Menstruation brooches, rings, cuffs, and other sparkly trinkets are being created by London designer Lili Murphy-Johnson. The sparkle-lover in me is enchanted by the idea, the Menstrual Advocate wants to ponder this and go a little deeper…
“The idea came from me dealing with my own PMS,” Murphy-Johnson, 22, told Mashable. “The irritability and anxiety that I felt was stopping me from being able to think of ideas for a jewelry collection, so I decided to start by replicating these PMS symptoms into jewelry to get me started.”
I’m delighted by the creativity, yet am concerned by the way it is portrayed:
“There are lots of downsides to having your period – cramps, discomfort and pain among them” says Stuff – Life & Style “but a British designer has come up with an idea to improve things. Period jewelry… The young designer hopes the collection will change taboos around menstruation”
The message here is clear: periods are ‘bad’ things with many ‘downsides’ yet adding a little sparkle will change all that… The article continues: “Murphy-Johnson’s collection is a nod to those frustrating, messy leaks that women either endure or live in fear of during the average 450 periods they get in their lifetime.” Again, we are directed to think of the “frustrating messy leaks” as the epitome of menstruation, which alas can’t be controlled or changed, or so we are led to believe by ‘Stuff’ writer.
Lili Murphy-Johnson says: “I think a lot of people still find talking about menstruation difficult. A lot of people think it’s gross when people do talk about menstruation. I think the stigma of it is so ingrained in our culture that even if people know it’s logically not gross, it’s still difficult to feel comfortable about it.”
I would have like to see the conversation go deeper, wider… Why is menstruation “logically not gross?” What is the actual substance of menstruation? Why should women be empowered by it? These essential questions are not asked, neither answered, by jewelry wearing.
Period jewelry is lovely,
yet it needs to be an artistic beginning, not an end result!
“I hope it can give a space for people to talk about it” says Murphy-Johnson “if it can change anyone’s perceptions that would be great.” It’s hard to build a positive tower on negative foundations. Rather than period Jewelry in itself changing anyone’s perceptions, education is needed to accompany it. Otherwise why would any girl or woman want to boast jewelry that depicts what she thinks of as trash?
What are Your thoughts?
Would you wear Period Jewelry? And is wearing it enough to change negative cultural tides?