This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada, which closed in 2021.

Period Jewelry Collection Makes Blood Bling A Thing

A tampon ring could be the perfect gift from Aunt Flo.

That time of the month just got a makeover.

Frustrated with the secrecy shrouding a common human experience, British designer Lili Murphy-Johnson designed a line of period-inspired jewelry. Her collection transforms tampons into golden trinkets, and blood into shiny red jewels cheekily adorning a hand hovering crotch level.

Menstruation (and even products that absorb it) is often stigmatized and sanitized in society.

"Women in adverts are celebrated and admired when they’re in underwear or dresses and have makeup on and their hair styled," she told Huffington Post UK. "However, if that women is visibly menstruating, I think it would change a lot of people’s perception of her, even though it is a very normal thing for a woman’s body to do."

Using rings, charm bracelets and necklaces, the designer makes that taboo time of the month something worth flaunting. Her work even mimics the emotions PMSing evoke, like a necklace with a pink ball dubbed "On The Rag." The bouncing ball is deliberately irritating, making it hard for wearers to move comfortably.

But not everyone was a fan. Etsy banned Murphy-Johnson's collection from their website, which was unexpected by the designer.

"I was a little annoyed and surprised, as I didn’t feel my jewelry was in any way offensive or inappropriate to be showing people," she told HuffPost UK. "It was frustrating to be told I was doing something 'wrong' when I knew it wasn’t."

She's not the first artist to be censored for sharing the red tide online. Toronto-based artist and author Rupi Kaur made a photo series about her period, which was banned by Instagram.

People who menstruate, including cisgender women and transgender individuals, have long been stigmatized for posting photos of their periods. One woman received death threats for posting her period online.

For Murphy-Johnson, period-shaming is more telling about society than about.

"There is an interesting conflict with the perception of the female body, being seen as so perfect, yet also as so grotesque and unclean," she wrote on her website.

"The pieces I made were developed from my process of looking into what menstruation is to me," she told Huff Post UK. "I think they are only shocking if the person looking at them is shocked by menstruation itself."

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