“Girls have got balls. They’re just a little higher up, that’s all” – Joan Jett
I was on my bed; half curled up in my sunflower duvet, half leaning on the windowsill cluttered with photos of my school friends and half-eaten Pic N Mix bags. I was pretending the raindrops streaming down the glass were in a race to get to the bottom. I was bored, moody and feeling extra sorry for myself. All that was missing were the violins in the background, or a whole orchestra. I was only thirteen; why suddenly did my boobs feel like they were stuffed with balls of steel and why did I have a sudden urge to shit? I got up and there was the answer. I was dying. The Grim Reaper had found me and was making me bleed to death. And giving me the shits at the same time. I went downstairs to say goodbye to my family.
“It’s just your period, honey!” Mum laughed.
Fucking fantastic. So, in a nutshell, I was going to bleed every month for the foreseeable future, accompanied by wet farts and menstrual rage. I felt like a caged beast.
Mother Nature. She’s a funny woman, isn’t she? Throughout my adolescent years, she really pissed me off. I hated being a woman; half of my knickers got ruined (Always Ultra don’t Always Absorb), my boobs suddenly went from being ‘cute’ to ‘WATCH OUT’ and I briefly considered star-fishing in the garden when my step-dad mowed the lawn, because hair was sprouting out of me like a wild bush that couldn’t be tamed. The worst part? My friends appeared to hit it off straight away with Mother Nature; they always seemed to have legs as smooth as a wet dolphin, symmetrical breasts that sat perfectly in their pretty bras, and the lightest of light periods. Of course, this was most likely untrue, but thirteen-year-old me was convinced she had been hit the hardest. Cue the violins.
One day, I was moaning (again) to a girl from school about being a woman. I can’t remember who it was, but I remember vividly their response.
“Don’t you get it? All of this is great. Mother Nature loves ya!”
And there it was. A well-deserved slap in the face from Mother Nature. Was I looking at this all completely wrong?
In hindsight (what a wonderful fucking thing), yes, I was. As I grew older, instead of pure hatred and disgust, I formed a love/hate relationship with my two bouncy bumps on my chest; I even named them (they are called Phil and Grant because, like them, they do what the hell they want but are loveable all the same). I got used to my periods, however they never regulated normally so I took the magic pill (amen!) to manage them better. The other shocks of puberty, such as suddenly sprouting out hairs from everywhere, seemed to calm down and now my worries are revolved around the colours of my hair strands (not even grey, think more shiny silver you can spot from a mile away), and how long I can avoid shaving my legs and pits until someone notices. Overall, the current grown-up me thinks the female body is nothing to despise; in fact, it’s a miracle worker and a fucking genius.
Mother Nature doesn’t spring periods on most of us to be a bitch. She is giving us fertility – something that is taken for granted. Every month, our bodies get ready to cosily nest a baby for nine months, in case one of our eggs gets fertilized. Periods are just our bodies way of releasing any tissue that is no longer needed, if we don’t get pregnant. If we do get pregnant, the female body is even more transformative and impressive, and childbirth is a biological miracle alone, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time! I used to feel so sorry for myself during that time of the month, but now I realise it’s a gift. Mother Nature hasn’t given it to all women, and, for some, this is heart-breaking.
So, I embrace it all – the tits, the hairy pits and the monthly period shits (don’t pretend you don’t know what I mean). I love our hurricane of hormones and our viva la vagina’s. Most of us are blessed with the ability to carry a tiny egg inside us, as it grows and develops into a mini human, and then magically deliver a baby nine months later. If you aren’t, you may care or you may not, but you are still a woman so own it! Let’s face it, the female body is powerful and something to rave about, not be angry towards or ashamed of.
You’ve all got it, so all go and fucking flaunt it. You’re a woman, after all.
Liz @ TEWP x