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Pantone releases a bold new color to combat taboo during menstruation

Written by Jackie Palumbo, CNN

Pantone has released a bold new shade of red called “Period” to help destigmatize menstruation.

The new shade – “an energizing and dynamic red shade that promotes the positivity of the period”, said in a press release – launched as part of the Seen + Heard campaign, an initiative of the Swedish women’s care brand Intimina.

Pantone Color Institute vice president Lori Pressman described the color as a “confident red” that can help encourage positive conversations about menstruation.

“An active and adventurous shade of red, a bold period encourages those who menstruate to feel proud of what they are ̵

1; to have their period with confidence; to stand up and passionately celebrate the exciting and powerful life force with which they were born; urge everyone, regardless of gender, to feel comfortable talking spontaneously and openly about this pure and natural bodily function, ”Pressman said in an email.

Menstruation remains a taboo subject in many parts of the world, affecting people’s health, education and socio-economic status.

In India, for example, women are sometimes forbidden to cook or touch anyone during the period because they are considered unclean or dirty, which can contribute to a culture of silence and misinformation about hygiene practices. And in the midwestern region of Nepal, a 2019 study found that the practice of getting girls to sleep in menstruation huts is still widespread, although across the country prohibition.

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The stigma also affects women in the United States, where poverty during the period – lack of access to affordable menstrual hygiene products – affects one in five teenagers.

“Despite the fact that billions of people are menstruating, it has historically been treated as something that should not be seen or talked about in public,” Danela Jagar, global manager of Intimina, said in a statement.

“And if we look at popular culture, images of periods range from wildly inaccurate and unsympathetic to objects of joke and ridicule.”

Positivity of the construction period

Pantone’s latest initiative joins a number of recent efforts to raise the profile of the so-called “positivity of the period” movement.

In 2019, a short documentary called “Period. End of Sentence”, directed by Raika Zehtabchi, won an Oscar. Later that year, the Unicode Consortium, a non-profit organization that develops and approves new emojis, introduced a “drop of blood” symbol following a campaign for the rights of girls and the children’s charity Plan International.
While Pantone is best known for its Color of the Year (which this year became a classic blue, a balm for uncertain times), it has also released colors related to social and environmental issues.
Classic blue has been declared the color of the year by Pantone for 2020.

Classic blue has been declared the color of the year by Pantone for 2020. Credit: Pantone

In May, the organization released Pippi Longstocking Orange as part of the Save the Children on the Move initiative. Then, after choosing Living Coral as the color of the year 2019, Pantone partnered with Ocean Agency and Adobe to release Glowing Blue, Glowing Yellow and Glowing Purple – shades based on the fluorescent colors produced by corals when are threatened by ocean warming.

“Color is one of the most powerful forms of expression we can use to attract attention and hear our voices,” Pressman said.

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