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Brief Published: 8 Apr 2021

Bodyform Tackles Taboos Around Women’s Pain


Global feminine intimate care brand Bodyform has launched #painstories – an online and social media campaign to raise awareness and dismantle the shame around women’s experiences with pain, primarily focusing on endometriosis. The initiative aims to educate and engage society by sharing stories of pain that are too often systematically overlooked. 

The campaign tackles the gender pain gap through new visuals and language, including the virtual Pain Museum, which explores taboos around pain through expressive artwork and interviews with people living with endometriosis. An accompanying Pain Dictionary features a collection of words and definitions of pain from people with endometriosis, which are brought to life using descriptions and illustrations to help contextualise the condition and express the intensity of endometrial pain. Additionally, a downloadable Pain Report uncovers issues around historical and societal attitudes towards women’s pain, featuring interviews with female experts and people who suffer from agonising conditions.

An estimated one in 10 women of reproductive age in the UK suffers from endometriosis and it takes an average of 7.5 years to diagnose it (Endometriosis UK, 2011). This highlights the dismissive attitude from doctors towards the condition despite its prevalence. Women’s pain is often ignored due to outdated taboos, insufficient research, misdiagnoses and limited funding, as well as a host of stigmas and lack of understanding around transgender and non-binary people.

Bodyform is challenging these attitudes by pushing the realities of female pain into mainstream consciousness. “By inviting women to share their #painstories we hope to overcome the culture of silence that holds women back – in this case, from proper diagnosis and treatment,” said Tanja Grubner, femcare global marketing and communications director at Bodyform’s parent company Essity.

For more on how to demonstrate solidarity with female consumers and progressive campaigns, see What Women Want and Bodyform’s 2020 #wombstories campaign on The Brief.