Now, I won’t patronise you by being TOO disingenuous about this Olympics-themed Tampax advert. For a start, the Olympics are over (although you just about have time to nip to the loo and make a cup of tea before the Paralympics are upon us) and this commercial for for Tampax Pearl - quite without my help - already vibrates with tongue-in-cheek badinage:
However, in case you’re one of the four people who don’t already know this ad by heart, let me break it down for you:
A young high-jumper with an Olympian uterus is about to, hopefully without metaphor, attempt a Fosbury Flop.
Suddenly Amy Poehler from Saturday Night Live rocks up, dressed as a Republican, and delivers the athlete’s period. It’s in a box, which seems unhygienic. I’m disappointed. I always thought Amy Poehler was better than that.
Luckily, because Procter & Gamble is an Olympic sponsor, the Olympic Village is a hotbed of Pringles, anti-dandruff shampoo, and tampons with rounded plastic applicators.
All of this means that our athlete is at the peak of her game despite her untimely menstruation, and she celebrates this by leaping clear of the pole and diving gracefully into Amy Poehler’s head. FIN.
I don’t know about you, but I think Tampax are going about their advertising in completely the wrong way. It’s silly to imply that, after four years’ focused training, something like a PERIOD would stop us in our tracks. Imagine Jessica Ennis stopping shy of the 800m mark to unwrap a pantyliner. Exactly.
So, Tampax – and advertising in general – I have prepared the following collage. I call it:
REALISTIC THINGS TO MARKET AT HUMAN MENSTRUATING WOMEN
1. BLACK SHORTS. Not white shorts. Are you mad? Think of the potential leakage. Also: slimming, apparently.
2. THOR, for smiting enemies (slow walkers; that thing where your hair sticks to your lip gloss; Jeremy Kyle).
3. A TEACUP PIG to clasp to your belly when you have cramps. Because teacup pigs are nature’s hot water bottles.
4. ONE FREE PASS for looking at the Daily Mail sidebar without anyone’s conscience intervening.
5. ARAGORN in case you need to smite something and Thor’s in the loo.
6. DOOGIE HOWSER, MD to explain why you DON’T have Space Hepatitis after you’ve spent an hour Googling your symptoms and are now weepily composing your will.
7. TWO PLUMS so you can try to explain period pains to the men in your life by trilling “IMAGINE THESE ARE YOUR TESTICLES” then tossing them into a blender.
8. A MEAL DEAL VOUCHER for Domino’s pizza because, y’know.
9. A UNIVERSAL SICK NOTE FROM YOUR MUM because although feminism teaches us that simply having uterus (or a period ) doesn’t exempt us from any part of life, it ALSO teaches us that we can demur from any activity (taxing conversations; the washing-up; Mondays) if we CHOOSE to.
10. THE FEMALE EUNUCH, THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING, AND ALL THE HARRY POTTER BOOKS, because oh look, bugger off. I’m on my PERIOD.
Oh and, obviously, OBVIOUSLY, some cry-porn
Again, you are WELCOME, advertising.