Period People: Maria Tran

Period People: Maria Tran

Your name – what should we call you?
Maria Tran

What do you prefer – he/she/them or something else?

Your age:

What do you do for a living?
Freelance graphic designer

Where do you live?
Frederiksberg, Denmark

When did you start menstruating (and stop, if you're through menopause)?
I was 11 (I remember I was the third girl in my class who got it).

What's your earliest menstrual memory?
I remember when I had just had my period and had no control over the bleeding and pads yet. It was in 5th grade, and we had a (male) substitute teacher, and I suddenly found out that I had bled through my pants in the middle of class. It was SO embarrassing!

Fortunately, I was wearing black pants, but the chair I was sitting on was made out of light wood. I whispered it to my best friend who was sitting next to me, and then it began!

We went to the toilet together, she asked some of the other girls to wipe up the blood with wet toilet paper, they found a pad for me and handed me toilet paper through the door.

What a sisterly collaboration! I clearly remember all the girls running in and out of the toilet to help me. For some reason, it was never mentioned or used for bullying. I owe Guggi, Michelle, Maria S and Stephanie a huge thank you for making sure it wasn't too embarrassing. We just came back to the class, and the slightly confused teacher continued as if nothing had happened.

We agreed afterwards that we would say “green ladybugs" as a code if someone had their period and maybe needed a hand. Or a pad.

What words would you use to describe your feelings around your period those first period years?
Insecurity, embarrassment.

Have they changed? How do you perceive your period now?
A lot! I think the female reproductive system is pretty amazing. It gave me my daughter. On behalf of her and myself, I'm happy that periods are given more attention as something not to be ashamed of. I hope that when my daughter has her first period it will be less shameful for her. Damn, it would have been a game changer for me to have a pair of period panties when I was 11.

How do you feel the days leading up to your period and during?
Bloated, sore in the lower back and tired. I just want to hang out with myself and eat chocolate.

If you have kids, how do you talk about periods or plan to talk about them with them?
My daughter is soon to be 3, so we haven't talked about it yet. But she sometimes follows me to the bathroom where she has asked: “What is that?”. And I answer: "It's just blood".

What's your go-to ritual on those first cycle days? Eating specific things? Cuddling? Canceling plans?
Once my period starts, I'm actually not bloated anymore. I get my energy back. So I don't really notice it besides the bleeding. And for that, Flow's period panties are great!

What's your go-to period product?
Before, I preferred the cup, but after I got my first pair of Flow 1, they have clearly become my favorite. Then you just wear your panties like any other day. So liberating!

Finish the sentence: “The world would be a better place for menstruators if only...”
... it wasn't taboo.

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