Hilary Duff Wants You to Question Your Tampons
... And talk to your sons, not just your daughters, about periods.
As a pre-teen, Lizzie McGuire helped young girls like me prepare for those universally awkward coming-of-age moments, like our first kiss or first bra shopping experience. While we never got an episode about Lizzie learning to use a tampon for the first time, it's fitting that with Hilary Duff's new partnership with organic feminine care brand Veeda, she's helping the next generation of girls — including her daughter — feel less embarrassed about the milestone.
Duff's role as chief brand officer for the plant-based and eco-friendly line of tampons and pads started organically (no pun intended), she says. After stumbling upon natural diapers on Amazon for her daughter, Banks, from Happy Little Camper, she started working with the company and then learned about their sister brand, Veeda. “Honestly, I was using the same tampons that I had since my mom taught me how to use them, so it opened up this whole new world for me,” Duff says. “I was like, Oh my God. I am making all these good choices for my family and for my kids and what we eat and the perfume that I wear and the products that I shower with and I just never really even thought about it."
Part of the reason we spend far less time contemplating that box of tampons than we do our drugstore mascara comes down to shame and embarrassment, Duff says. “There's a stigma around talking about your period and buying products — in the aisle, you just grab it quick and throw it in your cart. Now I feel like I have such a responsibility [to change that] because I realize how stupid it is for girls to feel embarrassed about something that's completely natural and that creates life. Especially now that I have a daughter, I just feel a big responsibility."
Another way she says we can change the narrative is by talking about periods openly, and not just with our daughters. "I think the conversation starts with the whole family. Luca [Duff's 8-year-old son] knows what a period is already, he knows what a tampon looks like and what I have to do and he knows all that comes along with your period — that a woman has a period because women can create life and it's not something to joke about or be grossed out by," she says. "I think it's important to not just share this information with girls. It's important that young boys, you know, turning into guys, are really well educated on it as well."
So, what actually differentiates Veeda from the products that were around twenty years ago? "These products don't have synthetics and dyes and perfumes and all of that shit that, you know, doesn't need to be in there," Duff explains. While traditional tampons are regulated by the FDA and currently considered safe, organic tampon brands like Veeda use cotton that's naturally grown, versus the manufactured and bleached rayon found in conventional tampons. Since these toxins can be absorbed by your vagina's mucous membrane and penetrate your bloodstream, some ob-gyns believe organic tampons are the safer choice.
And really, making the switch to a brand like Veeda, that also uses recyclable and biodegradable materials, isn't a hard choice anymore, Duff argues. "I think that maybe it's a hard concept to wrap your head around when you have bought the same products for, you know, 30 years. People think natural, organic stuff doesn't work or it has a big hefty price tag on it, and that's just simply not the case anymore. We have to care about our environment. We have to care about our bodies."