Every woman at some point or another will get their period- it is a coming of age, a natural, biological occurrence. And yet, to discuss it, or mention it as a woman is seen as "dirty" or "inappropriate".
In both sports and in China, the words "menstration cycle" have a negative taboo. In fact, tampon and pad commercials have been banned from playing. Furthermore, tampons are rarely sold as they are thought to "rob a girl of her virginity".
All these negative connotations with having a period make it seem shameful and unhygenic, when in reality, it is nothing anyone, not even an Olympian can control.
It has been unheard of before to mention periods as female athletes, partially because professional sports are so heavily dominated by males. However, one swimmer, Fu Yuanhui, has defied that norm, telling an interviewer that the reason she was in pain was due to period cramps.
Instantly, her interview went viral, recieving support and excitment from both men and women globally.
Yuanhui is someone both strong and femine, and proud to be both, making her an excellent role model for young girls. Women are said to have equal rights and dignity to their male counterparts, but often they are scorned and judged for not being "ladylike" enough. However, in truth there is nothing more femine than getting a period, and it is not dirty or shameful, rather a biological function. Women have the right to feel proud and confident in their skin, and Fu Yuanhui is making strides towards promoting this mentality.