Period underwear is branching out into leak-proof exercise clothes, swimsuits, sleepwear – even blankets. Is this finally the end of tampons and pads?
I suppose everyone who has ever got their period has the same nightmare, though for most of us, it’s come true. Mine happened a couple of years ago while reporting at a festival on New York’s Governors Island. It was August, hot and sticky, and I was wearing a white linen dress and thin cotton underwear. I was interviewing people all day. Later, a woman came up to me. I thought she wanted to speak about the festival. It turned out she had something else on her mind.
“I brought you a bottle of water because I think you may have sat in something,” she said. Inside a portable toilet, I found a stain the size of a child’s football, the colour of rust and red grapes. I had got my period and hadn’t even noticed it until that dear woman saved me. It was the worst-case scenario, worthy of the “embarrassing story” section in a teen magazine, and yet I had been menstruating for 25 years. Who knows how long I had been walking around like that? I continue to be mortified by this story, and it’s a long way of saying that I should probably be someone who invests in period-wear.