We’re so excited to announce that Bronte Huskinson a.k.a. Bookish Bronte is joining The Cup Effect as one of our Ambassadors. Bronte is an Instagrammer (you may have seen her featured on Instagram’s own feed recently), writer and period campaigner who we’re delighted to have on board as we gear up for what’s set to be the biggest year for The Cup Effect yet!
Hi Bronte! Thanks for joining us today, we’re so excited to have you here! Tell us a little about yourself and who you are:
Thank you! I’m so excited too! I’m Bronte, but you can find me online @bookishbronte. I’m a writer and Instagrammer who talks about all things feminism and books!
You’ve recently started a campaign on Instagram called #thegreenperiod, could you tell us a little about that and what inspired you?
#thegreenperiod is a series I’ve started on my Instagram and and my blog where I try sustainable menstrual products and talk about my experience with using them. My aim is to generate conversation around periods to show that ‘period’ isn’t a dirty word and to educate my followers with how many different products there are, so they can be kinder to the planet, themselves and their bank account!
#thegreenperiod was inspired by me wanting to live a more sustainable lifestyle, and the fact that I had no clue that some of these reusable options existed until I started doing my own research. I wanted to start using my platform for good this year, and this seemed like a good way to start!
How was your experience of ‘period education’ growing up?
Like most people, it was very limited. In primary school, I distinctly remember only being taught about the usual pads and tampons, and the teacher demonstrating how a tampon works by putting it in a glass of water. There was no mention of reusable options at all.
What role do you think that menstrual cups have to play in school education in the future?
Especially now that people are pushing to live a more sustainable lifestyle in order to save the planet, I wholeheartedly believe that menstrual cups NEED to be talked about in schools. They’re a whole lot safer than tampons are, and can be left in for so much longer. The best thing about reusable products is that they cost a whole lot less in the long run. Sadly, period poverty is a very real thing even here in the U.K, and menstrual cups can help battle that.
What led you to get involved with The Cup Effect as an Ambassador?
One of my goals for 2019 was to start doing more activism work and, if I can, make a difference even if it is just for one person. The problem was, I didn’t know what type of activism work I wanted to do. So instead of doing research, I decided to binge watch The Russell Howard Hour. He does a segment where he invites people onto the show to talk about the influential work that they’re doing. One of those guests was Alesha Dixon and she was talking about period poverty. As I started doing my research into it, I became more and more passionate about the topic and wanted to do my bit to help get involved. When I was researching different charities on social media, that was where I came across The Cup Effect!
How do you think that the conversation around periods needs to change, both in the UK and beyond?
I think we need to become more open and comfortable talking about our periods, both to men and to women. I went to an all girls’ school, and I still hid my pads and tampons up my jumper sleeve when I went to the bathroom, even though every girl there will at some point go through the same thing! It was all very ‘hush hush’ when I was growing up, and I believe it shouldn’t be. Periods can be empowering and freeing if you want to them to be. We should be able to talk about them as much or as little as we like!
How did you feel when you first tried a menstrual cup? Were you raring to go or was there some apprehension at first?
I was actually pretty excited to try my menstrual cup for the first time! I do remember holding it in my hands and thinking how am I meant to fit this up my vagina!? It did take a bit of fiddling to get it in properly, and took a lot of patience but the outcome was so worth it!
What are your top tips for someone considering trying out a menstrual cup?
You have to be patient with it, I didn’t get it in properly the first time, or the second or the third! But keep going with it because it’s so worth not having to change a tampon multiple times a day! Also, especially when you’re first starting to use one, keep your nails short – TRUST me!
And finally, what are your hopes for 2019 as a Cup Effect Ambassador?
I want to inspire women to be comfortable talking about their periods whilst at the same time, educating about period poverty and help tackle it. . I want to make my followers and beyond aware of how amazing Menstrual Cups are and how much they can make a difference to your life. Since I’ve started using my cup, I feel like I’ve taken control of my period and feel much more empowered as a woman. If I even help just one woman feel the same as I do, then I think that’s a pretty great thing.