#PadManChallenge: The hashtag that destigmatizes menstruation

Written by FDM

The internet has got us used to some eccentric challenges ( Kylie Jenner lip challenge, Salt and ice challenge). But sometimes there are ones with positive causes behind that cut through the clutter.  This is the case of the #PadManChallenge.

Under the impulse of Bollywood stars, men and women are seen posing on the social media with a sanitary pad in hand. As you would have guessed already, this #PadManChallenge intends to undermine the prejudices about menstruation.

The inventor of the #PadManChallenge is actor Akshay Kumar, who plays in the movie « PadMan », by R. Balki . This biopic recounts the life of an Indian hero, Arunachalam Muruganantham , who created cheaper sanitary pads for rural residents in India. Although the film has been released since February 9, 2018, the movement #PadManChallenge, continues to spread on social networks.

In India, menstruation is considered impure and remains a taboo subject. And it’s not uncommon for little girls to miss school once a month. A tradition that isolates women.  Akshay Kumar insisted on that to change and thus launched a challenge on the internet. The principal is to post a photo with a sanitary pad in hand -like the movie poster- whether you are a man or a woman, to annihilate the shame around menstruation.

The #PadManChallenge first mobilized many Indian personalities, including Bollywood actors, but the hashtag quickly became international. Even if it has a stronger meaning in India.

Russian model Natalia Vodianova jumped on the bandwagon on Instagram with a  caption:  » Yes,  that’s a Pad in my hand & there’s nothing to be ashamed about. It’s natural! Period  »