Menstruation isn't fun at any age, but it's especially not cool when you're a teenager. Teen girls have to worry about the fear of leaking and embarrassing period moments, all while you're figuring out who you are and having to navigate adolescence. Tough ride.
Period panties don't answer any big questions about self-identification, but they do remove the stresses that come with starting your period in high school. Read on to find out more...
What exactly are teen period panties?
Back in biblical days, teens had two choices for dealing with their period: they either used a rag to soak up their menstruation or were made to use their own clothes.
Thankfully, we've come a long way since then. Teen period panties are one of the best ways of dealing with periods, letting girls have leak-free periods without even needing a tampon or pad (depending on how heavy your flow is).
Period panties today are comfy and cool — not to mention super-thin and seamless — but they haven't always been so modern. They actually began as petticoats, belts, bloomers, and aprons, all of which were much less sanitary and offered nowhere near the same protection from leaking.
How do teen period panties help during menstruation?
Menstruation is a stressful and often embarrassing time for teenage girls. You worry if your period has started too soon or too late, if you have a heavy flow, and whether your body is even normal. Plus you're paranoid about if there are any embarrassing smells coming from down there. Cringe.
Periods happen to us all, but it doesn't mean that it's fun or easy — they can make life annoyingly complicated, especially if you're a teen girl trying to get through high school.
Teen period panties take away the drama of periods, letting you carry on with life without anywhere near the same level of stress. Essentially, these panties absorb your period, stopping it from leaking out onto your clothes and leaving any awkward stains. Period underwear is made to be super absorbent and even odor-crushing — such a relief if you're worried about any funky smells.
Advantages of using period panties instead of regular pants
Regular panties come in all different shapes, sizes, and styles. You can get boyshorts, bikinis, thongs, and more. Period panties let you choose your style too, but unlike regular panties, they come with an absorbent layer of fabric to stop liquid from leaking. It's basically like having a thin built-in panty liner.
Period panties are also made up of moisture-wicking fabric, making them way more absorbent than regular panties. They give you protection and keep you feeling dry, while allowing you to stay comfy and carry on as normal — regular panties may look and feel great, but they won't do if your period leaks onto them.
You can pick from a whole host of great brands when deciding which period panties to buy, including Dear Kate, Undie Pads, Intimate Portal, Yoyi Fashion, Modibodi, and Thinx. Knixteen is a great Thinx alternative, offering a selection of panties that are perfect for teens on their period.
Why teen period panties are a game-changer for teens
Your teenage years are some of the most stressful of your life. As you're just starting to figure yourself out and begin to make major decisions about your future, it can feel like your body is fighting against you at the worst time.
Period panties aren't going to change the world, but they're sure going to make life a lot easier. You can even double up and pair them with other period products like pads or tampons to give yourself peace of mind. Game-changer.
The great news is, period panties are also much more environmentally friendly than other period products. You can keep reusing your period panties as many times as you like simply by washing them — and be safe in the knowledge that you're doing your bit for the planet too by reducing your waste.
Plus, not needing to buy new pads or tampons all the time means that period panties are also a game-changer for teen bank accounts. Buying a few pairs of period panties is a great investment and one that will save you plenty of money in the long-run.
Lastly, period underwear isn't only a game-changer for teen comfort — it's a tool that can even help tackle mental health problems during adolescence. Teens are among the most stressed people on the planet with 35% of teens saying stress keeps them awake at night, and school being one the largest reasons behind this. Having your period at such a stressful time can make you feel lonely and embarrassed, but wearing protective underwear can tick off at least one of your problems and make you feel more comfortable and confident.
Life as a teenage girl is definitely not always fun. There are plenty of things to get stressed about, but periods don't have to be one of them. Protective period panties can take away the fear of leaking at school, making life a little bit easier and making you feel more confident when dealing with all the other dramas.
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Women have come a long way in redefining beauty to be more inclusive of different body types, skin colors and hair styles, but society's beauty standards still remain as high as we have always known them to be. In the workplace, professionalism is directly linked to the appearance of both men and women, but for women, the expectations and requirements needed to fit the part are far stricter. Unlike men, there exists a direct correlation between beauty and respect that women are forced to acknowledge, and in turn comply with, in order to succeed.
Before stepping foot into the workforce, women who choose to opt out of conventional beauty and grooming regiments are immediately at a disadvantage. A recent Forbes article analyzing the attractiveness bias at work cited a comprehensive academic review for its study on the benefits attractive adults receive in the labor market. A summary of the review stated, "'Physically attractive individuals are more likely to be interviewed for jobs and hired, they are more likely to advance rapidly in their careers through frequent promotions, and they earn higher wages than unattractive individuals.'" With attractiveness and success so tightly woven together, women often find themselves adhering to beauty standards they don't agree with in order to secure their careers.
Complying with modern beauty standards may be what gets your foot in the door in the corporate world, but once you're in, you are expected to maintain your appearance or risk being perceived as unprofessional. While it may not seem like a big deal, this double standard has become a hurdle for businesswomen who are forced to fit this mold in order to earn respect that men receive regardless of their grooming habits. Liz Elting, Founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation, is all too familiar with conforming to the beauty culture in order to command respect, and has fought throughout the course of her entrepreneurial journey to override this gender bias.
As an internationally-recognized women's advocate, Elting has made it her mission to help women succeed on their own, but she admits that little progress can be made until women reclaim their power and change the narrative surrounding beauty and success. In 2016, sociologists Jaclyn Wong and Andrew Penner conducted a study on the positive association between physical attractiveness and income. Their results concluded that "attractive individuals earn roughly 20 percent more than people of average attractiveness," not including controlling for grooming. The data also proves that grooming accounts entirely for the attractiveness premium for women as opposed to only half for men. With empirical proof that financial success in directly linked to women's' appearance, Elting's desire to have women regain control and put an end to beauty standards in the workplace is necessary now more than ever.
Although the concepts of beauty and attractiveness are subjective, the consensus as to what is deemed beautiful, for women, is heavily dependent upon how much effort she makes towards looking her best. According to Elting, men do not need to strive to maintain their appearance in order to earn respect like women do, because while we appreciate a sharp-dressed man in an Armani suit who exudes power and influence, that same man can show up to at a casual office in a t-shirt and jeans and still be perceived in the same light, whereas women will not. "Men don't have to demonstrate that they're allowed to be in public the way women do. It's a running joke; show up to work without makeup, and everyone asks if you're sick or have insomnia," says Elting. The pressure to look our best in order to be treated better has also seeped into other areas of women's lives in which we sometimes feel pressured to make ourselves up in situations where it isn't required such as running out to the supermarket.
So, how do women begin the process of overriding this bias? Based on personal experience, Elting believes that women must step up and be forceful. With sexism so rampant in workplace, respect for women is sometimes hard to come across and even harder to earn. "I was frequently assumed to be my co-founder's secretary or assistant instead of the person who owned the other half of the company. And even in business meetings where everyone knew that, I would still be asked to be the one to take notes or get coffee," she recalls. In effort to change this dynamic, Elting was left to claim her authority through self-assertion and powering over her peers when her contributions were being ignored. What she was then faced with was the alternate stereotype of the bitchy executive. She admits that teetering between the caregiver role or the bitch boss on a power trip is frustrating and offensive that these are the two options businesswomen are left with.
Despite the challenges that come with standing your ground, women need to reclaim their power for themselves and each other. "I decided early on that I wanted to focus on being respected rather than being liked. As a boss, as a CEO, and in my personal life, I stuck my feet in the ground, said what I wanted to say, and demanded what I needed – to hell with what people think," said Elting. In order for women to opt out of ridiculous beauty standards, we have to own all the negative responses that come with it and let it make us stronger– and we don't have to do it alone. For men who support our fight, much can be achieved by pushing back and policing themselves and each other when women are being disrespected. It isn't about chivalry, but respecting women's right to advocate for ourselves and take up space.
For Elting, her hope is to see makeup and grooming standards become an optional choice each individual makes rather than a rule imposed on us as a form of control. While she states she would never tell anyone to stop wearing makeup or dressing in a way that makes them feel confident, the slumping shoulders of a woman resigned to being belittled looks far worse than going without under-eye concealer. Her advice to women is, "If you want to navigate beauty culture as an entrepreneur, the best thing you can be is strong in the face of it. It's exactly the thing they don't want you to do. That means not being afraid to be a bossy, bitchy, abrasive, difficult woman – because that's what a leader is."