In the course of conducting business over the past couple of years I’ve advertised in many different places, online and offline. One of the online places that I have found to be fairly interesting gives people an avenue to share their thoughts about a given post, picture, product, what have you… something that has piqued their interest enough to comment – good, bad or neutral doesn’t matter, but they can pass it on to their group of friends and have a dialogue with no holds barred. I truly appreciate the ones who have an honest interaction among friends. This gives me food for thought as well as fodder for blog. Today, I’d like to thank the contrarian voice and opinion.

On a recent advertised image of a newly listed item on A Hippie Adventure’s Etsy shop, there were several “shares” with interesting conversation. I can infer my own thoughts behind the “shares” because I don’t really know, but I’m going to guess they were by people who had already hear of washable menstrual pads, may not be an actual user of them but perhaps had considered the possibility of someone, even if not herself, using them. Comments ranged from “ewww!” to “How unsanitary!”, “There are just some things you don’t reuse.”, and my favorite one of all “Why would any woman do this ever? I’d rather eat my own toenails.”

Ha! That’s some real disgust with the thought of anyone using a reusable cloth pad. Granted, the lifestyle involved with using cloth pads is not for everyone, but I truly feel that eating toenails is not a preferable choice to make.

I go into several reasons why a woman would subject herself to the lifestyle in the first place in the description of each of the LePads listings in the shop. Briefly, it’s a long lasting purchase with an average 5-8 year lifetime thus promoting a great eco alternative to thousands of pounds of mass produced store bought pads and tampons in our landfills. It is estimated that a woman will use approximately 15,000 pounds of disposable feminine products during her lifetime.

These same store bought pads also bring the toxic chemicals they are made with right next to your most private and highly sensitive parts. Some folks never give a thought to the rashes and itchiness, let alone the discomfort, level of cramps and headaches they may experience during menses as being the result of the chemical interaction of the moist pads next to this sensitive skin. Yet once you stop using these types of mass produced, chemically laden products, you find that many of the symptoms that were thought to be part and parcel of having a period will ease up or just won’t happen.  This alone begins to make you think, seriously think – What have I been subjecting myself to by using these products?

These same products cause people to think that they are sanitary and safe because of corporate packaging and marketing. However, they don’t have to tell you what they’re made of. Have you ever seen a product panel on a box of sanitary pads or tampons? There is a woman from Texas who made the news when she reported about her interaction with a major tampon company upon discovering mold on a tampon. MOLD! On a tampon straight out of the “sterile” plastic packaging…and we’re shoving this inside ourselves without EVER looking at them? We are assuming they are safe. Meh! Give me the washable cloth pads. I can make sure they are as clean and disinfected as I want them to be. Yeah, it’s a little more detailed in how I need to care about the whole process, but I certainly am willing to go through the joy of knowing what I’m putting on and in my body during this time of month. Menses has turned from taboo to something normal and natural.

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