Just recently the really rad ladies at The Period Store picked up and ran a series I did a while back on the effects of hormones, etc when menstruating. Below are the images from the series and a brief artists statement. Check out the whole post here and browse the Period Store, an amazing new concept well on the way to success!
This series was mainly prompted with my struggle to accept PMS. Being a feminist, I never wanted to accept these symptoms and often thought PMS was a very Westernized cultural phenomenon or a crutch for womankind. After watching a film in an anthropology class about women in other countries who had no idea what PMS was and never expressed these symptoms, it made me question if it truly was a culturally brought on condition. I thought these women must be so strong and powerful to just get over it and not complain like us, westerners. This was, of course, before I began experiencing many severe PMS symptoms. I was on the pill for all of my teenage years so I never had cramping, bloating, irritability because the pill took care of that.
Now in my late 20s, refusing to go on the pill again because the interruption it made on my cycle and the more natural way I try to live my life I am facing many uncomfortable symptoms associated with being on your menstrual cycle. This series arose during the very irregular/sporadic times I got my period after not having one for over a year. When I was all of a sudden very irritable, nauseous or had cramping/back pain I would think okay I’m getting me period, phew this explains my behavior. I would immediately check my underwear for that little sign of relief. But then I wouldn’t get my period for days and/or weeks, but would get it when I was feeling amazing and had no signs. To the point where I felt crazy and just wanted to understand and treat why I was feeling this way and not getting my period.
After many doctor visits, this is where the Rorschach ink blot test comes into my head, a very dated physiological test to analyze someone’s emotional functioning. And in a sense it is what I was doing to myself. I would feel relieved when I actually did get my period after having PMS symptoms. Being a photographer, which is a very technical form of art, I constantly search for a scientific explanation for everything. This photo series was my way of expressing it in a very non-scientific way. I realize our bodies are all different and change and experience our menstrual cycle in many different ways. I find myself asking and discussing symptoms, cures remedies for some of the inevitable physical and emotional changes experienced that some women experience at different times of their cycle. I am constantly looking for natural remedies to alleviate and subside the discomfort, which is why I absolutely love what you ladies are doing with The Period Store. Making it an easy acceptable and fun way to share stories, thoughts and remedies with other women. And this is where I bring up my previous comments stated earlier; thinking PMS is this cultural western phenomenon. But in reality, many of these countries that do not speak of PMS simply do not have the freedom of speech that we do here. Yes, some women will experience more drastic emotional and physical changes during their cycle and some will not. But fortunately we can openly and freely talk about them. And give a little humor to the situation, which always helps!