Aly Raisman Is Committed to Ending Period-Shaming

If anyone can do it, this gymnast can


Aly Raisman is a lot of things. She’s an incredible athlete, a strong human, an author, a survivor, and an activist. Now, the Olympian is turning her focus to a very important and relatable cause — ending period-shaming. And if anyone can do it, she can.

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@people out today photographed by @BrianDoben

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In 2012, Raisman became the first American woman to win a gold medal in the floor routine category at the London Olympics. In 2016, she went on to serve as team captain of the “Final Five.” The point is: Aly Raisman is a woman who is experienced at winning and leading, so we’re confident she can achieve whatever she puts her mind to.

Raisman is teaming up with Playtex Sport and its #PlayOn initiative to help put an end to the shame young women endure while on their period.

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Period-shaming is a common and unnecessary problem: Too often, young women feel held back from participating in activities they would otherwise enjoy because they are on their periods.

It might manifest as skipping a pool party or not showing up for practice (or, worse yet, game day) for a sport they love to play.

It also manifests in subtler ways — like the embarrassment you feel when you take your purse to the bathroom and you worry people are judging you because they know it means you need a pad or a tampon.

The problem is massive. According to a recent Playtex Sport survey, about 75 percent of teen girls surveyed said they frequently decide not to play a sport or exercise specifically because they’re on their period. Since menstruation is something that’s entirely natural and affects roughly 50 percent of the population, that’s a huge problem.


In an interview with Teen Vogue, Raisman explained what drew her to this cause.

“Working with Platex Sport is really important to me because they empower young girls and women to embrace their periods and not feel uncomfortable to talk about it,” she said.

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Raisman added, “It’s really important to normalize the conversation. In fact, when I heard that 75 percent of girls stop playing sports or stop working out because they’re so embarrassed, I was devastated. So the more we talk about it, I hope we can teach more girls to play on.”

Kayleigh Roberts
Kayleigh Roberts

Kayleigh Roberts is a writer and editor living in Los Angeles. She really identifies with Leslie Knope, especially on the issue of salad. [twitter:kayleighroberts]