Thursday, September 20, 2012

Oh Disney, what can't you do...

Hello children.  Are we all sitting comfortably?  Good, then we'll begin.

Today we're going to learn about *hushed whisper* lady bits!  That's right, we're going to learn about that time of the month, Disney style!

Oh yes, you heard me right.  Turns out that Disney is good for more than just animated movies about dancing teapots and questionably accented crustaceans.  They also, back in the day, dipped their toe into the educational film market!  There's a few of them out there, but I thought that today we could all check out "The Story of Menstruation".  The title says it all, I think.

In it we get to watch as a character vaguely reminiscent of Cinderella navigates the minefield of young womanhood, narrated by someone who sounds a heck of a lot like June Allyson.  Come on, June, you were a star!  There's no way in the world you needed to do a voice over for a third rate educational short!  You were in Two Girls and a Sailor for gods sake!

Sorry, got carried away...

In the film they seem to put an awful lot of emphasis on the fact that girls "come in all shapes and sizes", and there's a frankly disturbing obsession with the word glands, but other than that there's not much as far as information goes.  There's just ten minutes of vague explanations and euphemisms, along with some rather questionable advice about not getting too hot or cold and "just getting over it" when you feel a tad emotional.

Yeah, that one gave me a sudden urge to grab something stabby too.

If this is how girls back in the 40's learned about their periods, I feel sorry for the poor dears!  The reality of it must have come as a bit of a shock if this was their primary source of information before the big event.  It's cruel if you ask me.  How were they supposed to prepare themselves for the water retention?  The cramps?  The sudden and inexplicable urge to sob because you can't open the pickle jar?  Not to mention the fact that your uterus practically liquefies and falls out!

Bad form, Disney!

Something that really make me giggle, though, was the fact that the film was sponsored by Kotex.  They had infomercials back in the 40's.  Who knew!







49 comments:

  1. Well they never included this in 'The Wonderful World of Disney' clips, thank goodness! I would have been terrified of catching a cold.

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    1. LOL! I have to say no one has ever told me that before. It was a bit of a surprise for me.

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  2. Is it just me or is that first infant in the cradle wearing really intense mascara and lipstick? Not cute enough au natural, baby!

    Also, I was unaware that there was an idea that you shouldn't shower during menstruation. I guess that would be one way to encourage people to stay out of your way during that week...

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  3. Oh no. No no no no no. I guess we should be happy they didn't make mensies a dancing, singing demon character? I can't believe this exists. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the makers of Song of the South would make a homage to sexism.

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    1. It was very patronising, wasn't it. I was especially taken by the bit where it said to do what you regularly do, and the picture was of a girl vacuuming. Seriously? That's all girls are good for?

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  4. I so can believe this exists. I may be the only person on the planet who loathes Disney and wishes Disneyland and Disneyworld would catch fire. Sorry chil'rens!

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    1. I think I was equal parts appalled and amused when I watched it for the first time. It's just so unhelpful!

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  5. Hilarious. I never saw a movie like that, although I'm not quite "that old." :)

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    1. I think it was made even before my parents were born, so it's definitely for the pre-war generation.

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  6. I like the video--it provided more information than my mother ever did, although being told to be well-groomed is pretty funny. My mom and I had our first frank conversation about the pains of the period...just last week and I'm 32.

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    1. LOL! I think if I'd got my first period with that as my only source of information, I would have freaked out!

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  7. Phew, that was certainly an oldie, but not necessarily a goodie! Showering, exercising, getting plenty of fresh air, being sure to powder your nose! Who knew we had to do all this because of that darn ole gland! Thank you Disney and Kotex for making it all so normal and happy! Where did you ever find this video?!

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    1. Lol! I just stumbled across it and it was too good not to share :)

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  8. It's a darn shame their educational film market didn't work out. Imagine the possibilities. "The Story of Wet Dreams" "The Story of Kissing" "The Story of Getting to Third Base" There would have been no need for us to hide in the closet with our copies of Judy Bloom books, that's for sure. And really, as Robin asked, where do you find this stuff?

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    1. Oh, what a terrifying thought! The idea of them explaining reproduction? They'd skip right from "a boy meets a girl" to "then a baby is born". And they'd be purposely vague about the definition of born!

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  9. An absolute riot!!!! Makes me want to go find my Prince Charming, bleed through my tampon, and have a raging bout of PMS.

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    1. Ah yes, now I'll forever associate my monthly with Prince Charming.

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  10. And in those days, Kotex meant wearing one of those gawd-awful garter belts to hold the pad in place. No leak-through protection either.

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    1. Ugh! Not for me, thank you very much! There's a reason we invented tampons!

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  11. I can't watch 9 mins of that at work, I will never hear the end of it, but that's really crazy!

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    1. LOL! You could just tell them you're learning about "becoming a woman" ;D

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    1. Isn't it though ... in that terrifyingly disturbing way.

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  13. No, of course I didn't watch this. I'm serious. I really didn't. You can't make me admit it.

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    1. You mean you don't want to learn about becoming a woman?

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  14. Wow....just wow. I was never told to focus on my posture in sex ed. Maybe my education wasn't complete.

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    1. So slouching can stop you from getting pregnant? Huh, who knew!

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  15. Oh my. Oh my. The things I never knew....

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  16. Whoa... Shit just got real.

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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    1. And you thought you'd have to give your girls "the talk"! See, all you have to do is make them watch this and viola, job done!

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  17. PS How does Disney NOT have a line of tampons and pads?!?!?

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  18. You are totally amazing and brilliant - where DO you find these things?!!! Indeed, what can't Disney do??? Hahaha. Just loved it.

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    1. Lets just say I have ample free time to tool around on Youtube and leave it at that ;D

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  19. Wow. But I have to admit, I wouldn't mind seeing Disney's make a modern version...it could be a whole of fun! Singing and dancing ovaries, cute little eggs, full of sass and one-liners :)

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    1. But who would the villain be? Of course, the dreaded PMS!

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  20. How did you find that? Too funny! I am following you.

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  21. OMG, Kellie, I think I love you!! That is greatness!

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    1. It's pretty awesome, isn't it! Part of me wishes they still taught it like that, all vagueness and flowery phrases.

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  22. This is so funny! Funny and unique post!!!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it! When I find things like this I feel selfish if I don't share.

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  23. That's funny. Direct and to the point.

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  24. I never knew Disney was so Socially correct.
    Great Post!

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  25. that's so funny! i love that you dug that little gem up to share with those of us who didn't know that we should avoid constipation which might impair our cycles. and how about that girl ironing upside down? i'll have to try that next time i'm on the rag.

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