It’s A First Moon Period Party!
A Girl’s Rites of Passage
“A young woman’s menstrual cycle should be met with excitement and celebration as she embarks on her new journey. The women in her family gather around her and drench her in knowledge, support, and teach her to love her cycle. This is how we bring change to the next generation.”
It should be an exciting time in a girl’s life when she gets her first menstrual period. That first blood signals that she has entered puberty and is on her way to womanhood, or as some say, “WOMBmanhood.” It is one rite of passage that is part of our heritage from the motherland. It prepares an individual for a new role, a new chapter in her life. Traditionally society has shamed women about their period but recent menstrual movements such as Free Bleeding and others are working to take the stigma out of the ‘floetry’ of a perfectly natural stage of life.
It is one rite of passage that is part of our heritage from the motherland. It prepares an individual for a new role, a new chapter in her life.
One Ohio family took this celebration a step further and created a rights-of-passage for their little sister, Tsakani (age 12) when she got her period last June and their post about it just recently went viral. “A young woman’s menstrual cycle should be met with excitement and celebration as she embarks on her new journey. The women in her family gather around her and drench her in knowledge, support, and teach her to love her cycle. This is how we bring change to the next generation,” said Sesheta Tafari, who is not only Tsakani’s big sister but is also a practicing doula. Their mother passed away when they were younger.
First period parties are often called, a “First Moon Party” because the moon and the menstrual period both have 28-day cycles. The moon phases make for a good reference to “that time of the month.”
Tsakani’s education about the changes her body was about to endure didn’t come as a surprise, she was prepped for it starting at about age 10. Preparing for this event is essential for creating a comfort-zone to eliminate any negative stigmas associated with a girl’s menstrual cycle. “It was important for me to have this party for my sister because I didn’t want her to grow up thinking my period is a terrible time of the month or I hate being a girl,” said Tafari.
It worked. Tsakani called her big sister immediately and told her that she had gotten her period. Now it was time for her sister to plan the much anticipated big celebration of Tsakani’s entrance into WOMBmanhood. Tsakani didn’t actually plan the party with her sister and did not know quite what to expect but in spite of the staged photos where it’s looking like she is in shock, Tsakani actually did have a good time. “I don’t think she knew exactly what it would entail since she wasn’t in on the planning,” said Tafari, “I wanted to nail her having a good experience so that she felt loved and welcomed.” And she did. The party’s theme was red and included red party favors, red berries and cherries, along with a uterus cake. Dinner was pasta with tomato sauce and red leaf lettuce. The women at the party gathered around and talked about their own menstrual cycles, taught Tsakani about what to expect, showered her with gifts, and taught her how to use various feminine hygiene products. After the party is also a good time to talk about the birds and the bees, also known as the sex talk.
One of the factors that made this party a success is that Tsakani was primed prior to her advent into womanhood. “It’s a great idea to prime the conversation between yourself and the young woman who is having the cycle so the girl doesn’t hide their period, said Tafari, “It is important that they are comfortable having a conversation with you and if we do that more girls will come to us instead of hiding their panties at the bottom of a hamper. We’ll have more girls who will be like, ‘I started my period can we talk about menstrual health products?’ Don’t just show up with a pop-up surprise party.”
Some of the more than 4k likes and views on the popular post include mostly positive and affirmative cheers from readers but you can’t help but notice that there are some negative comments as well. “I think some of that comes from that negative stigma around menstrual cycles from women who were just thrown a pad, told to go take a shower, and you’ll be alright,” said Tafari. “The more we have a celebration instead of a stigma, the more it is accepted. A lot of women have a disconnect with their menstrual cycle.” Most of the comments are from women but there are also a few comments on the thread from men. “The [period] stigma is rooted in misogyny and we were taught by men to be grossed out at ourselves and then we started policing other women because of men. Although, every single woman has a cycle and it’s important to them,” said Tafari, “We have to normalize the things we go through and then we rise as women.”
Since the post went viral, Tafari has offers to create more period parties but you have to be in Ohio to hire her.
First Moon Gift Ideas
Ivy The Uterus is a great gift to help explain what is going on in a young girls body and it’s cute and cuddly too!
A gift that lasts is the Flo App. You can give a 12-month subscription to your favorite girl. It keeps track of menstrual cycles, calculates future cycles, and she can log symptoms to keep track of her period.
The Period Book is a down-to-earth practical resource that answers any questions she might have about her period, from what it is and what it feels like, to how to choose a form of protection, to how to talk to you, her parents, about it. It will guide her through all the physical, emotional and social changes that come with her period, as well as related issues such as dealing with spots, mood swings, and new expectations from her friends and family.
Organic Menstrual Period Survival Kit is small and convenient and is a healthy alternative to mainstream products that often have toxic chemicals. KIT INCLUDES: 1 sequin travel bag, 2 Organic Maxim Hygiene Tampons , 1 Natural Maxim Hygiene Panty Liner, 2 MaskIT Feminine Disposal Pouches, 1 feminine wipe .
Leak-proof Period Panties for Teens are the perfect gift to prevent leaks. THINX BTWN Teen Period Underwear are organic cotton and claims that you don’t need to wear a tampon or pad with this underwear. These period panties hold as much fluid as four tampons.
Reusable sanitary napkins are organic cotton and are good for the environment. They are absorbent and the outside is waterproof. The carry bag has two zippers to carry the dirty pads in one pocket and the clean pads the other pocket.
“The [period] stigma is rooted in misogyny and we were taught by men to be grossed out at ourselves and then we started policing other women because of men. Although, every single woman has a cycle and it’s important to them,” said Tafari, “We have to normalize the things we go through and then we rise as women.”
check-in with Period Prep Questions
- Did any of your friends get their periods yet?
- What would you do if you got yours?
- What if you get your period when you’re away from home?
Tsakani’s First Moon Party image gallery