PMS

I know the medicalization of menstruation has been covered pretty in-depth already, but there are so many ridiculous commercials for it that depict women in outlandish scenarios that I love being annoyed by them all. So here’s another!

Let’s face it, with the right wording and dramatic scenarios you can convince the common person they have just about any disorder. The common encouragement to “ask your doctor if such-and-such is right for you” is a significant indicator that these companies are more concerned with distributing their product than protecting your health because theoretically, if such and such WERE right for you, your doctor would prescribe it without you having to tell them a specific brand name.

With about half the population being female and a large majority of those females experiencing what is essentially a disturbing natural process every month, it’s hard to ignore the market that creates. If you think about it, nobody actually wants this to happen to them, but it has been happening forever and ever to women throughout the entirety of space and time so it’s definitely a survivable process. However, Western media has made it out to be something that is absolutely crippling, and for some, it is. Not all, though. And definitely not everyone.

The commercial I found, for Zenstral, appears to be low-budget and more like one of those as-seen-on-TV ads which is actually kind of creepy. My favorite thing is how the commercial emphasizes that her period is “natural” and feeling all of these symptoms is “natural”. It begins with this incredibly pissed off woman being annoyed by everyone at work. I guess she decides she has PMS because she goes out in some random field, dramatically rips off her jacket, and starts doing yoga. Though she never takes the pill or stops looking pissed off, the commercial narrates the “strict pharmaceutical grade standard” and all the “physical and mental symptoms” the drug relieves including normal things like “irritably, mood swings, anxiety, lower back pain, cramps, and fluid retention”. The entirely too angry girl is now seen on a date in a club, still looking pissed off, and the commercial says “you have enough aggravation in today’s 24/7 world” so take this pill. I’m not really sure what she’s so mad about at this point, I think some guy tapped her on the shoulder and walked away. She never consults a doctor or talks to her friends, she just looks angry all the time and the TV tells you to order your $30 value free trial. Yes, medication without a doctor. I’m convinced.

You can find the commercial here:

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