Anybody that knows me personally will know that I studied Advertising at university before graduating with a business and marketing degree. When I was studying I was lucky enough to study abroad in Australia and learn about Consumer Behaviour and Psychology, and it’s a subject I’m SO passionate about. Now, I’m a university lecturer teaching on a BA (Hon) Creative Advertising degree at the No.1 Arts University’s in the country.
People laugh when they learn that I have a YouTube playlist full of all my favourite commercials. I don’t care though because, to me, advertising is so much more than a corporate activity to make more money; advertising influences our behaviours and shapes our society. One of the most inspiring lectures I attended when I was studying at university was semiotics – the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation. Naturally, ever since this session, I’ve never been able to look at an advert in the same way.
There are so many adverts that I feel I could pick holes in, but hey, who am I to judge!? But there’s always been something that really grinds my gears. Whenever you see an advertisement for periods, why is the ‘blood’ blue!? This doesn’t make any sense. I assumed it was to do with branding until I noticed multiple brands doing this. I also noticed brands using flowers or something else (other than the forbidden colour, red) to illustrate a period.
Bodyformhave highlighted this issue as being detrimental to the perception of periods, and subsequently heightening womens anxiety. Nadia Mendoza, from The Self Esteem Team, comments on how campaigns such as #bloodnormal will have a vital part to play in paving the way for future generations. She comments: “Have you ever seen a woman bleed blue liquid? No. So why is this still the image that so many associate with periods?
When you observe the ads from a semiotic perspective, you can see why they’ve chosen to go with blues (associated with trust and freshness). But seriously, in this day in age, I’m sure we can handle seeing a little bit of blood. This marketing strategy is so severely outdated that it’s actually having a negative impact on their audience; 61% of women agree that the portrayal of periods in feminine hygiene advertising is unrealistic.
Mendoza continues… “The use of blue liquid to represent period blood can be damaging. It not only suggests that period blood is unsightly, shameful and something that should live firmly behind closed doors, it also paints a wholly unrealistic picture for young girls who are yet to start their periods. Starting your period for the first time is hard enough without the fear associated with the unexpected sight of blood. It’s scary. It’s unsetting and it’s unnecessary.”
Daring new #bloodnormal campaign tackles the “period taboo” head-on by realistically showing periods in feminine care advertising for the very first time. You go Glen Co Co! The new #bloodnormal campaign brings this to life by realistically showing periods in feminine care advertising and helps redefine the norm by simply depicting something that is seen by so many every month. It’s just a little blood, and it’s completely normal.
With a severe lack of realistic representation of periods in mainstream culture, Bodyform hopes its new film will be instrumental in leading these conversations and breaking the silence. Traci Baxter, the Marketing Manager at Bodyform, comments:
“We were so shocked by the results of our research that we publicly vowed to address the continued silence around periods. We know that the “period taboo” is damaging. It means people are more likely to struggle with the effects of period poverty, whilst others struggle with their mental health and wellbeing. As a leader in feminine hygiene, we want to change this by challenging the taboo and ultimately removing the stigma, making it even easier for anyone to talk about periods, now and in the future. This is exactly the reason why we launched #bloodnormal.
“We believe that like any other taboo, the more people see it, the more normal the subject becomes. So for Bodyform, after showing real blood and a real, in-situ sanitary towel, bringing the two together was a natural next step. In doing so, we remain committed to showing periods in everyday life, truthfully and honestly – because we feel it’s the right thing to do to. Together, we can help make blood normal.”
“Showing a true-to-life representation of period blood might seem like a small step, but it’s one that will be hugely beneficial in helping a new generation of young women to understand that periods are nothing to be ashamed of.”
Along with its new #bloodnormal campaign, Bodyform will also be tackling the “period taboo” in schools with bespoke educational classes run by experts at The Self Esteem Team. The classes, which are provided free to schools, will tackle issues associated with mental health and self- esteem, as well as the taboos surrounding menstruation.
It’s dead refreshing to see a brand doing everything within its power to change the negative perception of something so integral in women’s lives. This is more than a return-on-investment campaign, this is a movement.
Bodyform, manufactured by leading global hygiene and health company Essity, market a range of feminine protection products that are widely available in all major supermarkets and independent retailers.
The Lake District is a beautiful part of the world, its breath-taking scenery makes it the natural destination for walkers, hikers and ramblers of all descriptions. It’s truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited, and from the picture below (from our trip on New Years Day 2017), can you really blame me?! The picture looks so tranquil, and you wouldn’t believe that we were fighting 50mph winds on the peak of Scafell Pike.
With winter on its way, some of the more challenging walks become difficult, or even treacherous to the novice, so we’ve decided to give you some of the safer routes around the region. We’re sneaking off for another trip soon, but we want to spend more time relaxing, so these walks are going to be perfect for us. Each of them navigable during the winter months, and all promising fresh air, good exercise, and the majestic scenery that this UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for.
This is probably the easiest walk in the whole of the Lake District, one that the whole family can get involved in, whether little kids, elderly people, those using a wheelchair or those with a buggy for infants. The National Park Authority (NPA) have created a path for low mobility visitors that leads to the summit of Latrigg, allowing the less mobile of your party to enjoy the magnificent view over Derwentwater and Keswick.
The rest of your group would need to start at the car park on the Skiddaw access road. From there, you can see the path, clearly marked and laid out, requiring you only to navigate a few stile gates between it and the car park. The path takes a circular route around Latrigg, ending up at the same viewpoint that the low mobility path reaches.
All told, this walk is about a mile and a half, and it is pretty easy. It commands wonderful views of the hills and lakes of the area, including the impressive Skiddaw mountain range, which is a walk in itself, though perhaps recommended for more experienced walkers.
Great Wood and Derwentwater
If Derwentwater impressed from the top of Latrigg, why not try a slightly longer walk that takes you from the Market Square in Keswick to right alongside the lakeshore of Derwentwater itself? This walk is about 4.3 miles and should take no longer than three hours to complete.
From Market Square, you walk past St John’s Church to the right and onto Springs Road, which leads you to a public footpath. This takes you past the lovely Springs Farm and up to Springs Wood, where you’ll find a T-junction, where you should turn right. As you climb, you’ll get your first views of the beautiful Derwentwater, nestled among the fens.
Following the path round, using the signs to Great Wood, you get more views of Derwentwater, as well as Keswick itself. Entering the woods, you need to keep to the higher path, which will eventually lead to a tarmac track, finally becoming the lakeshore path as you enter the woods along the lake. The path will pass through a gate, leading you back to the lakeshore. The path continues to the boat landings and the Theatre by the Lake, finally reaching an underpass, leading back to Keswick and your starting point.
Keswick Landings to Ashness Gate
Another easy stroll for the whole family, taking maybe an hour or two, this is a great way to walk off a hearty lunch or work up an appetite for supper. From the Keswick landings you should follow the water’s edge, keeping the lake to your right. Following the woodland trail as far as Friars Crag, you should then bear left, through the gate into Strandshag Bay.
Continuing along the path, after passing the grassland, you will find another gate, also leading to a woodland trail. Cross the footbridge, then walk to the end of the path, which eventually heads onto a rough road, which you should follow. It takes you past the National Trust Centenary Stone at Calfclose Bay and continues along the edge of the lake until you hit Ashness Gate.
From there you can walk back by the same easy route, or catch the launch back to the Keswick landings.
Keswick is a great place to stay in you fancy a hotel break in the lake district; these three walks, along with many others, are easily accessible from the town. Keswick itself is also a beautiful place to explore, especially in the winter months!
Christmas can be a chaotic time of year, whether you’re relaxing with your nearest and dearest or hosting a party this year, it’s important to think about safeguarding your belongings. From pesky Christmas tree pine needles to spillages and being trampled on, chances are that your rug is going to go through a lot this Christmas. With that in mind, here are a few handy tips on how you can look after it during the holiday season and beyond.
Although spillages can happen any time of the year, the risk is particularly heightened during the Christmas period. No matter what liquid is spilt on your rug, it’s essential that you act quickly. By acting immediately, you can dramatically reduce the risk of any damage to your rug because you’ll be stopping the liquids from penetrating it more deeply. Once any liquids have penetrated the rug, cleaning can be much more difficult.
It’s recommended that you use a damp cloth, preferably one that’s white and made of cotton. Immediately place the cloth on top of the area and leave it to absorb any spillage. Be sure not to rub the area or else it may damage the surface. If you spill any non-liquids, use a spoon to scrape them off.
Pine needles can be a real pest over Christmas and could result in you hoovering your rug more regularly. To ensure you don’t damage the rug whilst hoovering, it’s important to use the nozzle attachment. Hoovering lightly should be enough to remove any excess pine needles as well as loose yarns and surface dust. To ensure bestrug care practices are followed, avoid hoover brushes as they break up the yarns which can eventually reduce the life of your rug. If you have a smaller rug, it’s a good idea to shake it outside before hoovering, this will get rid of most of the pine needles, meaning you can use the nozzle to get rid of any unwanted dust.
If you’re planning on having family and friends over this Christmas, then your rug could actually pose a hazard. If your rug is on a smooth surface such as tiles, vinyl or laminated flooring, then there’s every chance your rug could end up sliding. Rugs that aren’t fully flat to the surface can also present a trip hazard, so if you want everyone to remain safe and sound this Christmas, invest in an anti-slip underlay. This will prevent slips whilst also acting as a shock absorber which can cut down on the wear your rug is likely to go through over the Christmas period.
If your rug is fairly new, then you may have noticed it shedding quite a lot. Although this is likely to settle over time, it’s highly likely that a busy Christmas period will affect it. Foot traffic, combined with animals and even abrasive cleaning can all contribute towards your rug shedding. To help prevent against shedding this Christmas and promote good rug care, it’s advisable that you insist on no shoes in the house. Barrier mats are also recommended as they stop dirt from entering the home. Gentle hoovering using the nozzle and avoiding the hoover brush is also a good idea.
During heavy usage of your rug over Christmas, you’re highly likely to come across some loose strands. Rather than pull at them, you should look to trim the loose fibres level with the surface of your rug. Pulling them can result in weakening the backing of your rug. You can also hoover loose fibres, as long as you do it carefully and avoid any abrasive cleaning methods.