What do models do when they’re on their period? Walking the catwalk is, after all, a job, and as much as we don’t get time out of the office because it’s our time of the month, neither do the girls who have to strut around catwalks in usually sheer, tight or revealing outfits.
Victoria Cain, a 19-year-old model from Surrey, is breaking the stigma surround menstruation by speaking out about what it’s really like to be on your period in the busiest period of a model’s year, calling periods a ‘natural thing that happen to half the population. It’s just human nature’.
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Speaking to The Independent, Victoria revealed that castings are the worst time to come on unexpectedly. The girls, who have to wait in line for hours to be seen by casting agents, would rather hope their black skinny jeans disguises any leaking than go to the toilet and lose their place in line - and a possible job: ‘It’s hard to find five minutes to do what you’ve got to do. It’s horrible because you can feel it and you can’t go to the toilet because you lose your spot. You think, do I lose a possible job or wait for another half an hour? So you just put up with the leakiness’.
As for walking the catwalk in an outfit that means Period Pants are out of the question? ‘My absolute worst nightmare would be leaking on the runway. And in this restrictive profession, models must wear thongs to ensure their underwear doesn’t show through clothes and so women can only use tampons. I always make sure I tuck my tampon string in when I’m on a job – walking down the runway with the string hanging out would be a super embarrassing moment’.
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Victoria also recalled how she was once ‘surprised’ by her period in the middle of the day, and faked a cigarette break to sneak out and go to the shop: ‘All I could think was ‘I can’t leak on the clothes.’ It makes me stressed just thinking about it’.
This is all on top of the standard bad skin (Victoria says menstrual acne is ‘like my period is smack bang on my face’), bloating, cravings and tiredness that accompany our monthly gift (who made up these names?) – none of which are ideal in a situation where clothes are skintight and sometimes stitched onto the body. Victoria sometimes even skips castings when she has bad skin, as she knows its likely other girls with better complexions will be chosen.
Read More: Did you know Barbie gets her period now?
Tampons are now a handbag essential for Victoria, who uses luxury period subscription box Pink Parcel (deliverd to wherever she’s working that month) to make sure she’s always packing: ‘The chances are if I don’t need it, there’ll be another girl frantically looking for a tampon and I’ll come to the rescue’. In fact, she thinks sanitary items should be free: ‘You can get condoms for free yet not tampons or towels? I would love to see this change in the near future’.
What would you do in Victoria's situation? Let us know below!