Images via Teen Vogue and THINX. This essay was written by me and originally published by Tote Magazine, an online magazine for college age women. Be sure to check them out here! And right now new customers can get $10 off their first THINX order by using this link. You’re welcome =)
I was standing in my room getting dressed when I noticed the holes in both sides of my lace trimmed thong. It was slowly becoming the case that all of my undergarments looked this way. During my years working the mail room in college I had collected countless Victoria’s Secret free panty coupons that were addressed to students who no longer lived in the dorm room. I still can’t believe the cashier allowed me to walk out with six pairs of lace trimmed cheekies without paying for any of them. The truth is, aside from the occasional piece of lingerie, I hadn’t actually purchased underwear in years, and it showed. What sat in my drawer was a kaleidoscope of fading, tearing, stained, and quite frankly melancholic pieces of fabric. I had been putting off getting new ones in an attempt to find the perfect, indestructible, attractive, “slow fashion” version of underwear. One of my new year’s resolutions was to “get my shit together.” I know: said everyone ever. But I wanted to get certain aspects of my life on lock down so I would never have to think about them or distract myself with them again.
Should I purchase some Calvin Klein? I reveled in all the Back to the Future jokes I could make if I owned several pairs.
“Well, that is your name, isn’t it? Calvin Klein? It’s written all over your underwear.”
But the truth is, I’d probably get a lot of Justin Bieber references from anyone who witnessed me take my pants off. Plus, I’d imagine having “Calvin Klein” embroidered across your hips doesn’t mix well with light and/or thin fabrics. They were a no go.
Then one day, while on Facebook, I passed an ad for THINX. “Underwear for women with periods.” I was a woman. I had periods. I needed underwear. It seemed like a match made in heaven, and so I clicked on the halved blood orange that was clearly supposed to be a vagina for public consumption. I clicked around the website and discovered the panties were moisture wicking, antimicrobial, stain resistant, and depending on the style you wear, can hold up to two tampons worth of your period without leaking.
I clicked around some more and read reviews of women who said they loved the underwear. Some said they were perfect for the gym. Others said they loved that they no longer had to wear panty liners. Others had given up on tampons and pads all together and were now only wearing THINX underwear.
I didn’t consider myself a strong enough person to go about my day with up to two tampons worth of uterine lining sitting in my underwear, no matter how good the moisture wicking is. But I did like the idea of saving $3.99 a month on panty liners and no longer needing to make a mad dash to the Oxy Clean to save my favorite pair of jeans. Plus, I also go to the gym. Well, I had joined a gym four days before and had been twice so far. Maybe these were worth a try.
I ordered a pair of high-waisted black panties with lace panels on the side. They were actually pretty sexy, if you ask me. And there’s nothing wrong with feeling a little sexier when you’re feeling the least sexy you’ve felt since 28 days prior.
When they arrived in the mail I tried them on. They were a bit snug, but I suppose due to their intended use you would want them to be as “locked and loaded” as possible. I liked them, they were comfortable, and now I needed to actually test them out.
You can read reviews of how well the actual mechanics of the underwear work in different articles. They aren’t lying. I didn’t go sans tampon, but they worked perfectly well without a panty liner and there was no staining or leaking to be seen. But that’s not the entire reason I’ve fallen in love with this brand.
While I ordered my second pair and budgeted the purchase of several thongs in the near future I realized something. Underwear has never been able to do this before. With cotton underwear, I had just gotten used to the fact that my period was the nemesis of my clothing. I constantly worried about ruining my underwear and pants, and even worse, of being in public when it happened. There was an innate sense of embarrassment that I had acquired about my time of the month. I didn’t want people to know about it unless I told them, and my underwear was the equivalent of a trusted confidant who may or may not also be the world’s biggest gossip.
THINX are different. Regular underwear requires mental effort; attention and planning. THINX doesn’t. You don’t need to think about it because they just work. Where regular underwear taunts you with “be careful … don’t mess up” (and can quickly turn into “WHY DID YOU RUIN ME?! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!?”), THINX just says “do you, girl, I got this.”
It’s pretty liberating. And it’s not even a liberation I knew I wanted, needed, or could ask for.
You’ve got to hand it to a company that can do that for you. Now excuse me while I go order more underwear… I may or may not be getting my period soon.