Pantone launches new Period red colour to tackle menstruation shame

Pantone launches new Period red colour to tackle menstruation shame

September 30, 2020

Would you paint your living room period-blood red to tackle menstruation shame?

Pantone, the colour-matching company best known for announcing their ‘colour of the year’ every 12 months, doesn’t quite seem to be suggesting going all out with red paint, but they have introduced a snazzy new colour in honour of all things menstrual.

Named Period, the ‘active and adventurous red hue’ has been launched in an effort to help ’embolden people who menstruate to feel proud of who they are’.

Of course, period blood varies in exact shade from person to person and throughout a cycle, so the Period colour by Pantone doesn’t exactly match actual menstruation.

And in fact, many people online have criticised the shade for not being accurate to the true colour of menstrual blood.

One person tweeted: ‘If your period blood is this colour you should seek medical help. Just saying.’

But the company reckons that even having a colour inspired by periods and named after them will play a big part in tackling the enduring stigma that’s still attached to menstruation.

Pantone teamed up with Swedish period products brand Intimina to create the colour as part of the Seen+Heard Campaign.

Intimina describes the colour as an ‘original shade of red that represents a steady flow’.

‘We aren’t just painting walls,’ Intimina says in a blog post, ‘we’re breaking down the ones that contribute to the stigmas surrounding periods.

‘It may be the 21st century, but attitudes around menstruation are long outdated and preserved by perpetuated cultural taboos that are mysterious, shameful, and the butt of many jokes.

‘As part of a new campaign by Intimina to make menstruation more visible and normalise this most normal of bodily functions, The Pantone Colour Institute has created Period.

‘The color Period is an energizing and dynamic red shade that serves as the banner for Intimina’s ‘Seen+Heard’ campaign.’

The brand’s global manager, Danela Žagar, added: ‘Pantone’s Period red shade represents exactly what our Seen+Heard campaign is about: making periods visible, encouraging positive conversations and normalising menstruation in our culture, our society and in our everyday lives.’

We’ll have to wait and see if Period ends up being declared as Pantone’s colour of the year for 2021, which would make a stark contrast to the colour of 2020, a ‘classic blue’ chosen to provide a ‘dependable foundation’ for these anxiety-ridden times.

When the colour of the year for 2020 was chosen, the team at Pantone said it would represent a ‘solid and dependable’ presence for the year ahead.

That might not have worked out as planned, given 2020 may go on to have the reputation of the most chaotic, unstable, and anxiety-inducing year of all time.

Pantone’s colours of the years:

  • PANTONE 19-405 Classic Blue (2020)
  • PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral (2019)
  • PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet (2018)
  • PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery (2017)
  • PANTONE 15-3919 Serenity and PANTONE 13-1520 Rose Quartz (2016)
  • PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala (2015)
  • PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid (2014)
  • PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald (2013)
  • PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
  • PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
  • PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)
  • PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa (2009)
  • PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris (2008)
  • PANTONE 19-1557 Chili Pepper (2007)
  • PANTONE 13-1106 Sand Dollar (2006)
  • PANTONE 15-5217 Blue Turquoise (2005)
  • PANTONE 17-1456 Tigerlily (2004)
  • PANTONE 14-4811 Aqua Sky (2003)
  • PANTONE 19-1664 True Red (2002)
  • PANTONE 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose (2001)
  • PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean (2000)

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