Cass Clemmer is an artist from Washington, D.C. and after growing up in a missionary community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she knows all too well the conservative and silent nature surrounding sex education, sexuality and reproductive health. So with her new coloring book, The Adventures of Toni the Tampon, she’s hoping to “destigmatize menstruation for the masses” according to Mashable.
“A lot of us are taught to keep periods to ourselves, to the point that even having a wrapped tampon outside the confines of the bathroom can feel inappropriate,” the artist explained. “The amount of work and ingenuity that goes into hiding this shared, cyclical experience would be comical if it wasn’t distressing.”
The book, illustrated by Clemmer, follows characters based around different forms of menstrual hygiene products, including, Toni the Tampon, Marina the Menstrual Cup, Sebastian the Sponge and Patrice the Pad. The characters embark on a series of unexpected adventures, from out-of-this-world space exploration to shredding it up at a skate park.
Tonight is your last chance to submit your entry for the coloring book #giveaway ! Make sure you like the original post and tag a friend! I’ll be pulling the lucky name from an empty tampon box tomorrow so stay tuned for the winner! #periodcoloringbook #instagramgiveaway #menstrualmatters #periodpower #menstruationnation #fempire #happyperiod #makeperiodsgreatagain #periodprojects
As Sebastian the Sponge is a man, and Toni the Tampon is genderqueer, the artist was intentional about bringing diverse gender representation to the book’s cast of characters, hoping to create something that was “affirming to all menstruators.”
Clemmer hopes the coloring book will allow people to be less ashamed and more open about their periods, a merely natural process.
“I’m not asking everyone to jump for joy when their cycle comes — because for a lot of people, periods really suck,” Clemmer says. “But the importance of this period coloring book and Toni’s Instagram is to help people talk about it, laugh about it, and even have a little bit of fun while dealing with the fact that their body is literally pushing out blood and tissue for days on end.”