Yoga instructor and fitness star, Stephanie Gongora, took to Instagram last week to share a powerful statement in an effort to put an end to period shaming. Her video of herself 'free-bleeding' through white yoga pants has gone viral and been viewed a crazy 340,000 times! And it's growing every minute...
In the inspiring post, the yogi performs a series of challenging yoga moves without using sanitary items (such as a cup, tampon, or pad) while menstruating - a dark blood stain visibly soaking through her white pants.
“I am woman, therefore, I bleed,” she captioned the post. “It’s messy, it’s painful, it’s terrible and it’s beautiful. And yet, you wouldn’t know. Because I hide it. I bury things at the bottom of the trash. I breathe, ragged and awkward through the cramps, all the while holding onto this tight-lipped, painted-on smile.”
“Hundreds of years of culture have made us embarrassed to bleed, have left us feeling dirty and ashamed,” she continues. “Stop pretending. Stop using silly pet names like Aunt Flo because you’re too afraid to say ‘I’m bleeding’ or ‘vagina.’ Stop wasting so much effort hiding the very thing that gives this species continuity.”
“Start talking about it. Educate your daughters. Make them understand that it can be both an inconvenience and a gift, but never something to be ashamed about. Educate your sons so they don’t recoil from the word ‘tampon,’ so when a girl bleeds through her khaki shorts in third period (pun intended), they don’t perpetuate the cycle of shame and intolerance.”
“Over 100 million young women around the globe miss school or work for lack of adequate menstrual supplies and fear of what might happen if the world witnesses a natural bodily function,” she writes. Why?”
Gongora’s video has been flooded with negative comments, with some labelling her as “gross.” But scattered amongst the negativity, there are women who have praised the yogi for taking a stand and attempting to end the taboo of menstruation.
Speaking with Cosmpolitan, Gongora revealed her motivation behind the bold post. “I knew a bright red blood spot on pristine white pants would make a statement in a society that rarely takes the time to actually read,” she said, "I’ve been successful in getting people to talk about period shame, something that was shrouded in such silence for far too long.”
“It’s not like I’m going to start free bleeding. It would mean a lot of stained clothes, car seats, and sheets, so I don’t think it’s in the cards for me. But I do hope that this cycle of shame and intolerance around the very thing that gives our species continuity can, one day soon, stop.”
You can see Stephanie's video below 👇
What do you think about the 'free-bleeding' movement?
This article originally appeared on New Idea.