Getting your period for the first time is a pretty big deal. Who doesn’t remember the day, the time and the place when it first happened? I remember that mine was in August of 2001 and that day I went to see Rat Race in theaters and went to Johnny Rockets to stuff my face with a vanilla shake and chili cheese fries while I was still in denial about it all. But for some reason, menstruation is a bit of a taboo topic. In TV commercials blue water represents Niagara Falls from hell going on in our uterus and very few programs about teen girls even acknowledge the existence of a period. That doesn’t really make much sense to me, especially since it is great to have something in the media reinforce the fact that feeling weird about your first period is totally normal.
But there are a few television shows that have actually depicted the first time girls experience their monthly visitor. Here are 5 of TV’s memorable period moments!
There’s nothing better than going roller skating with your crush, having cramps and getting sent to the emergency room. Then, of course, you find out that you’re not really having an appendicitis but actually having your first period. On a date. With your crush. Joy. But this show actually did a great job of making your first period experience awkward yet endearing.
This ep of Roseanne did a great job of explaining that, while your period is a momentous occasion, it doesn’t make you a whole new person. For her daughter Darlene, that meant that she can still be a total tom boy even with her Aunt Flo in town.
Okay, I’ve gotta say that this clip makes me vaguely uncomfortable. Maybe it’s the lack of context but while getting your period is nothing ot be ashamed about, I can’t relate to proudly telling my dad about finally starting my cycle. I’m pretty sure I’ve never mentioned it to him, honestly. I’m sure he knows but that’s just not something we talk about. Ever. It’s been 12 years and I’m okay with keeping it up.
The Cosby Show did a great job of making a first period a cause for celebration. Also, can we talk about how Mama Huxtable totally rips apart the sexist idea that anytime a woman is upset she must be menstrual. This episode is just all about dropping truth bombs and embracing the uterus.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
If I had an old man screaming at me through a door about how to use a tampon, I’d be scarred for life.
Honorable Mention: Degrassi
This is by far the most memorable of all the TV first period moments for me. Alas, I couldn’t find the unforgettable period-stain-while-wearing-a-white-mini-skirt scene on YouTube. The second-hand embarrassment I felt for Emma was palpable, especially when she had to find something else to wear and could only find a spare pair of oversized gym shorts. But she braved through it and made sure her entire English class knew that she was on the rag and proud. Classic.
What are some of your favorite first period scenes from TV? What about movies? Tell us in the comments!