A transgender male model will be the spokesperson for a new campaign designed to erase the stigma surrounding female monthly periods.
Why? According to the company, it's because transgenders are underrepresented when it comes to period-related issues and products.
Who is the transgender male model?
Kenny Jones, a bearded transgender male, is working with activists, fashion designers, and writers for the ‘I’M ON’ campaign by Pink Parcel, a company that ships tampons, sanitary napkins, and other feminine care products. It also publishes a newsletter and offers advice on various female issues.
Specifically, "just eight percent of period related online content depicts the experience of the trans community, with 92 percent viewing periods from a binary perspective only."
This means that a person, who does not want to be a woman and who reportedly hasn't had a period in seven years, is now the face of a distinctly female experience.
Part of Jones' campaign will address how he "suffered with his periods" while transitioning, starting at age 14. He "shaved his head and changed his name" at age 16, according to published reports.
In an interview on Pink Parcel's website, the 23-year-old Jones reported feeling confused as he transitioned from female to male and still had periods.
“I remember that my body didn’t understand what was going on,” Jones says in an interview on Pink Parcel’s website. “I didn’t want my period and there was a lot of confusion within myself. It did make me realize that periods weren’t something I wanted to happen to me and it motivated and pushed me to further my transition.”
A question-and-answer section on the website reads:
"What do you love most about your body now?
“My torso! I went from being a skinny boy to a grown man with a six-pack and a beard. It took me years to get to this comfortable place within myself and now I’m going to show the world.”
Jones also lamented over periods not abruptly ending.
“I think this is a topic that is rarely discussed since so many transgender individuals will attempt to hide this point of their life,” he said. “I believe the biggest misconception is that it will be over in a flash — it stays with you forever. Even though I no longer bleed, I still have the pain of periods from time to time.”
Why is Jones doing this?
In a news release, Jones stated:
I always found the fact that no one seemed to openly talk about periods quite difficult and made me want to hide mine even more. That’s why I wanted to be involved in [Pink Parcel’s] I’M ON campaign. We need to encourage everyone to talk about periods, whether they experience them directly or not. Sparking conversation is the first step to normalizing periods within society.
Pink Parcel, a British-based company, recently expanded to the U.S., and is selling the "I’M ON" T-shirts modeled by Jones.
The company also gives to the charity, Bloody Good Period, which donates menstrual products to refugees and those seeking asylum.