Today’s columnist, Kate Mason: Posing with tampons for charity - whatever next?

Kate Mason
Kate Mason

I’m all for doing something for a good cause but the latest social media charity campaign gathering pace has left me baffled.

I sat shivering after having a dustbin full of cold water chucked over my head for the ice bucket challenge to raise cash for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

I even dared to bare all for the make-up free selfie to raise money for Cancer Research UK, which for a make-up addict like me was definitely out of my comfort zone.

But the latest “thinking outside the box” way of generating cash for international children’s charity Plan UK by posing with a tampon just seems strange.

Apparently the odd request is not only aimed at raising money but also breaking down the taboo and stigma associated with periods.

It is strange to think in this day and age that “that time of the month” should still be shrouded in such secrecy but for some reason it is.

I’ve witnessed first hand grown men squirm uncomfortably, laugh nervously and literally run for the hills when talk turn to periods.

It’s the same in supermarkets if you happen to catch the eye of a bloke as you’re putting a box of tampons in your trolley - they retreat to frozen foods quicker than you can say PMT.

I remember when the “Tampax lady” - as she was affectionately called - came in to give us a talk in school and the boys were sent out laughing and sniggering.

But I’d like to think when maturity kicks in this taboo topic is no longer such an issue.

I’m all for breaking down boundaries but I don’t quite see how posing with a sanitary product is going to achieve this.

I appreciate it must be tough trying to think up new money making ideas in the charity sector but I personally think this one has missed the mark.

But countless celebrities seem to disagree with Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow and Carole Smilie among those taking part.

Seeing comedian Jenny Eclair with a tampon hanging from her ear like some bizarre Pat Butcher style earring is just weird though if you ask me.

The charity aims to help support menstrual health in developing countries so I’ll certainly be putting my hand in my pocket and donating but I won’t be parading my tampons all over twitter.

If you want to get involved post a snap of yourself with a tampon using #JustATampon with a donation of £3 to Plan UK or bypass the picture and just text ‘TAMPON’ to 70007 to donate.