How this piece of silicone can shift your body image

It’s Tea Time — Collage by the author

I came back home that day feeling excited like a girl impatient to unwrap new tools and unravel the mysteries of the world. I wanted to fast forward to my next period already. Will it be pleasant to wear? Should I even do this? Time to push beyond my comfort zone, no? Strange how it feels like crossing a line… My curiosity outweighed all the dithering and wondering. In my heart, I knew that the menstrual cup I bought earlier would shake up my world.

Before I started using it, I diligently reading all the blog posts I could find…


An Underrated Way to Lubricated Vulvas

Wet Secret V1— Artwork by the author

At first glance, they look like random materials for home recipe makers who are slightly superstitious. Long, dry, rough to the touch, with a dull brown colour; it is hard to imagine it was once a plant root that supported a living being. In the form I was used to, the dry stems would be either straight or rippled on some parts and securely tied in a wreath form with cotton thread. Vetiver roots have always been part of my childhood memories. Because they were stored in a remote corner of the kitchen board or my mother’s beauty closet, they…


About building bridges across the menstrual taboo

There is a whole world in your belly — V1 — Artwork by Kenma

In my teenage years, I used to have a little allowance every month to buy the menstrual products I needed. I was not so good at anticipating my period. I had no idea how to read the forthcoming symptoms, and tracking with the calendar dates was a foreign idea. My first bleeding days always came as a surprise and resulted in me running next door to the Aldi Market. They stocked my preferences there: the green package, ‘Normal’ with wings and three blue drops. …


About the anxiety that comes with the question

The yolk of anxiety — Close up— Collage by Kenma

When I was about 24, my dear grandma (may she rest in peace) sat me down and told me with a very solemn tone, ‘You should settle down now. Your babies are passing by, you know’. By babies, she meant my eggs. According to her, all those years and cycles without bearing any children were all wasted chances. I replied by telling her that the future I had pictured for myself didn’t include babies (or, at least, not yet) and that I was focusing on my studies. I also giggled to myself, amused by her expression. I could visualise my…


And how you too can forge a path to more peace with your body

To the Moon — Collage by the author

In my pre-teen years, I wanted to be a boy. Some days, I wished I would suddenly wake up in another gender. I thought life would be easier, smoother, and freer if I were a boy. My older brothers had more free time, no chores around the house. Their fate seems brighter than mine: being the next J.K Rowling or the next Einstein didn’t seem to create as much friction as being a girl and destined in my imagination to be a spouse and bearing children. …


All sandcastles start the same way — Collage by the author

She stands barefoot on the wet rocky beach. How old is she? Six or even eight years old? Who knows, she might as well have no age. She is not going anywhere specifically, nor she remembers her point of departure. She does not seem lost, though. She stands still on the beach with a calm expression on her face, enjoying the breeze on her cheeks, attentively listen to the music of the elements. In front of her, the vast wild ocean opens up: nothing on the horizon and no one in the surroundings.

Most of the time, the ocean is…


Deflating or Bursting: How is PMS reflecting what’s wrong in our lives

Pan! Pan! — Collage by the author

“Every month, I want to break up with my partner.” Almost all videos I watched about Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) interrogated a few women on symptoms like being irritable, poor mental health, highlighting how detrimental it could for relationships. Why does this all sound familiar?

Learning about PMS a few years back has been a game-changer. It allowed me to put words on an experience I couldn’t grasp but was happening so regularly, right before my periods started. The emotional rollercoaster I was going through suddenly had a name. It was not all in my head but also in my body…


How the PMS label has been detrimental to our emotional lives

Protecting My Spirit (PMS) — Collage by the author

My kitchen pantry reflects all the rabbit holes I fell into over the years: next to the vegan protein powders corner from my obsessive training time lie a few printed Kombucha or vegan recipes. The shelf right above holds the magnesium pills, zinc tablets, oil and herbs, all from the time I thought I needed to handle my alleged premenstrual syndrome in a properly structured way. One capsule here, two tablets there; I had to organise everything in a pillbox not to get lost in the count. But swallowing those pills also meant burying an idea further: that I am…


A little reminder as we slowly go back to the gym

Crunch and Crush it — Collage by the author

“Save for later” or the radical “Remove from cart”. One of these two would be the fate for the flashy sports outfits I carefully selected after hours of wandering through the Internet. Like always, what got me to the shop was a genuine post on Instagram, an enticing range of colours and happy models in poses that seem uncomfortably natural. A thread of events or a well-oiled machine activating one of the most deeply rooted beliefs: Maybe, just maybe, you are not exercising as much as you should. Here is a little something. …


How Migration Traumas Carry Out Through Generations

The Many Roads of Your Life — Collage by the author

The letters were dancing in front of my eyes. Accents and signs seem to be jumping from one character under the bright neon light of the drugstore. Which adjective would fit my situation best? Is my hair “strapaziertes” or “trockenes”? Should I go for products aiming atnährendor “Feuchtigkeitsspendend”? Maybe there is a colour code? Back in France, I have never bought anything with a purple package. They were primarily red or yellowish. Surely it’s a sign that says it is okay to use those products on my natural coils, right? The dripping honey, crushed shiny almonds on the…

Kenma

(She/ her) 30-something Afro-European woman. I share personal essays and opinion pieces about periods, sexual health and body positivity.

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