Underwear ads are traditionally sexy. They are definitely sexier than, like, a Febreze commercial. But what if the aim of the ads weren’t to entice you sexually? And instead, they aimed to educate everyone about periods? Well, that’s what Thinx is doing with its ads, and, turns out some people are not into it.
Outfront Media, the company responsible for all of the ads in the New York City subway system, is not a fan of the ads: “We suggested changes that we felt were appropriate for the riding public and we’re hoping to work with the advertiser to refine the copy,” a statement reads.
The copy in question states, “Better underwear for women (or any menstruating human) with periods (shedding of the uterine lining).”
So, why is this a problem? It’s pretty accurate. That is exactly what a period is, and these are menstrual underwear, for periods. Thinx underwear, in fact, contains moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry, they’re anti-microbial thanks to an invisible silver treatment, they’re absorbent (holds up to two tampons’ worth of liquid, style depending), and they are leak-resistant.
Here’s another Thinx ad, featuring a cracked egg. It simulates a period, or, when the uterine lining gets thick to prepare for a fertilized egg, should the woman get pregnant. When there is no fertilized egg, the lining is released as blood through the vagina. The only copy is “Thinx” and “hellothinx.com.”
Here’s another ad, which also employs the use of a cracked egg that’s slowly dripping over a ledge. Again, the only copy is “Thinx” and “hellothinx.com,” so why is this an issue? To add insult to injury, a representative at Outfront Media stated that they were concerned that children might become curious about what a period is. And, well, that is just not okay! Can you imagine? Learning about biological functions?! Think of the children!
Even more puzzling, Mic learned through an e-mail conversation with Outfront that the media company believed the ads “seem to have a bit too much skin” and that “regardless of context, [adds featuring an egg or grapefruit] seems inappropriate.”
Ads exist that show far more nudity than what Thinx is offering. For example, this Sharper Image ad featuring a half-naked Heidi Klum for no apparent reason. Or how about this ad for Alexander Wang, which is presumably trying to sell jeans somehow? And yet, these period panties are too sexy, too provocative. Weird.