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Pantone's campaign aims to ‘embolden people who menstruate to feel proud of who they are’ and is done in co-operation with the Swedish feminine products brand Intimina.
The campaign is called the Seen+Heard campaign, which aims to empower and encourage people, "regardless of gender", to talk in more detail about menstruation. Intimina states the color is “original shade of red that represents a steady flow”.
"An active and adventurous red hue, courageous Period emboldens those who menstruate to feel proud of who they are -- to own their period with self-assurance; to stand up and passionately celebrate the exciting and powerful life force they are born with; to urge everyone, regardless of gender, to feel comfortable to talk spontaneously and openly about this pure and natural bodily function," Vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, Laurie Pressman said to CNN.
Not everyone is impressed by this idea, which includes a donation to ActionAid, a charity working with women and girls living in poverty.
Jillian Popkins, ActionAid UK’s director of policy, said to the Guardian: “Around the world today, millions of women and girls still suffer due to the stigma associated with periods. Many girls miss vital days of school, or even drop out altogether, which is one reason so many women experience life-long poverty globally. Without the stigma around periods, more women could escape poverty, fulfil their potential and strengthen their communities. This important campaign will help change that.”
No @pantone , you are not ending "menstruation taboo" with it. This is just a PR stunt for a feminine hygiene Swedish brand @Intimina 🤔 Don't sell yourself out @pantone
into this virtue signaling / white saviour complex.https://t.co/etavpwVNot
— Ana Paula Picasso (@A_picasso) September 30, 2020
The choice to donate to ActionAid has upset some people on Twitter:
Are you so tone deaf as to miss the hues and highlights of language?
“Campaign by colour matching company aims to ‘emboldens people who menstruate to feel proud of who they are’”
Women... the word you’re looking for is WOMEN. https://t.co/agpyXHjRB5
— Amanda Boyle OBE (@nowaffle) September 29, 2020
"An active & adventurous red hue, ‘period’ emboldens people who menstruate to feel proud of who they are." 🙄
And they have made a donation to @ActionAidUK - the org that doesn't think female and male bodies exist 🙄🙄
"woman" is not a dirty word. #sexmatters https://t.co/T0GpLVfqSH
— Maya Forstater (@MForstater) September 29, 2020
Chosen language aside, the color itself is alarming. If anyone's period is that color, they might want to seek medical help. Intima has successfully tailgated on Pantone's fame in advertising and design industries for PR, but the choice of the word "gender" and "people who menstruate" may turn off more women than help.