reasons. I think it’s usually the best solution the person believes they have to whatever challenge they are facing at the time. It may feel ungraceful or illogical, but it’s completely human.”-Coeurahge

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