• Nicole Sherwin

You Don't Own Me

The social taboo pushback is taking flight. It's time to #liveliberated.

Source: Libra, Youtube


Last week, we spoke on the podcast about social taboos. And ever since, I've been more revved up than your neighbour's 1993 Commodore. So imagine my delight when I noticed a whole national campaign dedicated to the cause on tv.


First, I heard the song ‘You Don’t Own Me,’ which honestly, I’d like to have cued up and ready to go for so many instances in life, like whenever someone tells me I need to smile more. I’ll just be waiting for my coffee outside the café, scrolling the 'gram with my resting face on neutral, when some nice man comes up to me and says, ‘Why don’t you try smiling, sweetheart?’ And I would just look up at him expressionless and, ‘Don’t tell me what to do, and don’t tell me what to say!’ starts playing from my phone. Or I’ll be in the supermarket aisle, trying to pay for my half-price Maltesers while my baby is screaming in her pram when some Karen behind me says, ‘Why don’t you just pick her up?’ I just look at her and the baby stops screaming. ‘Don’t tell me what to do!'

Said ad. Source: Libra.


So, I heard the song, took the bait and un-glazed my eyes to see that yes, the accompanying visuals were equally as compelling. A series of people flipping a theoretical, giant, American Eagle-sized bird to societal taboos. A fit AF woman, looking like fire in a strappy dress checking herself out in a mirror, because society says only men can shred for Stereo. A group of friends out for dumplings, and one openly puts a pad on the Lazy Susan to spin over to her friend, because society expects women to breed, but we should never openly talk about what our bodies go through to make that happen. Lastly, a regular gal in her undies loving her body sick, because society says you’re too fat, you’re too skinny, you’re too light, you’re too dark, you’ve got stretch marks, you’re too flabby, you’re too strong, you’re too tall, you’re too short, you are not enough. And the women in this ad were saying, "I’m actually amazing."

It’s not surprising that this message comes from a period brand, because despite that fact that a period is as intrinsic to the female sex as boobs, which we’re seemingly allowed to talk about or obsess about, after six million years of human existence, we still can’t talk about periods. Which honestly, explains a lot about society as a whole.


It's also not surprising that that period brand is Libra. Because, in contradiction to the classic depiction of periods in ads, like women on the beach wearing white in really good moods, avoiding all mention of the actual subject at hand, Libra isn't afraid to call a spade a spade. You'll definitely recall their groundbreaking ad last year as part of the 'Blood Normal' campaign, which dared to actually show BLOOD.

Source: GIPHY


Four out of five women still feel like there is a stigma attached to periods. But also more broadly, 91% of women generally feel like society puts pressure on them, so this campaign, aptly titled #livedliberated, was created to challenge the status quo and encourage people to lift the lid on the social pressure cooker.

We previously spoke about period stigma in our segment Flipping An American Eagle Sized Bird To Social Taboos, but here's a refresher as to why we're more done with the period stigma than we are with Mean Girls on The Bachelor:


Periods Don't Exist

Source: lovelibra.com.au


We bleed every single month and it’s brutally painful. If you’re someone who doesn’t get periods, imagine being kicked in the balls, but constantly for five days straight. The pain is stronger than UV rays, it burns from your ovaries through to your lower back. If you have endometriosis, it’s even worse and that affects 1 in 10 Australian & New Zealand women. That’s like having your ovaries shredded with burning pokers. So, when you say, "Oh, someone’s got their period" when we’re in a mood - yeah we probably are, because we’re angry at how much pain we’re in.

Source: GIPHY.


Aside from the pain, here are some fun stats that I have taken the liberty of forecasting:

- We have to bid farewell to approximately 5.8 pairs of underwear and 2.1 sets of sheets per year due to rogue blood travels;

- Depending on our preferences, some of us forgo sexy time approximately 12.3 times per year;

- We live in perpetual fear of the white bullet dropping its string out of our bikinis at the beach each summer and

- We uncontrollably ‘Kim Kardashian’-style cry during any scene that evokes the slightest emotional twinge.

But we go through all this so we can literally keep humanity from extinction. So, here’s a few things we can all do to thank us for our bodily sacrifice each month:

Accurate description. Source: GiPHY.


1. Call it ‘a period.’ Look - I love a nickname. Calling your period the ‘Crimson Wave’, or the ‘Red River’ is like when you take flavoured Panadol. You know it’s still shit, but the cherry flavour makes it a little more palatable. But at the end of the day, I can call it a period, because that’s what it is. If you can’t say the word at all, it’s because you don’t want to know about it or acknowledge it, and you’re therefore part of the problem.

2. Stop hiding your products. Whatever. Slide a pad across the table, chuck a tamps across the road to your desk buddy.


At the least, it will let people know to stay the fuck out of your way for the next few days, which now that I’m saying it, why haven’t I thought of this sooner? At best, it’s a little step to fighting the stigma and taboo.

Source: Libra, Youtube.


I hope you’re inspired to #liveliberated and if you want, you can also join celebs like Abbie Chatfield and share your stories of leaving a bag of burning dog poop on the porch of social taboos at liveliberated.com.au


Thirsty for more? Enlighten your earholes with a new ep of the Large Almond Latte Podcast every Tuesday.

Disclaimer: Nicole is an employee of Asaleo Care.

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