Adolescence for many is about trying to be comfortable in your own skin. While full of exciting new opportunities and changes, many of these bring their own set of challenges. Add to the mix a young girls first period and you are sure to have some stories to share with the grandchildren.
Growing up as the only girl with three active brothers, playing outside all day, camping at the lake every weekend during the summer, was so much fun. I really thought I was one of the boys. Up until I got my first period I was free to enjoy being a child with no major restrictions. Then my period came and suddenly I felt that my life was changing forever. I was no longer allowed to hang out with the boys because now I was a “woman” and so started to hang out indoors with the girls in the neighborhood, listening to 60s music and dancing in our basements.
Feminine hygiene options in the mid-1960s were tampons (which were not popular for girls in my age group) or big, bulky pads which would be attached to elastic belts or could be attached to your underwear with pins to hold them in place. I always felt insecure during my cycle because you always had to hide it. I was always fearful of any leaking, odor or the bulkiness of pads showing under my clothes.
The cramps were not fun either but I dealt with it like all the other girls around me. It really did bother me that no one including family, teachers, etc. had any compassion when you had cramps. If you complained to the gym teacher that you had bad cramps they would make you run around the track.
Looking back to my adolescence, having my period was life-changing. Overall the menstrual experience is not pleasant and I really wanted to do something to improve the way women deal with it. As well, I was not afraid to talk about it openly even when the subject was taboo. Creating The DivaCup has certainly fulfilled my dream of improving our menstrual experience.
But the education has only started.
Education about the menstrual cycle begins around age ten. There is an annual health class session that describes in vague and sometimes clinical terms what would happen to your body physically. Very few questions are asked. No one dares to break the silence or to provide any personal details of their experience.
It was experiences like these that inspired Madeleine Shaw, co-founder of Lunapads International to launch G Day in 2014. G Day is a day-long community-based rite of passage celebration for girls and their caregivers to welcome them into adolescence.
As a girl approaching puberty, Madeleine wished for an acknowledgement of her arrival into adolescence. “I was really excited about what was happening to me, and hoped that there might be some sort of recognition outside of my family that it was special”, the 47-year-old award-winning social entrepreneur explains.
While the acknowledgement never happened, the vision never left her imagination. Two G Day events were held in 2014 in Vancouver, BC for girls ages 10 to 12 and were attended by over 500 people. The gatherings received significant media coverage; their success spawned the movement now spreading across Canada.
Diva International Inc. is excited to share the news about G Day Toronto which is taking place on Sunday April 26th at Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park. The event features an amazing lineup of speakers and artists who will be presenting a variety of material to support girls’ self-esteem and connection to one another and their families at this special time of life.
G Day is an amazing event that is well overdue. It is so uplifting to celebrate becoming a woman and to empower girls that they can achieve their dreams.
Learn more about G Day with these helpful videos from the first and second events, as well as a beautiful testimonial about G Day’s benefits from a parent’s perspective from a Mom and G Day Victoria Community Leader.
Don’t miss out! Buy your tickets today for G Day Toronto! And by using the below codes you can receive 20 % off the ticket price!
- TOBLOG20G – code for girl tickets
- TOBLOG20C– code for champion tickets (parents, grandparents, godparents, aunts & uncles, etc.)