HOMEPAGE
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
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Read 10 years (1996-2006) of articles and Letters to Your MUM on this site.
Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.

Photographer Lee Miller and Kotex menstrual pads

Not only did the photographer Lee Miller appear as the first real person in an ad for menstrual hygiene (July 1928, below left) - is this woman the second? - she is probably the most important. It happened right before she started her own artistic career, and the series of ads, by causing such a fuss in America, might have helped that career by giving her a reason to go to Europe, in 1929, escaping the U.S.A. for the sophistication of Europe - and American Surrealist painter and photographer Man Ray.
(See much more of her life and work at the Lee Miller archive and in a New Yorker magazine story in the 21 January 2008 issue. The Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibited her work from 26 January to 27 April 2008.)

NEXT famous woman - Susan Dey - Carol Lynley - Mary Lou Retton - Cathy Rigby - Cybill Shepherd - Cheryl Tiegs - Brenda Vaccaro

Six pictures, long download!

 

 

Above and right: Edward Steichen took this photo of Miller in 1928 and sold it to Kotex, making her the first actual person to appear in a ad for menstrual hygiene (above, in McCall's magazine [U.S.A.], July 1928; at right, in Delineator magazine [U.S.A.], March 1929). She had signed the model release, so it was legal, but she was mortified, as were many Americans. (Note the ironic quote, at top, in the left ad.) But by December, 1928, Miller was happy to have broken a taboo, and left soon afterwards for Paris with a girlfriend. 
Above: Read the main text in an enlarged view of this ad from Delineator magazine (U.S.A.), March 1929.
Concern about a pad's visibility underneath clothing reaches from before this era to today. Most women want to conceal the time of their menstruation, at least in America. In regions where women use menstrual huts, as well as where public ceremonies are held (in Bali, for example), women broadcast their periods. Concealing timing greatly reduces discrimination based on menstruation.

 

 
(c) Lee Miller Archive, All rights reserved.
Steichen made up for his action by providing an introduction for Miller to Man Ray, the American Surrealist painter and photographer living in Paris (above right, in a photo by Miller). They became lovers and friends, and together invented the "Rayogram," an example of which is Ray's photo of Miller, above left, probably taken in 1929, the year the ad at right, above, appeared.
Miller pursued her own career, becoming famous as a photographer for Vogue magazine in Europe during and after World War II (below).

 

 (c) Lee Miller Archive, All rights reserved.
The daughter of the mayor of Leipzig, Germany, poisoned herself in 1945 as the Allies approached; Miller took this photo.
 

 

(c) Lee Miller Archive, All rights reserved. 
Miller wears a special helmet to accommodate her camera as a war correspondent in World War II. (The photographer is unknown.)
NEXT famous woman - Susan Dey - Carol Lynley - Mary Lou Retton - Cathy Rigby - Cybill Shepherd -
Cheryl Tiegs & Ali McGraw - Brenda Vaccaro
Look at the Lee Miller archive.

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