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Kotex’s Glittery Pads Are A Way To Torture Mothers Of Tweens

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Kotex has made a new branch of their website dedicated entirely to tweens and menstruation. The first line reads “Some girls get their periods as young as 8. Have you had the talk yet?” As if mothers of tweens don’t have enough things to stress about with their daughters. Now pads are a fashion accessory!

These little pads are designed to be narrower and, in addition to the glitter doused boxes, have little stars, hearts, and doodles on the pad themselves.

 

While the idea of an eight-year-old shopping for pads may be a little irksome for mothers, research does indicate that young girls are hitting puberty at younger ages than ever before. Fifteen percent of American girls are now beginning puberty by age seven. One in 10 Caucasian girls begins developing breasts by that  same age, which is twice the rate seen in a 1997 study. Twenty-three percent of African American girls hit puberty by age 7.

Yet, experts don’t have solid explanation as to why this is happening. Some point to increasing obesity rates as body fat does produce estrogen, which triggers puberty. Other experts cite environmental exposures to BPA (Bisphenol A), an explanation that indeed needs more study.

Kotex’s willingness to ruthlessly capitalize on this 15% of menstruating eight-year-olds isn’t surprising, but the tactic seems a bit ineffective. Why a child that young can’t use the same products that other women use, especially considering her parent will be buying them for her, goes unexplained. Perhaps using the glitter and the doodles is a way to get girls excited about other products now being pumped into the tween market, like makeup and panties.

“Over the last 30 years, we’ve shortened the childhood of girls by about a year and a half,” said Sandra Steingraber, author of a 2007 report on early puberty for the Breast Cancer Fund, an advocacy group told The Daily News. “That’s not good.”

(photo: kotex.com)

43 Comments

  1. Emily

    May 11, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Although I kind of agree with this article, my niece got her period at the young age of 8, and I definitely feel it can be a difficult time for a tween. They are at the age where they are just starting to no longer believe in Santa and are faced with having to deal with the facts of life and womanhood.
    At such a young age they can also feel like an outsider from their friends, because I wouldn’t exactly say it is the norm to get your period at 8.

    So while yes, we think these pads with glitter and sparkles and stars and hearts may seem ridiculous, I think in the mind of a tween it can definitely help ease their transition.

    And is it really that big of a deal?

    Mom’s do embarrassing stuff for their children all the time. I don’t think purchasing sparkly pads is gonna crush their ego.

  2. Stokely

    May 11, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Um, maybe I am a dork but these look so fun! I’m going to totally buy these for my future-menstruating daughter…and myself!

  3. Erin

    May 13, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I work with kids and last summer I had a girl that I took to camp start her period for the first time while we were away for the week. She was 8 and had no idea what was going on. Her counselor came to get me so I could talk to her and I asked her when she first noticed what was happening and when we told her counselor. The girl said “Well I saw red when I went to the bathroom after lunch, but we had red KoolAid so I thought that’s what it was from. I went again before dinner and I knew I hadn’t had any more Kool Aid, so I told my counselor.”

    I had to go to the store and pick out pads for this little girl, and it was actually difficult because there are different sizes and I was thinking about what would actually fit into her underwear without making her feel like she was wearing a diaper or being totally embarrassed and freaked by the whole thing was not an easy task. If I has seen these in the store I definitely would have bought them!!!

  4. Missy

    July 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I’m 41 years old and I want a box of these, lol. I love sparkly stuff! I’m with Stokely

  5. kathleencat

    August 7, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I was 10 when I got mine, so pretty young if not unusually so. Luckily I was ahead a grade in school, so they’d just given us girls “the talk” and I at least knew what it was, but I was still very upset, and the pads back then (early 80’s) were better than what my mom had, but nothing like today. I would have been so happy to have something like this.

  6. Kristen

    October 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I remember being scared when I was in elementary school because my best friend got hers at 9 and was developing and I had no idea what was happening and why it wasnt to me!

    I didnt get mine until I was 14-15 (not sure exactly which) but apparently that runs in the family, my grandma didnt have hers until she was 18! Ive always wondered if I was just very late or if everyone else was really early.

    • lia

      May 28, 2012 at 12:21 am

      wow…at 9 i didn’t even know what a period was….i playing with dolls, i didn’t know what they were until i was 11 and me and my friends used to laugh and make fun, then when i was 13 i started….

      wow…girls are being born right from the womb with periods it seems right out of diapairs and into pads the next year – it seems…no childhood for you…!!!

  7. Ash

    October 31, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I think you are making a mountain out of a molehill. Kotex is trying to accommodate younger girls by making a difficult situation a bit less uncomfortable. besides, they look kind of cool.

  8. Marissa

    November 9, 2011 at 12:08 am

    I started my period at ten, the summer before 5th grade to be exact. Although I’ve always had many problems with lengthy, extremely heavy, and painful menstruation, I would’ve liked these then, and I certainly would love to have them now!

    And I think it’s wonderful that Kotex has a line specifically for younger girls. If they’re 8 years old and using the same products as their mom, doesn’t that tell them that they’re “grown-ups” now, too? I mean, I don’t really care either way. I suppose it really doesn’t make a difference. (Maybe that’s the point?) But I think glittery pads are nifty, and I want my own!

  9. ShellyLou

    November 10, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I remember when I started my period at 11. My mom insisted I carry pads in my skirt pocket (Catholic School). Several times my pad fell out of my pocket and I was horrified when that light pink wrapper was there for all to see. The Kotex brand for teens and tweens kind of disguises the fact that the product is a feminine hygiene and kind of reduces embarrassment. I think the products emphasizes the fact that the product was made “just for you” rather than “just for mommy” and almost makes the girl feel like she’s a kid still rather than an adult. I’m all for them.

  10. Nar

    November 11, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I still don’t get the point. Why put pretty hearts and stars on a pad if I’m just going to bleed on it and throw it away?

    • Bethany Darling

      September 25, 2012 at 4:19 am

      It gives more self esteem to them and feel more confident through the tough situation. And while we pick out our pads and tampons, we have to make choices too. Like if we will buy something to make us confident or make us feel alone. I recommend our sparkly, rainbow, smiley face tampons!

  11. Sara C

    November 21, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    This article just seems mean. As many posters have pointed out– lots of women might enjoy sparkly pads! Those of us who use non-disposable fabric pads often make them in pretty fabrics. As to WHY she can’t just use the same pad as her mother, didn’t you answer your own question when you pointed out that they’re SMALLER? Have you ever noticed girls of 8-12 are roughly 1/2-2/3 the size of adult women? I started my period when I was 12, but I was tiny, and those pads were HUGE!

    • jenny

      January 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      Actually they are not smaller…i’m 30 and i use the tween pack – cause i like them and also they are the same as the always slender, it is just a flow….thing, when i was 13 i had a heavey flow when i started…at 13, but now i’m 29 and my flow fits the tween…see, yes this is stupid to market to 5 year olds starting periods…because its not natural for a 8 or 9 year old to start, PERIODS ARE A SIGN THAT PUBERTY IS ALMOST COMPLETE! the body is telling the brain that soon growth needs to stop, as she is matured to be a mother! if a 8 year old woman is raped she can become a mother if she has marched!

      Again i’m almost 30 i’m 29 and since i was 26 i have a lighter flow and tween packs are great for alot of woman that are not a 12 year old…40% of adult women where slender sized pads, actually only one the 3rd day do i need a regular pad and 1,2 and 4th day tween sized.

      So again…yea, these girls should use what we all use they already made them sized as in smaller, regular and large…since the 60’s

    • Lillie

      July 31, 2014 at 10:08 am

      Stupid woman!

  12. Lyn

    December 26, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Well I started mine when i was 11,and pads were to big and uncomfortable,And why do they have to be bland?Napkins have pictures but you just wipe your face on them,and the why dont i have the same ones mommy has…why dont i have granny panties like mommy? Why do i whare a rainbow a cup bra and not a d cup skin tone…oh yeah beacuse im smaller and its realy pretty… i loved my rainbow bra!

  13. Kate

    December 27, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Im in my 10s and id like some sparkly pads thanks.

    • Jenny

      May 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

      KATE: WAKE UP – pls. re-read what i posted….

      I did not say they are ” women” I said they are women in a sense that they have women bodies! No its never normal for a 8 year old child to have her period! If you research Precious Puberty you will see the signs and HOW DANGEROUS IT IS FOR A YOUNG LITTLE GIRL 8 TO 10 TO HAVE PERIODS!

      ITS SERIOUS…WHY IS IT IN THIS COUNTRY THE MEDIA AND PARENTS, MEN HAVE TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE OH YEA ITS NORMAL…AND ITS GREAT..NO ITS NOT! IF PARENTS WATCH FOR SIGNS OF EARLY PUBERTY IN SINGLE DIGITS (AGE) TAKE THEM TO THE DOCTOR A.S.A.P AND GET THEM CHECKED AND SOME MALE DOCTORS WILL SAY OH WELL ITS JUST EARLY “WHO CARES” KINDA ATTIUDE…TELL THEM ABOUT PRECIOUS PUBERTY AND GUESS WHAT THERE ARE MEDICATIONS FOR IT…TO DELAY IT SO YOUR DAUGHTERS COULD HAVE A HEALITHY HAPPY CHILDHOOD…

      WHEN I WAS 8 OR 9 I WAS PLAYING OUT SIDE EVERY DAY, ON SUMMER BRAKES I WOULD EAT MY BREAKFAST AND AT 8 AM GO OUT AND PLAY, RUN AND COME BACK HOME AT 7 PM…MY MOTHER WOULD HAVE TO RAG ME IN FOR FOOD, WHAT NOW DO MOTHER HAVE TO DRAG THERE LITTLE GIRLS IN “DON’T FORGET TO CHANGE YOUR PAD!”

      AT THAT AGE..THEY DON’T HAVE A CHILDHOOD, becuase 1 week a month they have to sit out, can’t swim, cant do cartwheels and and where a dress, play at the park, she might leak on heavy…do you know i’m 29 and i find it hard to take care of a period, watching for stains, and changing the pad and making sure there are no leaks on the floor or the toliet – thats graphic the reality…there has to be some maturity level to deal with periods…so again..if an 8 year old has it they are women in a sense – they could have babies – create life…its not normal..because guess what in 10 more years the ages will get younger and younger…i will be sick to see pads/tampons with little elmo, mickey mouse characters on it…barbie pads…

      …You also don’t think that when they are so young being exposed to estrogen levels is not healthy…these girls are at the highest risks of PCOS, endrometros, obesity and CANCERS..BY 45-50 …because of over excessive exposer to estrogen levels..it only increases with age…

      think about it..its not healthy as AN 8 TO 11 YEAR OLD IS LOOSING GOOD QUALITY FRESH EGGS…EARLIER IN LIFE, SO WHEN SHE WANTS TO GO TO COLLEGE GET A JOB AND BY THE TIME SHE IS READY WHICH MOST WOMEN ARE 30 OR SO…SHE MAY NOT HAVE THE CHANCE TO START A FAMILY…I PERSONALLY KNEW A WOMAN THAT WENT THOUGH PRECIOUS PUBERTY PUBLIC HAIR AT 8 PERIOD AT 9 FULL BLOW WOMANS BODY AT 10 SHE WAS THE TALLEST GIRL IN CLASS..NOW SHE IS THE SHORTEST WOMAN ONLY 4, 10 SHE MENOPAUSED AT 36 SHE DIDN’T HAVE THE CHANCE TO START A FAMILY SHE STARTED ..

      you will see that now these girls people think its normal for a 7 to 10 year old…as woman and times changes some women aren’t even ready to start a family until they are 35 or 40 these days…i hear so many woman saying well in my 20’s i wanted to party and have fun, now i’m 39 and ready…well if you get your periods younger and younger…you may have to start having babies in your teens! So we need to do something…!

      p.s. boys as well are starting puberty earlier to…and sperm quality does age as well…men over 40 have a higher chance of damaged DNA, dwarfism, birth defects…these are passed down by older men having children not the female, but this society loves to blame women for all fertility problems…again kate before trying to bash someone…pls. research all facts, i also have a doctor in the family – my aunt tells me what she sees! and when she does see girls that start at 8 or 9 they generally do stop growing at around 12! why? again…the body tells the brain, puberty is almost complete, shes a woman now…body yes..mentally no!

    • Sarah

      August 1, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      And what can we do about starting puberty early? Are you criticizing us (yes, I’m a preteen with a period) for starting puberty early?! My sister got hers at 8 and she’s perfectly healthy! And true, starting to menstruate doesn’t make a girl a woman YET and it doesn’t shorten her life. This is just insulting to me.

  14. Brandy

    January 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    My daughter just started hers at 9 and I still hadn’t explained it all to her yet. I think this is a brilliant idea because it still lets them feel like a little girl and have their childhood without having to throw them into adulthood right away i will definitely be looking for these for my daughter from now on. Thanks for letting me know they were out there I hated having to buy her adult products when she is still essentially a child.

    • MissAmmyy

      January 16, 2012 at 10:12 am

      If you can’t find them in the store, you can buy them online! 🙂

    • jenny

      January 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Actually…she’s a woman now. Reality is that even if a 8 or 9 year old girl starts her period, it is the sign of woman hood and that she is no longer a little girl, periods are the sign that puberty is almost complete….and the body is telling the brain its time to soon stop growing and growth soon with come to a halt.

      Most girls at 8 do not know what a period is…because the general age to start is 12…and most girls stop growing at 16. boys at 18. So if she is 9 then by 12 or 13 she will stop growing.

      your 9 year old is a woman now…and its sad, but that is what you get when you let your children grow up too fast…you pay for it in the end!

    • Kate

      May 3, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Jenny, are you serious?

      The age a child gets her period has absolutely nothing to do with parenting. You could raise your daughter in a nunnery, and if the genetics and timing and her diet are right, she’ll still start bleeding at 8 years old.

      FURTHERMORE, you seem to think that a 9 year old is a grown woman because she’s started menstruating. Okay then. If you REALLY believe that, would you let her vote? Run for political office? Drive a car? Get a job? Get married? Of course not! Because she’s still a child, and you know that.

      I don’t know who taught you such backward ideas about puberty and aging, but that’s all they are: backward.

      PS. The human body stops physically growing in the teens, but the BRAIN keeps aging and developing until about 25 or so. But, as we all know, everyone develops at a different rate, so don’t feel bad. It’s okay Jenny. You’re just a late bloomer! You’ll get there someday!

  15. jenny

    January 21, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    …okay first of these tween pads, anyone can use, it depends on your flow, now i’m 29 and my flow fits these tween pads…girls are becoming women at 8 now, so in 10 more years when 5 year olds start to marched into women hood and be able to become mothers…are we going to introduce sesame street and care bear pads? for children…how about mickey mouse pads, periods are a sign that your little 7 or 8 year old is now a woman, mentality no, but body wise they are women, its sad! Nothing to be proud of…

    When a 8 year old woman has her period, its a sign that MEANS PUBERTY IS ALMOST COMPLETE! HER BODY IS ABLE TO BEAR CHILDREN! a child is not able to bear a child…a woman is…so having periods younger is not normal, i’m seeing alot of sites saying omg…12 or 13 is to old to start a period? really its not..i started at 13 and it was normal back in the 90’s i stopped growing at 16 as even my doctor said girls stop at 16 and boys at 18 is the normal…but if you are 8 then you would stop growing by 11 or 12.

    Making pads…for children makes no sense you are just bleeding on them, and throwing them out, we already have slender sizes, regular sizes and large, its been fine all this time, even women would love designs on there pads..its all about flow….some 8 or 9 year olds may need adult pads because there flow is heavy, and i as a 29 year old need a smaller pad cause my flow is lighter. Stupid mothers and company!

    • Laura

      May 28, 2012 at 8:27 am

      Do you mean “precocious puberty”?

  16. Chris

    January 29, 2012 at 2:27 am

    What is wrong with people? ‘Torturing mothers’? Seriously? If that’s the case they need to get over themselves. Periods are going to happen–period. Our daughters have a right to a pleasant period by whatever means possible; if it means smaller, colorful, sparkly pads, so be it. And bleeding every month doesn’t automatically turn a girl–one that may have been playing with dolls, picking out a training bra, or still being tucked in at night the night before–into a woman the next day. I’d like to think we all know that there’s much more to being a woman than reproductive functions…

    • shele

      April 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      i agree with you! I think that this will help the girls because it doesn’t make them feel like they have adult responsibilities it makes them feel their age!

    • ShelbySP

      October 4, 2012 at 10:39 pm

      Exactly. When I was a tween, getting your period made it feel like your childhood was over.

  17. Mommy73

    June 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    I have seen studies that say it has to do with what is in the food that makes girls reach puberty faster. My kids are all vegetarians and I think that’s why my eldest was in 9th grade when she reached puberty and my younger girls seems to still be built like (and act like) 4 year old little girls. If, however, my girls did somehoow need pads and asked for those types of pads, why would I feel tortured over a glittery box and girly designs?

  18. Belial

    July 1, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Actually I’m pretty fond of these. Use them myself. The size is better for my small frame annd the packaging doesn’t scream pad when you stuff them in a messenger bag (or a purse as normal girls like to use) I’m all for it.

  19. Sarah

    August 1, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I’m sorry, this is just stupid. My sister got her period when she was eight, and there was nothing that fit her at the time so she would be constantly wadding up tissues in her vagina and feeling insecure because she felt insecure that she got it so young! But Kotex Tween was made for young girls that get periods. You guys are treating periods like a sin. And plus, if they have glittery doodles and smiley faces (which, I admit, is a little stereotypical), the young girls might feel less alone. I am 11 and I just got my period and I am mad that people get upset at preteen pads, that only use assistance and boost self esteem. Would you like your preteen to get sexually harassed at school because there is constantly blood on their pants because no pad fits? I’m sorry, but as a preteen with a period, I am very offended by this article!!

    • Scarlette

      November 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm

      I liked this because an 11 year wrote it. Pretty impressive for a kid

  20. Bethany Darling

    September 25, 2012 at 4:14 am

    I am very greatful for the Kotex Tween pads. I too, am a tween going thorugh puberty. I researched on how your body reacts, and I have all of the problems. At first I was worried. All I thought was, “Where will I ever find a tween pad?” And then I saw it. Kotex Tween Pads. I am very greatful and my mother is taking me shopping for them tomorrow.

  21. ShelbySP

    October 4, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    I agree, i got mine when I was 10 and it made me feel like an outcast. It’s nice that the pads are a little thinner and lighter so they fit better. The glitter and smiley faces are a bit much, but hey they put silly things on the adult tampons and pads too. (Like those big stupid flowers on the kotex boxes, I mean really? My period does not make me feel flowery or pretty or happy. It should be a big angry red dragon instead)

  22. Ugh...

    October 31, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Are you an idiot? These are the best idea ever! I got mine when I was around 10 or 11 and HATED wearing pads. I’m tiny now, as a 21 year old adult – I’m 5ft and small all over, so imagine the size I was back then! They were WAY too big for me and it was just plain uncomfortable. I used to get in trouble for trying to use tissues instead haha, it drove my mum crazy.
    I think its great they’re making smaller products for smaller girls.

  23. a man

    February 20, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    I think that little girls would look cute wearing those fun designed pads, and they would be a better size for them. Why not make the packages glitzy? I think that tampons might not be quite right for them yet, because an eight or nine year old’s vagina, although cute, is smaller than an older girl.

    • faya

      June 12, 2013 at 7:30 am

      that got really creepy really fast.

  24. gothicgaelicgirl

    July 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    My stepdaughter is 9 and already developing. she wears a training bra (the flat kind, more for reassurance) and i have stumbled on this brilliant little kit called the “Ready Girls Ready Pack” it contains 2 sanitary towels, 2 sanitary wipes, 2 disposable bags and one pair of one size disposable panties just in case.

    i bought this and have it tucked away in case she happens to get her period while at our place and not at her mom’s house. i’ve spoken to her father and he agrees it is better to be prepared.

    This little set is great (it cost me €9.99 which is a lot but you can replace the pads and wipes easily)

    For me personally, it’s more about making it easier and not scary for her. the fact everything comes neatly parceled in a storage box, much like a glasses case, can add to the benefit.

    my little one wears glasses and actually has several coloured glasses cases. i figure if it falls out in school, at least she won’t have to worry about being embarrassed as it just looks like a purple glasses case.

    maybe i’m being over-cautious, but it’s a scary time anyway for a girl that age much less if she starts when she’s not with her mom.

    http://mccabespharmacy.com/shop/beauty/feminine-hygiene/hygiene/ready-girls-ready-pack-sanitary-kit-dragons-den-ireland.html

  25. Lilly

    July 29, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    I don’t understand the problem. Having your period is bad enough let alone with boring white pads. Why not add some glitter and fun.

  26. Gina

    October 8, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    My daughter is the age of ten and started her menstrual cycle this summer. She is far from an adult woman, but I must accept this is how she is developing. I buy organic foods, and have stayed away from fast food restaurants. There are studies being done to help understand the early development of young girls. My daughter was thrilled to see a product available to accommodate her size. Thank you for creating a pad which makes my daughter feel comfortable. Yes, it’s hard to see our daughters develop at such an early age, but I don’t want her to feel different. I have enrolled the both of us to take a class at our local hospital (Young Girls and Puberty) to help her understand the physical and emotional changes. She expressed this was hard to comprehend at her age. I trust she will adjust as I do all I can to help her through the process.

  27. Sammie

    October 19, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    How is this torturing my mother? She’s happy to buy a product she can trust . If anything she is happy, because this was a great idea! The “reason a child that young can’t use the same products that other women use” is because some girls are still very small when they start their periods and even years after. The products other “women” use are for women and made much wider and longer. They do not accommodate a small frame, nor do they fit well in a little girl’s panties. I have been getting my period for 2.5 years and i was using the petite slender pads by Always, they are okay, but sort of wide.. At that time I was wearing a girls size 10-12 slim. I now wear a girls 12R (I’m almost 16 yrs old) and these pads couldn’t be a better fit for me. My sister just started her period , and she’s almost 10. She’s a size 10 slim and really excited to start using these products, especially considering the fact that they are designed just for her. I think they are very comfortable, because of its smaller design. They are not bulky, and they absorb well. The glitter and doodles are cute and fun. 🙂 this article is just silly!

  28. Lilly

    July 31, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Hey, take down this article! I’m 11 years old, and the kotex tweens are a lifesaver,because they actually fit! The article said, “why a child can’t use the same products as other women goes unexplained”. Well, maybe because they DON’T FIT! Please someone apologize for thinking this U by Kotex Tween brand is stupid.

  29. Pingback: U by Kotex Tween Glammed-Up Maxi Pads, Revisited - Metro Parent

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