Dress up like your downstairs

By: Megan Graves, Columnist

I absolutely love Halloween. Candy goes on sale, everything gets a little spookier, and the best part: you get to wear a costume.

I’ve always enjoyed dressing up for Halloween, and, when I was little, I took it very seriously. In fact, I used to have this recurring nightmare where it’d be time to go trick-or-treating and I had no costume. It was like the old “I have to take an exam I know nothing about” nightmare but far, far worse.

If you find yourself in dire need of a costume for this weekend, have no fear. Put down those dollar store cat ears, because Conceived in Brooklyn has got you covered.

Imagine showing up to a Halloween party in the sexiest, most vibrant costume there is.

“Who are they?” guests ask as you glide through the doorway and make your way across the room.

As you take a couple sultry steps toward the snacks, someone stops and asks, “What are you, you magnificent creature?”

You slowly turn your head to look them in the eye and you reply, “Who, me?”

They nod slowly, jaw dropped in awe of your glory.

“I’m a vagina. A vulva, to be specific.”

Not only will you be the center of attention at any party you attend, but you’ll be supporting an excellent cause.

Conceived in Brooklyn, the makers of the stuffed vulva costume, are partnered with “50 Cents. Period,” an organization working to raise awareness and support for women living in marginalized and vulnerable communities — Women who don’t have proper access to hygienic supplies or information about their bodies during their menstrual periods.

Did you know that in some countries, women and girls will miss school during their periods due to negative stigma and lack of proper hygienic products?

Did you know that in some American prisons, women are sometimes only given two pads per month, or are denied hygienic supplies entirely? The average woman will use roughly four pads or tampons per day on her period, which typically lasts 4-7 days.

Given that periods are as natural as it gets, it is unacceptable that girls and women are forced to jeopardize their education, their health and their well-being because of them.

If you purchase this captivating costume, $10 will be donated to “50 Cents. Period” to help them in their mission of education, acceptance and care.

You will be helping women and girls around the world regain their dignity and their confidence, while also having the chance to share this information with others when they undoubtedly ask about your tantalizing costume choice.

If the idea of wearing a vulva costume embarrasses you, imagine how it feels to walk around with nothing preventing your blood from staining your clothes in a culture that tells you that your natural, necessary, healthy blood makes you impure.

Free-bleeding, the act of not using sanitary products, isn’t a movement or a stance for these girls and women, it’s a forced burden of life. Without proper care and information, periods aren’t just inconvenient, they’re devastating and potentially dangerous.

If you want to help but don’t want to transform yourself into a giant vulva — I don’t see why the heck you wouldn’t — but here’s what you can do:

Donate money to “50. Cents Period.” Just $1.50 can supply a girl or woman with enough pads for one month.

Donate unopened feminine hygiene products and/or bras to Support the Girls, a Maryland organization that helps supply homeless women with the care they need. Their mailing, drop-off, and contact information can be found on their website, isupportthegirls.org.

If you are unable to donate, then spread the word that these issues exist. Nobody deserves to fall behind in life or feel burdened and ashamed by a natural bodily function, and everyone deserves proper hygiene and care. Period.

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