Using period ‘superpower’ and embracing menstrual cycle is message of stage show


September 04, 2019 12:31:31

If you’re a woman, you’ve probably resented your menstrual cycle at some stage in your life.

For some people puberty was a breeze, while others feel like they barely made it through, and the rest of the female population continues to struggle with their hormones.

Entertainer Lucy Peach is on a mission to change the conversation and turn women’s periods into their greatest “superpower”.

“We’ve just been served a pretty limited narrative about what it means to have a menstrual cycle,” Peach told ABC Radio Brisbane’s Rebecca Levingston.

“It’s that old kind of paradigm of when someone tells you that something is going to be a little bit crap, then it is.”

“Studies show that attitudes to periods can actually change our perception in how we experience our periods,” gynaecologist Peta Wright said.

“So cultures where we celebrate getting your first period and we allow rest when getting your period, view it much more positively and they have less symptoms as well.”

Peach is encouraging women to “embrace” their period by simply understanding that the menstrual cycle can wreak havoc on everything ranging from physical appearance to mental health.

“You acknowledge that when you have a cycle, you don’t feel the same every day because our hormones are cyclical, and once you understand that, you can plan for it and predict it and use it and scaffold yourself and channel it — then you’re using your cycle,” she said.

Formerly a human biology teacher and sexual health educator, Peach said she was inspired to create the show after a backstage conversation with a clown.

“I sort of mumbled to myself, ‘Well, I’m in my sort of ovulatory, giving, summer phase, I’m going to wear this lipstick and this head scarf’.

“And he said: ‘What are you talking about, what is this phase?’

“I gave him this sort of snapshot about what it’s like to have four phases, like four seasons, and he said, ‘You have to make a show about that’.”

Periods aren’t something to be ‘fixed’

Three years later, Peach’s show has been brought to Brisbane by Dr Wright and naturopath Elysia Humphries.

“Every single woman I see I find doesn’t have a deep knowledge of the positive parts of their menstrual cycle,” Dr Wright said.

“I often get teenage girls who come in with their mums … saying, ‘She’s been a bit hormonal, can we do something to fix that?’ and that seems to be the prevailing thought — that the menstrual cycle isn’t a normal part of our lives to be celebrated but it’s really something to be fixed.

“I found that when I talk to girls and their mums about the menstrual cycle … they could really understand that it’s like Lucy was talking about, it’s OK to have fluctuations in your cycle.”

This weekend the trio will be presenting two “edu-tainment” shows in Brisbane as part of the BIGSOUND festival.

“We want parents to bring their [pre-pubescent] daughters to the show on Saturday, and then we have a show aimed at older adults on the Sunday,” Ms Humphries said.

“[It’s about] teaching young girls in different frames the best parts about their body and their menstrual cycle and empowering them.”

My Greatest Period is on Saturday at 1:00pm at Lourdes Hill College, Polding Theatre, and on Sunday at noon at the Tivoli (for ages 14 and up).












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