According to a study published in Pediatrics last year, up to 15% of American girls get their first period (menarche) by the age of SEVEN. Due to state and federal mandates I’m no longer allowed near most school yards and daycare centers. So I follow the news of the budding pre-teen menarche trend with a close eye. That’s why I was surprised/shocked/excited to see that my dear friends at Kotex are marketing a new brand of pads called U by Kotex Tween. Packaged in a glittery box with hearts and stars on it, the pads themselves have stars and swirl patters printed on them in a “bold, bright style” according to it’s own sufficiently creepy website.
“Some girls get their period as young as 8. Have you had the talk?” asks the website in it’s official guide on “picking the date” to talk to your daughters about their periods. After all, four out of five mothers feel ill-equip to broach the subject with their young daughters. So why not hand over the reigns to giant a giant marketing corporation like Omnicom (who owns the websites)?
The entire marketing push is costing Kotex $23.2 million, well overshadowing the $4.1 million spent on other Kotex brands in an attempt to close the market share gap between themselves and rival Tampax which currently has a 47.2% market share. Kotex however shows no intent on slowing down promising “limited-edition designer series,” prints like “poptimistic” and “punk glam,” due out by July. The site even features an “online pad design contest” in which contestants compete for a chance to fly to New York to collaborate on a new pad design with Patricia Field, the costume designer for Sex and the City.
So what is all this? A creepy attempt to mask budding adulthood in the saccharine tones of youth with varying degrees of pedophilia undertones? A cynical attempt at squeezing every last drop of blood (pun fully intended) from the children’s market? I don’t know. I don’t have the answers.
But on a serious note, I would imagine that the smaller size of the pads would come in handy for the often neglected niche market of midget and dwarfism if nothing else. It really must be a pain to seek out feminine hygiene products that will fit their smaller bodies. Speaking of which, if you just arrived here by searching “midget vagina period blood” I’d just like to take the time to say “Hello! Welcome. Please stick around. I think you’ll fit right in. Enjoy!“