EXCLUSIVE: Why Elyse Knowles is opening up about her periods
Model Elyse Knowles is on a mission to remove the stigma surrounding periods.
The Myer ambassador and former winner of reality show The Block has shared her personal story in a bid to help others on a subject she believes is taboo in society.
"I think there is a bit of stigma talking about your period and period products," Knowles told Confidential.
"We need to get the conversation started at a young age and get more people confident in talking about their periods."
Knowles is an ambassador for TOM Organic pads and tampons and is using her profile to break down any stigmas around periods.
"The fact is … we are so lucky that our bodies change in this way and mature in the way that they do," she said, appearing in the I Choose TOM Organic campaign along four other women including AFLW player Daisy Pearce and professional surfer Nikki van Dijk.
"It is pure magic. It allows us to create the world. Our monthly cycle is a superpower in my eyes. Yes it can feel frustrating at times when you're desperate to run down for a swim but can't find a tampon but it should never be feared or resented. Your period allows your body to do some absolutely remarkable things in this world. Own that."
Knowles added that women should never feel scared to ask a colleague, classmate, friend or family member for a tampon.
That fear is particularly strong for young women experiencing their period for the first time.
"It is something we worry far too much about," she explained. "The reality is that most of us have a heap of them in our bag, so sharing is absolutely no biggie. It is so important that we keep talking about our periods and our changing bodies. We need to let the girls and women around us know that they are not alone."
She continued, sharing her personal story: "My first period arrived when I was in grade six so I was quite young. While it was a shock at the time, I've become comfortable with it over the years because it is a natural part of me; who I am. Periods happen to all women, we all go through it … even the emotional rollercoaster that comes along with it. Our partners will just have to deal with that."