Menstruation becoming an illness

Birth control is used by many women as a common form of treatment to menstruation and it’s symptoms. Historically, talking about your period was always considered a taboo thing, even now when you have names like “aunt flow” to describe menstruation is still a sign of keeping the conversation “hush hush.” Over time, it seems due to the lack of conversation, the mixed and different symptoms women experience for their period is a topic of emotional understanding mixed in with confusion. Birth control has become much more accessible due to many women hearing about the symptoms, but not knowing what to do with them. As birth control can have many advantages as well as many disadvantages; each women experiences birth control completely differently.

Beyaz Birth Control ad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdSmXKRqFHM&feature=player_embedded

Beyaz is selling a birth control for women specifically with PMDD, and the commercial takes place in a department store where various women are perusing through the shopping aisles. The ad definitely tries to sell a lifestyle, and gives the viewer an option to choose what we want in our lives. More specifically the decision to have a baby or to travel the world in all it’s splendor. The fact that Beyaz is supposed to target women with severe symptoms from menstruation, and that the ads visuals have nothing to do with it’s supposed intent of treatment is bizarre. Not to say that there is anything wrong with that, but the ad definitely takes more of a social stance of how you should live your life as a woman: to conceive or not to conceive? The medical information states that it can help prevent acne, PMDD, and also prevent a rare type of hormone that causes birth defects for babies. It seems that some of the medical information is contradicting in what it’s trying to sell. The idea of lessening symptoms from menstruation or the choice to not have a “healthy baby.” There was no doctor-patient interaction at all through out the ad.

4 thoughts on “Menstruation becoming an illness

  1. I definitely agree about the ad taking to form of a social stance rather than highlighting the symptoms of menstruation. I think the ad really gave off the impression that you can choose to have the lifestyle of anything you ever wanted; a grad school diploma, a trip to Paris, or even a luxurious home. I too, thought it was weird they didn’t touch much on relieving the symptoms of menstruation; which is what the ad is suppose to show in the first place. One thing that I noticed right away was all the women, all different from one another, and they were very happy.
    In today’s society, there is a lot of emphasis on the dependency of medication. I think a lot of it is mind over body, as we discussed earlier. Take the placebo video for example. The lady with depression ensured us that her symptoms got better, even though she was only consuming a sugar pill the entire time. Although these different birth controls are a way to prevent pregnancy, do they actually relieve the symptoms of menstruation as well? I would have to say pills and other forms of medications are a way to medicalize illnesses.

  2. I completely agree with menstruation has become something taboo and how we refer to it as “aunt flo” keep it on the down low. Then most people know what “aunt flo” is so it be more of the fact of not wanting to say the word period or menstruation. I forgot to consider how women take birth control as a way to slow menstruation and help with discomfort. I have heard ad say if you not trying to get pregnant there is really no need for a woman to have a monthly cycle. There are a lot of commercials out their rite now more to shorten menstruation then treated the symptoms. The advertisement you pick is exactly that it’s about shorten your menstruation instead of taking care of the pain that come with it.
    Medications play a very important part in our society it’s to treat illness and restore the body in medicalization term. For bio medicalization medication is use to try things we don’t like about ourselves aging is a good example. This say our cultural values about health are not just focused on the wellbeing bodies but the way our bodies look at the same. The video “ Pill poppers” was a very interested video because it shows how medications in short tenure is helpful but can have harmful to the body in the future.

  3. As a female I agree with your post. Birth control is considered to an alternative and answer to stop pregnancy. However, I agree with your post that birth control does have some harmful side effects. I myself have never taken birth control pills before but, I see birth controls commercials on TV daily and at the end of every commercial they always have a list of side affects to follow. Some of these side effects include blood clots, depression, nausea, mood swings, dizziness, and many other serious illnesses. Even though birth control pills can prevent pregnancy it comes at a cost in that you are putting your health in on the line by possible having side effects. Since everyone is different side effects will vary throughout each female. Also, one time when I ask a medical doctor about birth control I was turned down by a doctor. According to the doctor I was not a candidate because I have experienced migraines and headaches in the past. Some friends have encouraged me to use birth control pills in the past because they said it would stop me from breaking out and getting pimples on my face. I also experience severe cramps when I get my period and I was told that birth control would keep that pain to a minimum or even stop the pain if I took it.

    In the ad for Beyaz birth control pills it shows that its good for women to have choices and it claims that it is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. It also claims that it treats moderate acne and it gives you lighter periods. However, Beyaz also claims that it may not work for everyone. It seems like a lot of ads always mention that birth controls pills help stop acne and that seems like a big selling point because having acne in our society is seen as a disadvantage and many people believe that acne takes away the beauty from someone. Acne in our society has a very negative connotation and if you do have acne you are considered ugly and not beautiful.

    Women would be interested in taking Beyaz because it not only stops pregnancy, it can make a woman look better too by preventing acne. It seems birth control pills in American society tries to serve a dual purpose. Some people think that being healthy means not only feeling better, but also looking beautiful and having great skin. I noticed that all the women in this video have flawless skin, they are thin and beautiful. This commercial is basically saying that if you take this birth control pill you can feel and look beautiful just like the women who are in this commercial. In reality every women is different and just because your face may not be blemish free or you may not be as beautiful as the women in the ad that does not me you are lesser than those women depicted in the ad. Taking birth control pills reminds me of the placebo video that we watched this week. In that birth control pills like placebos sells this idea that if you take this pill you will look and feel better about yourself. Birth control pills just like placebos has the same disclaimer that it might not work for everyone. In essence, many pills in our society are ineffective and may not work for everyone.

  4. I would agree with your analysis of the birth control beyaz. This commercial definitely does not appeal to the more logical, scientific mind or to those who want specific information about exactly what the drug is capable of. It appeals to the more emotional, spontaneous side of each woman. The women in this commercial are shopping for life experiences like a boyfriend or a trip to Paris and suggest that these are the things you can do or get when you do not have to worry about your period. This is one of many birth control commercials that really focus on birth control as menstruation management rather than as a contraceptive.
    I think our country has been very quickly been trending towards biomedicalization. Although biomedicalization can have its benefits, I think that too often these biomedical “improvements” are advertised more as medically necessary. One example that always comes to mind for me is latisse, the prescription to grow longer eye lashes. I think that all of this shows how much we value beauty and perfection. Non-medically necessary plastic surgery is one great example of how much money we will spend and pain we will endure for the sake of beauty. I think that to some people this beauty and perfection is more important than health. We are willing to endure painful surgeries with a huge list of possible complications for the sake of beauty when nothing is actually physically wrong with the body.

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