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The Message Behind Mensplain

by TARA POKRAS, founder

When I started Period Portraits, an incredibly powerful storytelling project focusing on challenging and breaking down the stigma of menstruation through vulnerable interviews and empowering photographed portraits, I slowly started getting questions from the men in my life about periods. Then one night I had dinner with an old friend and her husband and he suddenly whispered cautiously, like he had been mulling this over for awhile now, “What about Period Portraits?”



Bodies: Celebrating Menstruation

featured on kandaka

Blood drips onto my ass as the pad I am wearing is swollen with my own blood. My menstrual blood. It is the third time in my life I am welcoming my period into my 12-year-old body. I’m scared and worried the blood has leaked through my pants. I quickly look down to the seat of my school chair and I see my worst fears are realized. I am sitting in a pool of blood. I’m sticky and wet and all I want to do is get up from my chair and run out of the classroom, but I’m stuck. I know I must stay still and not offend anyone with my blood. The blood leaks more, and I wonder if I am starting to smell.

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Mind, Body and (Menstrual) Flow

featured on yogaheights

“Do you have an extra pad or tampon?” This is spoken often by over half the world’s population yet we still feel shameful when bringing up the topic of menstruation.

In the developing world girls and women face challenges around their menstruation, such as inadequate supply of water or access to sanitary hygiene products, lack of disposal facilities, or little privacy for changing pads. However, have you ever stopped to think about the stigma and lack of menstrual equity (yes, that is a real thing!) in our own lives?


Event embracing what it means
to be a woman

featured on george washington school of public health

Tara Pokras, an MPH student in Global Health, combined her passion for photography and global health as part of the mini-grant event she coordinated during National Public Health Week (NPHW) earlier this month. The art-centered event, entitled “Period Portraits: Not Back in Time But the Bloody Kind" and sponsored by the GW Public Health Student Association, showcased women’s health issues and experiences of menstruation.

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