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The Future of Menstrual Health – The Meaning of Human Hygiene

Ujwal Arkalgud, EVP & Group Director at Lux Research

Ujwal Arkalgud

EVP & Group Director, Anthropology

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Jason Partridge photo

Jason Partridge

VP, Client Success

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Welcome to “Why Meaning Matters”—a Story Studio Network podcast hosted by Erin Trafford with MotivBase cultural anthropologist, Ujwal Arkalgud and MotivBase president, Jason Partridge.

We’re wrapping up season two with a conversation about the changing meaning of menstrual health and hygiene that demonstrates just how connected we all are. In today’s episode of Why Meaning Matters, Erin, Jason and Ujwal talk about what hair ‘down there’ and free bleeding mean to today’s consumers including toppling the patriarchy and environmental impact.

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We’re wrapping up season two with a conversation about the changing meaning of menstrual health and hygiene that demonstrates just how connected we all are. In today’s episode of Why Meaning Matters, Erin, Jason and Ujwal talk about what hair ‘down there’ and free bleeding mean to today’s consumers including toppling the patriarchy and environmental impact.

Welcome to Why Meaning Matters. A Story Studio Network podcast hosted by Erin Trafford with MotivBase cultural anthropologist, Ujwal Arkalgud and MotivBase president, Jason Partridge.

There’s an aspect of menstrual health that is seeing a change right now and it’s what women consider to be “basic hygiene”. That includes pubic hair and its associated notion to the lack of hygiene which bears no scientific reality.

UJWAL [00:05:41] “It’s a patriarchal expectation and it’s certainly a problem in culture and it’s being challenged.“

The media portrayal of being completely bare from 20 years ago is being challenged by women raising important questions and pointing out the purpose of pubic hair.

JASON [00:07:34] “There is a purpose for why our bodies are a certain way. And when we mess with it, it messes us up. And that starts to basically be a pushback against the expectation. And that’s where expectations start to change.“

Social media is playing a role in the discourse and facilitating circulation of the free-bleeding movement and greatly impacting the feminine hygiene space with new product lines.

UJWAL [00:09:57] “They’re amazing products now that are specifically built for, let’s say, heavier flow days that are period underwear that are genuinely ten times more comfortable, and we can see consumers talking about this, but there’s a symbolism around that, right. Which is that, the symbolism is, this thing isn’t hiding the way it used to be and the other symbolism is that this is actually better for vaginal health. And so that makes a huge difference.”

JASON [00:12:28] “And that in and of itself is basically creating different narratives and different tensions and challenges in what is the right thing to do.”

Why Meaning Matters is a podcast produced by Story Studio Network and iContact Productions for MotivBase- Decoding implicit meaning behind what people talk about.

If you want to contribute to the conversation, make sure you drop us an email at hello [at] storystudionetwork [dot] com. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to SHARE it, RATE it, and SUBSCRIBE to the show!

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