Gypsy Creams

“Tampax” Tag


Woman's Realm / 15 July 1961

These appear to be ‘Pull-up’ pants for teenage girls, so I’m not all that surprised that they didn’t become popular. I suspect part of the failure might be the ‘fleecenap’ that’s meant to absorb menses, although I can’t say for sure how it measured up against other sanitary alternatives of the time. Another attempt was made a few years later in the shape of Nikini, but the failure of this product suggests that, amazingly, not all women are made to the same shape and size, and so they’re better off deciding for themselves exactly where their sanitary protection should sit. A secondary reason why this kind of product isn’t likely to be making a comeback is the loss of social stigma around tampons, and even the reputation of menstrual cups is changing from being too ‘hippy’, due to some canny advertising praising their ecologically-friendly credentials.

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Three Grown Up Girls

Woman's Weekly / 26th March 1965

See? Only BABIES use sanitary pads! Anyone else feel like they’re being talked to like a toddler?

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Good old widthways expansion!

Woman's Realm / 31st March 1967

Judging from this ad, contemporary Tampax must have formed channels that menses could leak out of. If anyone can confirm, I’d be grateful! Lil-Lets still talk about width-ways expansion, and they’ve been a lot more explicit about comparing the Lil-Let to Tampax products for, ooh, at least the last 25 years, as I remember this ‘dip test’ from my adolesence. I could go on, but I’m aware that some of my audience are already feeling a bit queasy. Incidentally, boys, menses is NOT blue.

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Get with it!

Woman's Weekly / 23rd May 1969

Come on! Live a little! Stick some cotton up your vag! Not the most positive of messages, is it?

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The Obligatory Tampon Ad

Woman's Own / 20th June 1969

Well, I had to do the tampon ads, didn’t I? All discussions of sanitary products reminds me of my mother, who would have started mensurating in the mid-1950s, telling me that she used rags for the first few years, because her family could afford nothing else, and her joy at finally being able to afford a sanitary belt, a contraption that looked horrifying to my teenage self in the early 1990s. I never got on well with sanitary towels, so when the Tampax woman visited our school to explain the use of the product, I embraced them with open arms. Both my mother and my friend’s mother remained suspicious of tampons until their menopause, so it’s probable that these ads were fairly ground-breaking back in 1969.

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