The Hello Flo commercial: Helpful or not?

HelloFlo

This is one of those subjects where the older generation and younger generation part ways. A commercial for girls that is bold, honest, and up front about a subject discussed only in whispers and nervous titters when I was young. “Proper young ladies” just didn’t talk about their periods. And we certainly weren’t assailed with commercials discussing feminine hygiene. (Actually, I don’t know if this one is airing anywhere or if it’s only on YouTube.)

Happily I am decades beyond having to think about such things. So I don’t know. The service — mail order tampons — sounds worthwhile for girls shy about buying such things at the store. But if they’re that shy about it, mightn’t they find such commercials a bit heavy handed? And do girls today start with tampons instead of pads? I’m clueless. I didn’t have a daughter and my granddaughter is still too young to worry about it.

What do you think? Is this commercial a good idea? A bad idea? Helpful or not?

14 comments

  1. It’s a great idea from a creative standpoint.

    It takes a somewhat embarrassing subject and puts a no holds barred spin on it. It takes something that’s associated with weakness and colors it with strength. Btw, no, girls don’t start with tampons usually these days (though, that’s just a guess based on my own experience).

  2. Good grief PT, I’ve always been so shy when it comes to things like that that I’m not even sure if I’m qualified to judge. Hell, even now, in my late 50s, the idea of buying condoms still makes me cringe.

    On the other hand, being ashamed of the hands nature dealt us is really kind of silly. After all, no one has a choice over how their body functions. So perhaps the real message to young girls should be to “suck it up” and demand the respect they deserve rather than hiding what they are while waiting on their “brown paper wrapped” relief packages. The “boot camp” style humor of that video might be just the thing for that message!

    1. I’m not ashamed of being female but I’ve always been embarrassed to have to buy such products in front of other people (where are all the female checkers when I need one!?). Can’t help it. I’m extremely shy and have always considered such things to be very personal and very private. Mail order would have been a blessing.

      Sure, women deserve respect, but we deserve it despite the way our bodies function, not because of it. I don’t think the issue here warrants either pride or shame. It’s just something women have to deal with. Preferably in private. Like a number of other bathroom-related functions.

  3. Having a tween granddaughter makes this of special interest to me. She turns 12 next month. I am very much in favor of sex education simply because I know that most families have historically done a poor job of it. The ready availability of porn on the internet makes early sexual experience much more likely now than it was a half century ago and it’s a lot better that she get the facts rather than some of the myths and superstitions that are always there. Mere knowledge of the facts is not going to cause experimentation of itself, and knowledge of the dangers and the protections available could be life-saving. Straight talk on the subject is vital because STD’s are perhaps more prevalent than ever, not to mention AIDS. I have been nagging my son to get her the HIV vaccinations for the same reasons and he is dragging his feet for some reason. Maybe it’s denial.

    1. But this has nothing to do with having sex or preventing STDs. It’s about female biology and personal hygiene. I think that puts it in a different category. Sort of.

      1. But this has nothing to do with having sex or preventing STDs.

        I must disagree, PT. The start of menstruation means the onset of puberty, and that has everything to do with sex. Raging hormones affect not only the function of the reproductive machinery but, profoundly, motivation and social behavior in both sexes. I have always believed in the way of science, which in this instance means imparting knowledge of all aspects of the hormonal tornado before it hits kids of this age. That’s the only way I can see society diminishing STD’s and preventing so many unwanted births and coat-hanger abortions. Especially the latter, since the good ole GOP is being so successful in shuttering clinics all over the country.

        1. Absolutely our kids must receive proper sex education. But this ad deals only with feminine hygiene, something that would be necessary whether or not there were any boys around. It rightly leaves sex education to others, in venues more appropriate than a commercial.

        2. Yes, I understand, but at the risk of belaboring the point, the title of your post is “helpful or not?”. Knowledge and open discussion of such topics is, I submit, part and parcel of the debate over sex education. If it is deemed “not helpful”, then what would be the basis for that conclusion? I think it would the reluctance to discuss sexual matters publicly.

        3. I suppose with “not helpful,” I was thinking some people might object to the topic being discussed so openly, or the girl’s pitiless attitude when she tells the girl with cramps to “suck it up, this is your life now.” And I found the teddy bear demonstration distasteful and unnecessary. It’s a very “in your face” way to sell a mail order tampon service.

  4. I think it’s hilarious. I hated all the hush-hush surrounding a perfectly normal function. I remember having to tell my mother what was going on, rather than the other way around. Learned about it from an older girlfriend. Though the cramps weren’t any fun. At least Advil came along decades later.

  5. The world is so very different now…it used to be certain bodily functions weren’t mentioned in public – and to encounter tampax ads in mixed company was quite embarrassing.
    A little extreme perhaps, but there was dignity and private was private.
    The video is very commercial and a marketing piece cleverly done by them – trying to hit all the thinking by that age group. If it was really designed to be helpful, it would have been scripted differently.
    This is all about product aimed at a very young market.
    And that “suck it up attitude” is totally annoying and wrong – one said by those(male and female) who don’t experience the pain, shakes, and lightheadedness.
    Videos, fine, but this one’s selling selling selling to a vulnerable market. Hoping there’s better out there.

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