D&AD NEW BLOOD '21 // CAUSE CAMPAIGN + APP
REIMAGINING WOMANHOOD AS UTERINEHOOD.
Although half the population will experience menopause, it remains taboo. To destigmatize it, we examined our society's attitudes on gender and reproductive health. We realized that culture conflates womanhood and fertility, erasing the realities of post-menopausal women, trans men, and non-binary people. To overcome menopause's stigma, and make the conversation around it more inclusive, we reframed womanhood as uterinehood—and created an informational and interactive app to introduce the concept.
What I Did: Read personal essays and listened to podcasts by people experiencing menopause. Snooped on trans and non-binary forums for discussions on reproductive health. Explored how the media depicts menopause and menstruation.
BACKGROUND: MENOPAUSE REMAINS "THE LAST TABOO."
Our youth-obsessed culture shies from discussing menopause. It is often the butt of jokes, with television shows and movies mocking symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings. What's more, the conversation around menopause excludes trans men and non-binary people, treating it as a "women's issue" only.
PROBLEM: CULTURE CONFLATES WOMANHOOD WITH FERTILITY.
When young people begin menstruating, people often tell them, "Welcome to womanhood!" This phenomenon is evident in TV shows like The Cosby Show, Game of Thrones, and Degrassi. This ostensibly innocent expression implies that to be a woman, one must menstruate and that if one menstruates, one must be a woman.
TARGET: ANYONE WITH A UTERUS + THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM
Anyone with a uterus will experience menopause, whether or not they identify as women. These people need access to information, understanding, and community but, instead, often stumble through the dark. The people who love them also lack the requisite knowledge, leaving them unable to provide the emotional support they wish they could. Instead, menopause becomes an "awkward topic."
REALIZATION: TO DESTIGMATIZE MENOPAUSE, START FROM THE BEGINNING.
Given that the conflation of womanhood and fertility begins early during puberty, destigmatizing menopause must also begin at puberty. Menopause is not a separate phenomenon from menstruation. It is part of the evolution any person with a uterus will experience. To argue that menopause is not the end of womanhood, we must also dispel the harmful notion that menstruation = womanhood.
MENOPAUSE ISN'T THE END OF WOMANHOOD. IT'S ONE OF THE MANY STAGES OF UTERINEHOOD.
INTRODUCING: U•HOOD APP
U•Hood is an interactive guide through the states of uterinehood. U•Hood equates all four states of uterinehood with empowering emotions: puberty is power, fertility is choice, perimenopause and menopause are a revolution, and post-menopause is intention. To destigmatize menopause, we have to destigmatize the entire experience.
First, we'd generate awareness for the app by meeting our target where they are. We would hang posters in gyms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and doctor's offices, intimate spaces where people think about their bodies and health.
UTERINE HEALTH MAGAZINE
We'd "hijack" one issue of Women's Health Magazine, temporarily renaming it Uterine Health Magazine. This partnership would bring attention to the new terminology and spark conversation around the idea of "uterinehood."
THE REVOLUTION BOX
The Revolution Box would be a new subscription-based product. It would feature an assortment of brands that specialize in menopausal health. Included would be clothing, sexual wellness items, and skincare.
APPENDIX: APPLICATION WALK-THROUGH
Each state would provide a rundown of possible physical changes while also reframing them emotionally. Through your personal you•hood profile, you could also track your periods and symptoms and then export them for review with your doctor.
MY PART →
Secondary Cultural Research