Every woman remembers the moment she stopped being a girl and became… well, a big girl. And, yes, it coincided with her first period.
The big moment is usually accompanied by having ‘The Talk’ with your mum, as well as a shopping trip for overpriced feminine hygiene products.
However, for many of us, that first speck of menstrual blood is entry to a very secretive club; you start hiding your tampons in your sleeve as you go to the bathroom, quietly suffering through period cramps, and speaking about your menstrual cycle in euphemisms (think Aunt Flo and your ‘time of the month’, for starters).
Olympic swimmer Fu Yuanhui made international headlines when, during an interview she gave after placing third in the 100m backstroke, she announced that her period fatigue had affected her performance.
Yes, a woman talking about her period made international headlines; that’s how taboo it is to talk about menstruation.
Read more: Olympic swimmer breaks menstrual taboo
So, sick of the silent shame that surrounds all things menstrual, one American family have chosen to introduce their 12-year-old daughter to her period in a very different – and totally badass – way.
Taking to Twitter to share the moment with the world, her proud cousin, 17-year-old Autumn Jenkins, wrote: “Brooke started her period today.”
Attaching three photographs of Brooke’s big day, she added: “My family is super extra.”
Check it out:
Brooke’s mum, Shelly, threw her a period party, complete with pizza, close friends, doting family members, and a stash of sanitary products.
“She was anxious to have her period,” Shelly explained to Buzzfeed News. “I wanted to make this event a little more fun.”
There was even a cake, which Shelly thoughtfully had iced with the words ‘congrats on your period’.
Unsurprisingly, the images caused quite a stir on Twitter, with many social media users rushing to congratulate the family on being so open, honest, and supportive of their daughter.
“Your family sounds great,” wrote one. “That kind of support is super important.”
Another added: “I love this! Oh my god, more parents need to be open and supportive about things like this.”
I love this omg more parents need to be open and supportive about things like this!! :)— MARINAE (@marinayeee) January 13, 2017
“I love this [because] a lot of people scare away from menstruation and don’t give proper information that girls need,” tweeted one woman.
“She’s got a good team around her.”
I love this. A lot of people scare away from menstruation and dont give proper information that girls need. Shes got a good team around her— Desy (@iBECREEPINNNNN) January 14, 2017
And another commented: “Ya know what? I’m so happy she’s getting the support she needs.
However, there were a few folk out there who got a bee in their bonnet over the whole thing. And, naturally, the majority of the complainants were men – because they’re the obvious experts when it comes to menstruation.
“It’s just a bit weird and awkward though,” wrote one male user, clearly speaking from his own experiences. “Depends on the person though, I guess.”
Another, speaking on behalf of Brooke (a girl he has never met before), predicted: “She’s going to be so embarrassed by this.”
Spoiler alert – Brooke loved her party.
She didn’t find it weird, or awkward, and she certainly wasn’t embarrassed. And we have a strong suspicion that her amazing attitude comes from her mum, who’s made sure to instill her daughter with the belief that her menstrual cycle is something to be celebrated, rather than ashamed of,
After posing for photos with her cake and tampons, Brooke even took to Twitter to respond to the comments about her big day,
“Ayeee, I’m famous,” she wrote excitedly.
She wasn’t kidding; Brooke’s period party photos have been shared 7,100 times on Twitter, ‘liked’ by 15,000 people, and generated a huge discussion on social media, too.
Speaking to Buzzfeed, Autumn praised her aunt for her ability to “make the best memories out of everything”.
“Brooke’s period was one for the books,” she said, when asked how her cousin’s party went.
She added that Shelly (dubbed the ‘memory-maker’ by friends and family) had even selected a chocolate cake for the party because it had “serotonin in it to help her with Brooke’s first period”.
Congratulations to this girl’s parents on setting the bar this high; fingers crossed it encourages more people to bash period taboos.