The construction of menstrual product advertisements from a feminist perspective, a study of content and processes

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Power, Christine M.
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This project was designed to follow five years of ongoing research pertaining to the study of the portrayal of women in menstrual product advertising. Previous research has concluded that most menstrual product advertisements portray women negatively. The purpose of this study was to evaluate if women could suggest the contents for menstrual product advertisements that affirmed women and menstruation. Focus groups with five participants were used as the primary method of research. During focus group discussions, women were reminded that the goal of advertising is to sell the product. The findings of the study indicate that women can suggest ideas for menstrual product advertisements that affirm women and menstruation. The women in the focus groups would like to see truthful and responsible advertisements that contain a lifelike representation of women. The information that the women deemed to be necessary in order to accomplish this goal included: factual information about the product and its usage, honest information depicting how menstruation is actually experienced, the inclusion of men in the advertisements actively participating in the menstrual experience, as well as the portrayal of lifelike women whose femininity is not threatened by menstruation. Ultimately, by providing ideas and justification for these propositions for advertisements that portray women--and the very essence of what makes a women--in a positive light, we may have embarked on the first step toward breaking down the negative effects of patriarchy and the way women are viewed in society.