That One Time I Cried In Front Of The THINX Founders About Feminism and Diversity

Going to a Feminist Festival on Hallo-weekend

Scrolling through Instagram I noticed the company THINX was having a halloween party that included DIY projects, open bar and a kitschy 90s theme to go along with. With the hope of empowering women to take ownership of their personhood and validate their choices, the event was focused on ways to celebrate a taboo topic–vagina’s. Read on to learn about how I ended up crying to the co-founders (who are also twins) at the event.

Why does THINX sound familiar?

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An example of some of the advertisements deemed inappropriate by the MTA as featured on THINX Instagram account.

You may know the company THINX because its advertisements went viral when the NYC MTA (metro system) deemed them inappropriate. They hinted at the part of the female anatomy that people feel is taboo and people were upset about that. Along with the use of the word “periods” on their ads, which was considered risque too because young kids might inquire about periods to their parents. Women and feminists alike pointed out the hypocrisy and irony of these decisions. Especially when advertisements sexualize women everyday for products like beer, fast cars, perfume or fast food.

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Carls Jr. is often the go-to fast food company that uses women’s body to sell fast food and at times, equate the female body to something that is a product to be bought and consumed. A recent campaign example such as their #bacon3way video featured on their Instagram account is prime example of this.

The Nirvana themed extravaganza

I walk into the Centre for Social Innovation and check in at a table out front. It is one of those bomb co-working spaces that awesome companies with rad mission statements can call home. Decked out in cobwebs, halloween candy, tables of delicious juices and kombucha, stacks of salad in to-go containers set the scene. Zine’s about vagina’s, and a small market of tables about women’s periods fill one of the rooms. I gather that room is normally a meeting space for companies who work there.

An open bar featuring drinks with punny names, stick and poke tattoo’s, and make your own choker stations can be found as you bop from section to section of the event, or take photos while dancing to the 90s themed music spun by DJ Amer Jandali. That is when I notice a women crimping and styling hair in butterfly clips. She is smiling, and she is a person of color–like me. I look around and realize I’m in another space that feels so white.

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Party attendee and CEO + Creative Director of StartHatching, @RachelRen at the THINX event.

So feminism and periods, but what about the crying?

Earlier I’d noticed one of the founders dancing on the dance floor and I realize that if I am going to say something, it is now. I make my way around the space again and I introduce myself to Radha Agrawal co-founder of THINX. And then I immediately ask, how can we get more people of color here? We both are a little perplexed.

Radha invites me to the back of the space to meet Miki Agrawal, who is the other half to this twin co-founder pair. She also serves as the CEO of THINX. We chat briefly about my realization and my confusion when accessible products like theirs are unable to break all the barriers.

white-feminism

And then I cry, because I’m suddenly nervous I’m in a space that only speaks to white feminists. We don’t reach any conclusions but agree that the information is available on applications like Instagram and blasted out to its email lists for anyone who signs up. But we need more concrete action steps and time to think more logistically. And to figure out who is signing up and who is engaging and WHY not others?

Phone a friend

I reached out to my friends and we couldn’t figure it out either. So I’m reaching out to the interwebs–HOW DO YOU GET EVERYONE IN THE ROOM?

 

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