Minuo, meaning bleed in Latin, is a menstrual health company focused on redefining periods for future generations. Its straightforward, unapologetic design approach shifts negative ideologies about menstruation from embarrassing and shameful to empowering and informed. Minuo’s tagline, “For all menstruating bodies,” is inclusive to trans men, intersex, genderqueer, and non-binary people who also menstruate. With values also rooted in sustainability, Minuo offers reusable silicone menstrual cups and period underwear as eco-conscious alternatives to disposable tampons and pads. Portraits of various people are used to personify the normal bodily function that is spoken and written about as an alien-like process. The diamond shape is a visual analogy to redefining periods. The bright, green-yellow and orange-red are updated versions of the primary yellow and red colors that are often used for activism. An activist approach is necessary when tackling oppressive taboos, and forcing cultural systems to change.
Programs used: Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects; Photos: Maciek Jasik
Menstrual taboos are some of the oldest in history—so old, they predate language. The lives of the earliest evolving humans centered around survival, reproduction, and biological functions: birth, death, sex, hunting—all elements that shaped language. So when did this biological function become a stigma rooted in misogyny?
The first Latin encyclopedia (73 AD) states that, “Contact with [menstrual blood] turns new wine sour, crops touched by it become barren…a horrible smell fills the air; to taste it drives dogs mad and infects their bites with an incurable poison.” Esteemed writers and philosophers including Plato, Aristotle, Leviticus, and Pliny the Elder backed such beliefs and even wrote their own. Modern science has debunked the aforementioned theories, but they set the foundation for contemporary menstrual taboos that still exist globally.
Today, the menstrual cycle is culturally processed through the lens of medicalization. Ironically, menstrual health companies perpetuate the most predominant misconceptions about the menstrual cycle: that it is dirty (by suggesting that their products will make one cleaner), should be kept a secret (by advertising their products as being quiet), and gendered (by only marketing toward cis-women). Most of these companies refrain from discussing the actual process of menstruation or mention the word blood on their products. While newer, more progressive menstrual health companies are shifting the conversation about periods in a positive direction, more can be done.