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VIDEO: Walt Disney's animated guide to the menstrual cycle

This ten-minute 1946 cartoon, commissioned by a hygiene products company, was shown to over 100 million people.


(YouTube: )

“WHY IS NATURE always called Mother Nature? Perhaps it’s because like any mother, she quietly manages so much of our living without our ever realising there’s a woman at work.”

So begins this ten-minute informational film produced by the Walt Disney Company in 1946, commissioned by hygiene company Kimberley Clark and shown to an estimated 100 million students in American schools.

The oddly-charming video talks viewers through the pituitary gland, which is responsible for the production of human growth hormones – and, at the onset of puberty, the hormones that kickstart the menstruation process.

Something of a landmark, the video is thought to have been the first mass-distributed film to use the word ‘vagina’ in its script.

It doubled as a covert commercial ploy from Kimberley Clark: the companion book advocated the use of sanitary pads (an industry dominated by its Kotex products) instead of tampons (dominated by Procter & Gamble’s Tampax brand).

We won’t discuss the rest of the video – spoiler alert, you know? – but rather leave it up to yourself to watch in your own time.

On a serious note: if you have genuine questions about the contents of this video, you should always consult your doctor.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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