Periods Happen

Visualising Research Project

This concertina timeline communicates the change in language and imagery about menstruation and sanitary products from 1921-2014. I gathered images and their complimentary texts from advertisements and combined them in a way to reveal the awkward language associated with this topic. Where descriptions used to be more poetic, today’s descriptions are truthful and real. I have selected particular words and phrases from ads to highlight the change in language over time; ‘Laundress Problem’, ‘yielding mass like fluffy cotton’, and ‘Are you sure I’ll still be a virgin?’. Most advertisements were primarily sourced from The Museum of Menstruation, a website curated by Harry Finley. Additional contemporary ads were found through online searches such as YouTube. This project aims to make you consider how we use language around this topic and how it’s differed throughout history.