DC-based artist Cass Clemmer wants to destigmatize periods. But, in the process, she wants to “de-gender” them as well.
Growing up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Clemmer hit puberty in a society that kept mum about menstruation and the biology behind it. Because of her personal experience, she sought to stop that silence, while also shining a light on the “men” who get periods too.
To achieve that goal, she created the character “Toni” — a literal tampon with googly eyes — and started posting photos of it to her Instagram account. The project soon developed into a coloring book. Called The Adventures of Toni the Tampon, the book has a full range of feminine product characters, including Marina the Menstrual Cup, Patrice the Pad and Sebastian the Sponge.
But wait. “Feminine products” is the wrong term. That’s exclusive.