Remember those embarrassing moments sections from teenage magazines? They’re there to ease you in gently to stuff like Cosmo’s confessions, but they feature stuff like your Grandma telling everyone you’re constipated or that a tampon fell out of your bag? Aka stuff that you’re not in the least embarrassed about now (or shouldn’t be) because you’re too busy following up your gin & tonic with a chaser of cystitis medicine and announcing to your friend that ‘it’s the phantom pisses that are the worst.’ Yet embarrassing moments are a teenage mainstay, and, contrary to the ‘sharing is caring’ mantra, may not necessarily be a good thing, because they teach you that a boy knowing that you’re on your period is a height of humiliation.
Once you hit the age of about 25, you read these embarrassing moments and you’re reaction is ‘bitch, please. Do you KNOW what embarrassing is?’
Embarrassing is blocking an Italian toilet and having to throw your poo out of the window because it won’t flush, only for it to land on next door’s balcony.
Embarrassing is jumping on some strange dude’s back in the swimming pool because you thought it was your dad (still cringe).
Embarrassing is going about your whole day wearing a different shoe on each foot, so that people in the office think you have developed a limp. Actually, none of these are even that bloody embarrassing.
Being on your period is not embarrassing. I’m sure you already know this, but I’m telling you again just in case those teenage mags have left some visceral trace of ‘CRINGE LOLZ’ in your psyche. Thing is, once you become a woman, you’ve usually undergone one thing that is so undignified that anything that a teenager might find embarrassing is just like *shrugs*. Stuff like having thrush, getting a colposcopy, having a smear, or, y’know, GIVING BIRTH. All these things invest women with a special power called ‘not giving a shit’ which enables life’s little foibles to just pale into insignificance. It’s the reason why I could stand in Camden Boots answering all their morning after pill questions with the guy I’d just shagged (plus the general public) all in the vicinity, and it’s also the reason why mums can yell DON’T SPEAK TO ME LIKE THAT in a supermarket at the top of their voices and not give a flying fuck what anyone thinks.
So, in conclusion, I think the embarrassing moments section needs an overhaul. Perhaps when teenage girls write in, they could be assigned a ‘buddy’? A kind of agony aunt who respond to their cringe moment with wise words such as ‘so you fanny farted in PE- I take that and RAISE YOU accidentally calling your mother in law a cunt during a christening.’ Or, on seconds thoughts, just say:
‘Don’t sweat the small stuff, sister. It’s going to be OK.’