15 Ways Vice’s Period Photo Set Could’ve Been Even Better

*links are NSFW

Vice has done a ground-breaking photo shoot titled There Will Be Blood, which shows young women doing random things while bleeding onto their clothes or down their legs. I have approximately one million feelings about periods and how we talk about them, and just talking about them in general, so I was super excited to hear about this! Vice is known for pushing all kinds of boundaries and being completely out of fucks to give, but it certainly isn’t a feminist site, making this kind of photo shoot a really fucking interesting choice. Obviously I’m madly in love.

texting while bleeding nbd

But then also, from the perspective of an anarcha-socialist lesbo feminist period enthusiast, I felt this photo set could’ve been a little… better. A little more interesting. So! I’ve gone ahead and made a list of things that would’ve improved the overall amazingness of Emma Arvida Bystrom’s amazing photo shoot, in case anyone wants to make my dreams come true. As always, feelings and opinions are welcome.

15 Ways Vice’s Period Photo Set Could’ve Been Even Better

1. Using real menstrual blood.

2. Models styled as Barbie, depicting all of Barbie’s various career paths — teacher, vet, nurse, astronaut, Miss America — bleeding.

3. Concept combined with the Dinner With Porn Stars photo set.

4. With commentary from Kat Dennings and Judy Chicago.

5. “Perhaps period costumes? Like Victorian England? Because that’s what I thought period photo shoot meant.” -Intern Madi

6. In the style of almost any Rookie photo shoot, especially Good Day Sunshine and We Will Not Be Blinded, plus blood.

7. Instagram, duh.

8. Models inside gas stations and truck stops, trying on hats or considering snow globes, etc.; anything but going to the restroom.

9. All-boy bands — The Beach Boys, Menudo, Nirvana, NWA, Guns ‘n Roses, Simon & Garfunkel, ‘N Sync, Boys II Men — reimagined as all-girl bands, on their periods.

10. Models wearing swimsuits I would’ve worn in middle school.

11. Girls in different weather situations.

12. Girls plus the chairs they were just sitting in.

13. Butch models.

14. Mad Men themed, obviously.

15. All-girl bands — Spice Girls, Tegan & Sara, Destiny’s Child, Tribe 8, TLC, Hole, Dixie Chicks, L7 — reimagined as all-boy bands, on their periods.

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lnj has written 310 articles for us.


  1. You’re right. Every idea on this list IS way better than the Vice photos. #2, #9 and #15 are my faves.

  2. NWA as an all-girl band on their period is maybe all i’ve ever wanted out of life

  3. I’m lost with this shoot concept. It obvs would have been more entertaining had any of these suggestions been incorporated.

  4. 16. The lens is smudged with blood because the photographer has HER period, too.

    • Anything described as meta triggers my L Word PTSD. Ugh. Remember the time they talked about periods? They did a terrible job.

  5. The tags of the photo shoot on Vice are not so great though… Like “wtf” and “put a tampon in it.” I love that the it is an empowering photo shoot, making something that is seen as taboo/gross seem completely normal (because IT IS).

    And then someone ruins it with crappy tags. Maybe I’m overreacting? I could be overreacting…

    • Nah, you just missed the bit where periods are shameful and should be kept hidden from the most likely male taggers eyes. GAWD. [/sarcasm]

      • Actually, looking closer the tagger was most likely a woman. UGH, why is everything so horrible?

      • Yes AND the fact that it’s allegedly NSFW and you have to be 18 to view the slideshow…Based on that warning I expected lots of nudity, etc., but a woman bleeding through her shorts? Idk, I don’t really consider that so inappropriate/adult.

  6. “All-girl bands — Spice Girls, Tegan & Sara, Destiny’s Child, Tribe 8, TLC, Hole, Dixie Chicks, L7 — reimagined as all-boy bands, on their periods.”

    Let’s file this under, “Things I Didn’t Know I Desperately Wanted.”

  7. 17. Diva cups! (because I love mine and it made me want to talk about my period ALL THE TIME.)

  8. Very happy to know that I wasn’t the only one that thought period photo shoot meant Victorian England. No wonder that it made no sense as a Vice photoshoot theme…
    I love you Intern Madi

    • I read about half the article before I figured out that it didn’t have anything to do with Victorian England.

    • INDEED..but then I remembered Laneia’s love of periods and I was all SHE MUST HAVE HAD SO MUCH DELIGHT WRITING THIS FOR US, not that writing about Victorian England wouldn’t have been delightful. :O photoshoots of royalty on their period? Like breaking down the barrier between blue-bloods and laywomen? Ok now Ive been sucked into this subject..

  9. I don’t know how to feel about this photoshoot. I understand the attempt and what this photoshoot is trying to accomplish, but I dislike how there is only one woman of color and she is conventionally dressed and not shown bleeding through her clothes, but disposing of a tampon.

    In fact, it almost seems like the whole ~*edgy*~ aspect to this is that you typically wouldn’t see women such as the ones depicted bleeding through their clothing. I do acknowledge accidents happen (my friend once bleed through the seat of her khakis in middle school AND it was the girl I had a major crush on at the time), but through this photoshoot, it feels trivialized. Especially in light of how free bleeding is actually more of a thing than you’d think in other nations where disposables are not a viable option.

    I personally use a fleur cup (http://fleurcup.com/default-en.html) the French equivalent of a DivaCup, cos the DivaCup was actually too long for me.

    tl;dr Just give me women of color bleeding on themselves and I’ll be happy

  10. Why the fuck do you have to be 18 to view these?? It said the content had been tagged as “naughty”. There is NOTHING naughty or indecent about periods, and half the population will have gotten theirs long before that age. I find that really horrible.

    As for the content itself, I’m happy with any attempt to normalize periods, and help people see them as something other than gross. But any of Laneia’s ideas would have been even better. Butch models, yes plz!

    • The 18 thing really got me as well. I was expecting the photos to be much more over the top, but hell I get to see much worse carnage several times a day when the commies invade my funhouse along with half the population. It drives me up the wall that it’s still portrayed as something to be kept hidden because God forbid that anyone that hasn’t or won’t ever bleed should think about it.

  11. I feel like this piece is sexualizing very young women by portraying their periods as something indecently (and suggestively) marring an otherwise innocent and polished exterior. Does anyone else get this vibe? It makes me uncomfortable.

    It would definitely better if it showed sexy women confident despite awkward period situations (i.e. swimming, changing in the locker room).

    • Well, there is the girl jogging.

      I must admit I’m still uncomfortable when other girls talk about their period.

    • “I feel like this piece is sexualizing very young women by portraying their periods as something indecently (and suggestively) marring an otherwise innocent and polished exterior. Does anyone else get this vibe?”

      This exactly. It’s been nagging at me all night, but you hit the nail on the head. Even more reasons why Laneia’s suggestions are better than the original spread.

  12. This is literally the most inspiring thing I’ve read in weeks. MY CREATIVE JUICES ARE FLOWING.


  13. Sat down at work with a cup of coffee and AS. Laughed my way through this post, but when my coworker asked what was so funny, I was at a complete loss of words. Well done Laneia! It takes a lot to render me speechless! And OMG #4 so much!

  14. Periods. It’s one of those things I’d love to be talking and smiling and joking about, making it okay and natural and just a part of life, which it is, but I can’t. It makes me uncomfortable. I just can’t talk about it. I know I’m synced up with my best friend, she doesn’t. Perhaps I’m just part of the patriarchy. Someone, save me, please!

  15. I still don’t understand why they are telling me what the models are wearing. Besides, pretty sure that “vintage” tank top is from the Hanes 3-pack you can find at most stores.


    I feel like Queens On Periods is an excellent band name.

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