Finally, I decided that if I was going to stray from my go-to girly products, I might as well get a bargain. That’s how I ended up with these:
Although I’ve been an athlete for most of my life, I’ve never really been a fan of the “sporty” version of things that aren’t inherently sporty. To me, it seems like a half-assed marketing tactic meant to trick people into feeling more athletic than they actually are. In my experience, most real athletes feel the same way. (Come on, do you really want to fuel your workout with an energy bar made by Snickers?)
But the truth is, whether you’re aware of it or not, if you are a young to middle-aged female who exercises on a regular basis, you’re part of a growing consumer base that is becoming increasingly attractive to business marketers.
Think about it: how many fashion retailers have added fitness apparel to their brands in the last ten years? It started innocently enough, with a few tank tops here and some stretch capris there. Now, it seems like every time I walk into the Gap, the active wear section has added another shelf of yoga pants and two more racks of tech shirts. It’s like the Canada of clothing sections—innocently disguised as unthreatening hoodies and spandex shorts, but slowly taking over the world! Pretty soon, they won’t even sell jeans anymore.
But back to tampons. Adding sportswear to a women’s clothing line is one thing. Adding the word “sports” to a box of otherwise ordinary feminine products is another.
Are “sporty” tampons going to make me run any faster? Are they going to make me more limber and agile? Probably not. So, assuming they are not laced with steroids or prescription painkillers, what athletic advantage do they provide?
In a word, inspiration. Yes, you read that correctly. Put down that raised eyebrow and allow me to explain.
You see, each time you reach into the box, you’re not just picking up a tampon. You’re picking up a tiny package of encouragement.
When I pulled out the first one, I nearly collapsed with laughter. Printed on the wrapper, right next to the big S, were the words, Strive to do your best.
Hilarity quickly gave way to anger as I thought, You have to be kidding me. Decades of progress in the equality of women’s sports, and this is what it has come to?
I felt a hormone-fueled feminist rant coming on. In the interest of preserving my dignity, I preemptively employed my failsafe mood-correction strategy: sarcasm. (See title of this blog post.)
My best? I thought, rolling my eyes at that stupid little tube of cotton. I’m bloated, I feel like crap and my body is literally bleeding—but don’t worry, I’ll be sure to leave it all on the roads today.
Look, I’m not judging anyone who, whether they admit it or not, gets a little confidence boost from inspirational tampon quotes. I’m just saying that Kara Goucher probably doesn’t get her sports bras at the Gap, and Shalane Flanagan probably doesn’t owe her Olympic Trials marathon record to motivational Playtex wrappers.