The thing that can usually stop this debate dead in its tracks - particularly if it's a casual pub debate, I've not seen this tried in more formal settings - is the noble period. Not the pay gap, not the shocking domestic violence figures, not rape statistics or #everydaysexism. No, menstruation and possibly VAT on 'personal hygiene'.
And can you blame them? On the whole we're all a little squicked out by blood. Even if you were one of those kids at primary school who got a nose bleed every day (so jealous) blood is still, y'know, yikes. When the subject of menstruation is brought up advertising campaigns, PSHE lessons and parents are all about concealing it.
Not just concealing it, but working out new ways you can avoid touching your vulva - ew, you don't want that vulva stank on your hands do you? So girls entering puberty get scented plastic applicator tampons and perhaps wonder if they should alert the school nurse to the fact blue liquid isn't being expelled from their womb.
This HelloFlo advert is a bit wonderful. As someone who was late to the period party I know there is a small window in a girl's life where she is excited for her period. For me it was between 11 and 12. Then I dreaded it. For years. Thankfully my body responded and I'd picked my GCSE options and begun the slow decline to university applications before my first period came.
Making puberty in any way easy seems nigh on impossible. Everything is embarrassing because you're pubescent
Making puberty in any way easy seems nigh on impossible. Everything is embarrassing because you're pubescent. It was embarrassing when I came home from school and my mum told me there was 'something for me on my bed', a tiny M&S 32 AAAAAAAAA bra. But it was also embarrassing when I got my homework back at school (actually that would have been more of a surprise considering I never handed any in) and embarrassing when I stepped off the bus (did I step off it right?!). Life was a terrible embarrassment.
Which is why it's so important that, while teenagers might be embarrassed with their body and signs they are becoming adult, we mustn't be. The funny and frank language used in this ad shows getting your period need not be a disaster (if you are cis, of course) and we can be silly about it but also clear that we aren't talking about communists, painters or Aunt Flo. We're talkin' 'bout your "red badge of courage."