Is your period too much for New York City to handle? It turns out it may be a little too heavy for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). When THINX, a menstrual underwear company, proposed an edgy take on their period panties (yeah, those seriously are a thing), with the goal to disband the taboo of a woman’s menstrual cycle and put a halt to period-shaming, the MTA was anything but go with the flow.
Though the MTA hasn’t officially approved or rejected the proposal, Outfront Media, the company responsible for selling subway ad space, has some “concerns” regarding the campaign’s content. According to Slate, THINX CEO Miki Agrawal received an email Monday from an Outfront representative who stated that the ad’s content “[seem] inappropriate” and that the models “seem to have a bit too much skin.” Did you just laugh out loud as well?
First, unless you’re living under a rock, both men and women are well aware that periods exist. And second, with the amount of scantily clad women adorning the walls of the NYC subway system in racy ads laced with subliminally sexual messages, it’s shocking that the MTA is batting an eye at the THINX campaign.
The MTA does have a set of guidelines which list specific reasons for not displaying particular content, including advertisements that contain or describe “in a patently offensive manner sexual or excretory activities” and “sexually oriented business”. Neither of which seem to be reflected in THINX’s campaign, at least from our perspective. So, what is the real issue?
Want a real laugh? Wait for this: One of Outfront’s reps told THINX’s marketing director that instead of putting the underwear on a model, a silhouette of a pair of panties would be better received. When she protested, he had the audacity to tell her not to make it a “woman’s issue”….hello?? Last time we checked, women were the only ones who deal with a menstrual cycle.
The reps also brought up the hypothetical situation of what a 9-year-old boy would think seeing the images and how his mother would respond if he inquired about them. Are we against educating our young men to the female body? Because Outfront’s selection of blatantly sexualized ads currently plastered around the subway system sure are fooling us! And what about the nine-year-old girls? Do they not count? Or are they basing this off of the guideline that prohibits “advertisements [that] contains images or information that are so violent, frightening, or otherwise disturbing as to be harmful to minors”?
Did we mention that all of Outfront’s sales representatives and five out of the seven members of the leadership team are male?
It’s so funny that an ad campaign that could lead to sex education discussions is considered too risqué, but sexualization of the female body is A-okay! Either way you slice it (like the whole grapefruits that constantly allude to women’s breasts), the MTA’s perspective one these very relatable advertisement (well, if you weren’t born a man) seems quite skewed.
What are your thoughts? Do you feel the MTA’s apprehension is legitimate? Or do you feel that this fear of the female body is irrational and misplaced?