Even though my energy for coupon clipping and deal hoarding has long waned, some residual benefits of my past obsession are that I still occasionally get surprise sample packages in the mail from various companies that I don’t remember signing up with. Recently, I received a little satin zipper bag filled with products from the Tampax “Radiant” Collection under just such circumstances.
I guess I should have known that something was up when i saw the word RADIANT. I’m sorry, Tampax, but bleeding heavily out the crotch doesn’t make me feel radiant. It’s never going to make me feel radiant. You could name your tampons “sparkle pony princess magic vag plugs” and it’s still not going to change the fact that I’m bloated, and cranky, and BLEEDING HEAVILY OUT THE CROTCH. Though biologically kind of magical and awesome (also awesome to not be knocked up, and to know that the plumbing is still working), the act of getting your period is in no way improved by hygiene products that are purple and sparkly.
Yeah… I said purple AND sparkly.
When I was a teenager and first starting to deal with the unsavory actions of my uterus, tampons were white and made out of cardboard. Maybe the fancy lady down the block got the pink plastic Playtex tampons with the “fresh scent” (although my mom always cautioned me that synthetic fragrance was not something that belonged in the vagina), but tampons were by and large unremarkable, sturdy, and utilitarian. Which, made sense, because they’re not a vanity product. They’re a utility product. like light bulbs or wart remover, and they’re not required to be sexy, only to do their job.
But apparently, something happened in the feminine hygiene industry when I wasn’t paying attention. No longer was the biggest selling point of a tampon “will help you ruin less of your underwear” or “can stop Niagara falls of blood.” All of the sudden, fun fashion colors and glitter came into play. WHO INVITED GLITTER TO THIS GODDAMN PARTY?
When i peeled off the wrapper of the “Radiant” sample tampon, I laughed out loud. In my bathroom- about to deal with some personal lady business- laughing. The thing was bright purple plastic with a sprinkle of shimmer, and had the most beautifully injection molded floral pattern around the plunger area (to enhance grip?). I had toys as a child that were less carefully crafted. AND I’M SUPPOSED TO PUT THIS THING IN MY VAGINA?
My first thought was “this thing is waaaay too nice for MY vagina.”
But ultimately, it circled back to “this thing is way too ridiculous for ANY vagina.”
Dear Tampax, CUT THE SHIT. If you’ve hit the wall of useful tampon technology, I understand. Frankly, I’m not sure how much innovation can really occur beyond the initial “what if we shoved something absorbent up in there?” And, that’s ok. Your perfectly pedestrian white cardboard tampons have been doing their job for years without incident (ok, limited incident). So maybe it’s time to ease off the R&D a little, because you’re starting to embarrass yourself.
Now, if you can mystically make tampons that are 100% fail-proof, by all means, you can call them whatever the fuck you want. BUT, they don’t need to look like race cars or prom corsages. They don’t need to match my handbag or my nail polish, and they certainly don’t need to look like a 6 year old girl with a Disney princess obsession designed them (which is insulting on a whole other level that i can’t even begin to deal with right now). What next, give them little spray painted gold macaroni necklaces or rhinestone tiaras? Or, maybe just have them play a few bars of “Pretty Woman” when properly inserted?
Seriously Tampax, go home. You’re drunk.