a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

What If. . . I dared discuss feminine hygiene products?

Brand names often become unofficially the 
 “official” name of a product.
Gelatin is Jello
Adhesive bandages are Band-Aids

Sanitary pads are Kotex

 Last November, before I was as old as I am now,  I posted my version of "When I Am Old. . ."  If you care, you can check it out: 

Today is my birthday.  Today I am 70! Being that old gives me the right to discuss unmentionables if I feel like it ----- and I do.

When I was a young girl you would think I was created in two sections.  Section one was my head and everything below my mother always delicately referred to as "my body."

I thought she was weird. 

As I was preparing this blog I decided I needed to do some research and it was very enlightening.  For one, I discovered my mother wasn't the only weird one. Here is another:

"I got my period at the age of 11 when I was in fifth grade. This involved wearing an uncomfortable belt of stretch elastic which had even more uncomfortable metal gadgets with teeth in front and back to grab the “tails” of the bulky sanitary pads. Having any part of this contraption show through one’s clothing was unthinkably embarrassing, and we would pile multiple petticoats under our voluminous circle skirts to hide any accidents

"My mother was so leery of anyone hearing her mention the word “Kotex” that when she made a shopping list, she would write that word in the Gregg’s shorthand she had learned in secretarial school."

Speaking of accidents, let's go back further and discover the "first" accident.

  • Disposable menstrual pads grew from Benjamin Franklin's invention designed to save soldiers with buckshot wounds
  • In 1916, Kimberly Clark began concentrating on creped wadding paper. This was five times more absorbent than cotton and could cost half as much. With the war in Europe provoking cotton shortages, Kimberly Clark developed creped cellulose for use as a filter in gas masks and bandages.
  • Disposable pads had their start with nurses using these wood pulp bandages to catch their menstrual flow.


Society’s prim attitudes made it difficult to market sanitary napkins and  turn-of-the-century morality  made advertising of the product impossible.

In 1920, Kimberly Clark, worried about their image, organized a different company to market Kotex just in case it failed. 

The ads that accompanied the introduction of this consumer good would set the tone for the next century. They were expensive for the "common" woman. Print ads for Kotex featured women from high society, often wearing evening gowns, always white, with copy that read, “Eighty percent of all women in better walks of life have adopted this scientific way.” 

By 1925 the product was beginning to gain acceptance. Finally, in 1926 Montgomery Ward advertised Kotex in their catalogue and millions of women began to use and accept sanitary napkins as a way of life.

The Plain Brown Wrapper  

When they could afford them, women were allowed to place money in a box so that they would not have to speak to the clerk and take a box of pads from the counter themselves. A small card sat in front of the wrapped boxes, stating 60 cents for 12 napkins. 

Apparently when the Modess brand arrived on the scene, the package included a card you could present to the clerk for your next purchase so you did not have to speak the unspeakable.  The card also suggested you seek out a female clerk for the transaction.

When I was young the packages had made their way to the regular store shelves but they were still cloaked in plain wrappers. 

We've obviously come a long way and it has been wonderful. But (doesn't there always seems to be a but?) our comfort and ease comes at a high dollar cost, the huge expense of trees and many other "ingredients"; the landfills, and possibly our health. There are reports of chemical reactions from the many chemicals included in their production.

Continued next Tuesday's post . . .

Back to the Basics

I am Simply, Gail and so once again, I must apologize for some of these sentences  showing up with a white background. I have not a clue as to why it is happening or how to fix it.

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