'It's just period': Actress Sharifah Amani, comedian Filzah Awok on breaking taboos of menstrual health

Tan Mei Zi
Filzah Awok (right) and Sharifah Amani have joined Libresse’s ‘Get Your Fit’ campaign as brand advocates. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Contrary to popular belief, one size does not fit all.

Especially when it comes to sanitary pads.

Worrying about leakages and feeling discomfort due to wearing pads that aren’t the right fit might be familiar monthly struggles if you’re a woman.

In light of this, feminine care brand Libresse recently launched the “Get Your Fit” campaign to promote education and awareness on choosing the right type of pad for that time of the month.

Actress Sharifah Amani and comedian Filzah Awok lent support at the event by sharing their own stories concerning menstrual health.

Sharifah revealed how her mother, veteran actress Fatimah Abu Bakar, didn’t have proper access to knowledge about periods as a young woman.

“My mum grew up being the only girl with two younger brothers. At that time, my grandmother didn’t know how to engage with her in talking about periods," she said.

“When my mum got her period, she actually thought there was something wrong with her and she panicked. Can you imagine Fatimah Abu Bakar at 13, freaking out over something like that?

“I think because she went through that, she knew how to speak to her own daughters about it. I’m blessed to have a mum who addressed periods so plainly to us while we were growing up."

Libresse’s new range of products are designed to accommodate women of all shapes and sizes. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Filzah, meanwhile, performed a skit where she recounted how her mum gave her an overnight pad when she got her first period, noting that it was too big and long for her body at the time.

This resulted in the pad sticking out of the back of her underwear, with Filzah comparing the bad fit to a squirrel’s tail and getting chuckles from the audience.

These personal anecdotes motivated the two women to join the campaign to spread awareness about periods, especially to young women.

Sharifah emphasised how people shouldn’t have to shy away from talking about menstruation, recalling how female classmates in school would get antsy whenever she talked openly about periods.

“Back in school, friends would sometimes whisper to me, ‘hey, do you have a pad?’ and I would just openly give it to them like, ‘nah, take it’.

“They asked me to be more discreet, but why? It’s okay and it happens to women every month. We don’t have to be sorry about it.

“Guys don’t apologise for half the things that they do and periods are natural, so we shouldn’t have to say sorry for it.”

Vinda Group South-east Asia marketing director Evelyn Chan added that Libresse wants to empower women by taking away the worries that come with getting your period.

“For sure, insecurities over period leakage is a very real issue among women.”

A Libresse promoter explaining the traits of the Invisible Fit pads to a guest. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

She explained how diversity in women’s body shapes prompted Libresse to address the need for different types of pads that could accommodate various needs.

“If you look at a woman’s body, all of us are a different size with different curves and proportions," said Chan.

“This calls for a wider selection of pads with a customised range that comes with the right combination of thickness and lengths to provide the right fit and security based on her hip measurement, flow, and preferences."

Women can take a quiz on Libresse’s website based on the three factors mentioned by Chan — hip measurement, flow, and preferences — to find their perfect fit.

The “Get Your Fit” campaign comes right at the heels of Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28 which aims to promote open discussions around periods and publicise information regarding menstrual health.

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