"Yes, that's a Pad in my hand & there's nothing to be ashamed about. It's natural! Period. #PadManChallenge Copy, Paste this & Challenge your friends to take a photo with a Pad!" This is the message which Akshay Kumar, wife Twinkle Khanna and PadMan team have been using for the promotional campaign of their upcoming film tagging other celebrities to take up the PadMan challenge on social media.
Celebrities like Aamir Khan, Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, Anil Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Varun Dhawan, sports personalities like PV Sindhu and Geeta Phogat took up the challenge and were seen posing with a sanitary napkin to extend their support for the film.
However, Supriya Joshi, a 31-year-old stand-up comedian and writer has pointed out that the marketing gimmick is doing nothing to address the real issue or spread awareness on menstrual hygiene among common people.
In a long Facebook post, Supriya, wrote: "Hi guys, something amazing happened this morning. I got my period. As many of you know, I have PCOS, so to get your period is such an amazing feeling. I immediately ran to my sanitary napkin stash, but found I had run out of them. Instead, I saw my mom, dad, grandmother and my building's secretary posing with them and taking pictures. I asked them what they are doing with my pads, and they said, "shut up silly girl, we're taking part in a movement that will change the course of history. We're going to make periods taboo a thing of the past!
"The Padman Challenge will empower women! Don't forget to use the hashtag otherwise you're not empowering anybody!!!" I felt so empowered and inspired and I wanted to do the challenge too, but at this time everyone had thrown away the opened pads and I continued to bleed through my clothing. Trust me guys it's the best feeling to not have access to pads when you're bleeding and the Padman challenge is all that is needed to destigmatise a woman's period. Kudos to champion of all causes Akshay Kumar and his amazing marketing team for championing this cause!
"But just because I didn't want to feel left out, I did my own version of the pad man challenge. Hope I empowered you. Reclaim your period! Pads are just selfie accessories anyway! ❤️
"EDIT: But, what do I know about this, any way? In the words of Ms. Aditi Shrivastava Suresh, Co-founder, Pocket Aces Pictures HQ, I am just a "Stupid comedians trying to grab their share of fame" and not a real life woman who may have an objection with a campaign that is wasteful, gimmicky and totally misses the point of de-stigmatizing periods."
What do you think about the PadMan Challenge? Is it empowering for women? Do let us know in comments.