So the title is probably bit more “umpf” than the entry that’s to follow… I told Bebe this morning the story and she got a kick out if it – she even gave me one of those really mischievous smirks (which are damn rare) so I thought I’d share with the world if it’s enough to amuse her. For those who are not aware, Shoppers Drug Mart, had Sunday & Monday sale for Stayfree Pads, Carefree Liners or O.B. Tampons for $1.99 (up to a limit of 4 I believe). By the time most people read this, the sale would already be long over, lest places that have time-difference or you’re willing to scrounge a 24-hour one.
Anyways, yesterday night I went with my mom to SDM to buy some eggs and milk, the typical “household fridge necessities” and then as we were lining up for the cash, I noticed one of those “bargain bins” where it listed that any items contained within were either $1 or $2. I started to sift through them and then I picked up a box of the new “Kleenex Cool Touch” tissue. I had ordered some samples in the mail so thought I’d just point it out to my mom that these were the ones I was talking about. She started getting all wound up about it and was like (hard to explain the actual reaction), “What?!! Why are you touching that box? Stop playing with feminine hygiene products! Are you buying it for bebe? If not, put the box down.” Obviously this is a translation since my mom was freaking out at me in Cantonese. I was like, “Umm… what are you talking about? This is tissue.” The funny thing though is when I picked it up, I had already known it was tissue, but when she began to freak out on me, for just a moment, I actually doubted myself whether I actually DID pick up a box of feminine hygiene products (because since I do buy them), but then I double checked and realized I picked up just a tissue box. My mom starts mumbling because I proved her wrong and she got all wound up about nothing.
Now to be honest, the box DOES look rather like a pad or tampon box, but I think she should’ve actually looked closer before raising hell about it. Trust me, it wasn’t just a simple thing she said, I could tell by the tone, loudness and speediness of her voice that she was wondering why I’d be buying feminine hygiene products, but luckily even if I was, now that I have bebe, I can at least put it on her tab and say I’m buying for her 😆 Here’s a picture of the Kleenex Brand – Cool Touch tissue:
I was slightly annoyed that she’d get all worked up over that, whether it was feminine hygiene or not, but conservative Asian moms will always be, conservative Asian moms.
On another note, today I had to travel to 5 SDM’s to get the pads and liners which bebe wanted (yes, they are actually for her this time 😛 – not for my girls to test). She wanted 3 packs and I managed to find 2 at one of the initial stores. Finally I went to one by my house, in a “smaller” and “less populated” area of town where luckily the shelves were still very much intact. The other 3 stores ran completely out-of-stock, just for the kind she likes… seems rather popular I guess. It seemed like there was every other Stayfree pad available, all except our fav as there was a huge hole in the shelf where they were placed, bummer… and at this price, it hasn’t happened in like 4 months so time to stock up while we can! I even went to SDM with one of my female coworkers so that was rather fun. She did want to buy some O.B. tampons, but she didn’t really have a place to hide them as she forgot her purse and her car was driven by her husband today. I suppose if she really wanted to, there are tons of places to hide them until the end-of-the-day, but she also had preference towards the U by Kotex tampons so even at such an attractive price for O.B. she still couldn’t take the dive.
Well I accomplished a lot today anyways, got 3 packs of Stayfree pads and 1 pack of Carefree liners to stock up bebe’s pad drawer! Counting down the days already to my sweetie’s period already 🙂 Just wish she had shorter cycles, lol!
So now it sucks that I have to point out this brand in particular, but, it’s right-on-topic with what I want to speak about. Being an avid fan of periods, perhaps I may not be as bothered by the idea of menstrual fluid, the sight, smell or even presence of it – but others may be, whether male or female. I can understand the fear that some girls may be self-conscious about their own smell or might even feel disgusted about their own smell that they would consider using scented products. This doesn’t just have to do with scented tampons or pads, but there is also quite a market out there of women who feel that they need to “feel fresh” by using things like vaginal wipes or sprays. My question is, “is it really necessary?”
Yes, our body does not emanate the most beautiful smells. Even those who use fragrance soaps and perfume – let’s face it, WE do not naturally smell good, we are only masking our own natural body smell. Suffice to say, it doesn’t mean we should discard hygiene and let ourselves smell like crap, but our body, especially our sensitive areas like our pubic region don’t need to smell like flower petals. Furthermore, we all know that these scents are just chemicals, so why on earth would we even consider putting chemicals near our private areas? If you don’t wash your face regularly with acid, then you probably wouldn’t want to stuff a scented tampon in your vagina. Sure, the chemicals in those aren’t as harsh as acid, but the bottom line is… that they’re still chemicals.
For many women who still continue to use conventional feminine hygiene products, disposable pads and tampons – they’re already subjecting themselves to many foreign materials and using scented products is just like adding salt to a wound. I’ve managed to persuade most of my girls who uses scented products to stay away from them or for ones who are self-conscious to only use scented products when they feel that their period smell may be exposed easily. We all like to smell good, I’m not sure how many people on this world enjoy smelling bad if they had a choice, but scented feminine hygiene products aren’t the way to go. Honestly, even a pad or tampon that has been worn to the maximum and leaking, menstrual fluid smell would still be minimal. As a female, ask yourself, how many people would even be close to your vagina? Unless you work in the sex industry or as a stripper, would there be that many people close enough to your vagina where they’d be able to smell you? It’d be perhaps, your partner or at least someone whom you are comfortable enough to be so intimately close to – so is covering up the smell that important?
Let’s consider scented tampons for a moment. A tampon goes inside the vagina and stays there until it’s withdrawn and then thrown away. Please feel free to justify the reasoning of why a scented tampon is necessary because once you pull it out, it goes right into the garbage or down the toilet. Would the smell of menstrual flow for the 2 seconds prior to disposal be so bad where it’d be necessary to have a scented product? Also, I’ve seen my fair share of scented products and really, even the most scented product isn’t enough to completely mask the smell of the menstrual fluid. Don’t believe me? If you have the guts, try it yourself. Scented pads are pretty bad because the pad is already rubbing against your pubic region the whole day and with tampons, it’s sitting inside your body for up to 8 hours a day, times the number of tampons you use per day. We may enjoy the idea of our outer regions smelling good and thus, we use heavily scented soaps or feminine wipes, but why does the inside of the vagina need to smell good? Douching has been a long-standing practice, especially for some cultures or backgrounds – but did you know that douching should be something that’s done only on the recommendation of a doctor? Douching can be bad for the vagina because it may upset the delicate pH balance of the vagina.
As I mentioned, I don’t know of too many of my girls who use scented products so for those who do or have used them, for what reason do you prefer scented products? I know some products don’t come with a choice, for instance, Stayfree pads used to have both scented and unscented versions – but not anymore as the all come slightly scented. I can understand if you’ve used a certain product for so long where you don’t feel persuaded to change products, but for those who are using a product such as Playtex tampons where they do have scented and unscented products – why would you opt to use the scented, especially knowing that it truly is unnecessary (or unless you have reasons to deem it necessary)? This is not meant to entice an argument or to say that those who uses scented products as “wrong” – but rather, let us discuss the pros and cons and weigh them as to whether using scented products is a sound idea.
For the women who use liners on a daily basis to stay fresh, then perhaps I can under that manufactures want to add scent to it to encourage the idea that a good smell is the way you stay fresh. You can’t stay fresh just by relying on a scented pantiliner, but also with proper hygiene and changing of underwear on a regular or daily basis. I understand that some women get discharge regularly or have to deal with overactive vaginal lubrication, which sometimes doesn’t have the most pleasent smell or causes that “damp” feeling against your vagina, but yet, isn’t that the point of underwear? Underwear was meant to provide us with a buffer between our bodily fluids and the rest of the world. I looked up the “purpose of underwear” and one important point that came up is that underwear is to “support and protect your genital“. With that said, a bit of gunk on your underwear isn’t going to cause major issues unless you have a very heavy discharge or soaking issue, then, I can see the necessity of wearing a pantiliner regularly.
The vagina, just like any part of our body requires “breathing space” and using a pantiliner every day prevents that. Pantiliners, as part of a pre-menstrual and post-menstrual application is reasonable, but every day is almost excessive. Beyond the consideration of having your vagina stuffed up by products, also consider wearing underwear that’s more air permeable. Wearing breathable articles of clothing may make you think that just exposes your “smell” more, but by improving the OVERALL HEALTH of your pubic area, you are helping it, not hindering it.
Remember the reasons why you chose scented products in the first place, review it and see if it still really makes sense to stick with them! If you want to smell good, consider all your other healthier options.