The leading expert authority on all things colour wants you to think, and think hard about the taboo that surrounds periods. Even in this day and age, menstruation is looked upon as something alien, forbidding a normal life in many communities and several parts of our country because of the myths that surround it. It is also no new news that access to sanitary pads, basic healthcare and education is still lacking in numerous parts of the world.
In a bid to add to the much-needed conversation, Pantone unveiled a new shade which aims to promote 'period positivity'. Below, the details of the custom colour.
The new shade is made in collaboration with the Swedish brand 'INTIMINA' which focuses on making a range of intimate health products available. Titled 'Period', the scarlet red shade is a part of the brand's 'Seen+Heard' campaign, one that aims to promote open conversation around the subject.
The process of sweeping any conversation about periods under the rug has been deeply embedded in our society. Sanitary pads layered in newspapers and opaque bags at convenience stores, making girls sleep on rugs on the floor when they bleed and ignoring the existence of the natural process is a common sight, deeply embedded in many cultures. It was only last year that the 26 minutes long film Period. End Of Sentence picked up the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short film), sparking conversation about period stigma. All of this, however, still leaves out the fact that there are people other than women who bleed.
And that's why, what's heartening and absolutely on-point about the Pantone Colour Institute and INTIMINA's step is that they do not exclude people who menstruate from the entire conversation, removing the myth that periods are a 'girl/woman thing'. Many cisgender women, assigned female at birth, may not menstruate while non-binary people and trans men do. Meaning that its high time our vocabulary be inclusive of people who menstruate rather than assuming it to be just women.
Here's what Pantone's statement on the shade read: "An active and adventurous red hue, courageous Period emboldens people who menstruate to feel proud of who they are. To own their period with self-assurance; to stand up and passionately celebrate the exciting and powerful life force they are born with; to urge everyone regardless of gender to feel comfortable to talk spontaneously and openly about this pure and natural bodily function."
The Pantone Color Matching System introduced by the firm in 1963 is one that is accepted globally as the colour reproduction system. It is used across the world, from up-and-coming design firms to leading luxury houses. And this step by Pantone certainly helps further the conversation about period stigma and break the many myths and superstitions that surround it, on a universal scale no less.
Featured Image: Instagram