Women’s panties have evolved a ton over the years. The problem with getting really cute pairs of panties is that come that wonderful time of the month, even our most favorite pair can get ruined. Miki Agrawal is mixing up women’s fashion and technology to make our periods a little less uncomfortable.
In an age when women have made enormous strides in everything from workplace and academic equality, comfort in demanding what we want in bed and access to birth control and abortions – we still squirm when talking about menstruation.
“Women in our culture don’t want to talk about their periods — most still think about it as crass and disgusting ,” says Agrawal, CEO and co-founder of THINX, maker of women’s underwear that doubles as feminine pads. “I want to change the culture around women’s most normal time of month — and not while wearing grandma panties or pads that feel like a diaper.”
In the Western world, squeamishness around menstruation means the average woman spends thousands over her lifetime on tampons with landfill-packing plastic applicators, and pads that any women will tell you are uncomfortable and unreliable. Both tend to leak. In much of the developing world, extreme taboo around women and girls’ monthly bleed mean they fall behind at school or are limited in their ability to work at paying jobs.
The United Nations reports that just 43 percent of girls in developing nations attend secondary school — in large part because of poor access to feminine hygiene products that could make it easier for them to attend school during their so-called “week of shame.”
“That is not OK,” says Agrawal.
The panties currently come in three pretty, lace-trimmed designs (including a thong), each of which are outfitted with patented antimicrobial, leak-resistant fibers in the crotch that promise to absorb as much menstrual blood as up to two tampons or a pad — without the wearer feeling it — and promise to leave the wearer feeling dry.
While I appreciate the intention behind this, I am not quite sure I would be comfortable in trusting just these panties! I mean, the idea of sitting in, well, your menses, doesn’t sound comfortable or sanitary at all!
What do you think? Nasty or greatest thing ever invented?