Menstruating people have probably wondered what would be the quintessential intimate hygiene product at the end of the world.
Raise your hand if you haven’t ever thought about what your life would be like in the apocalypse. We would probably see few and, in the event that you are a person who menstruates, you have most likely wondered How would you handle having the period between the most absolute shortages and in constant risk situations.
Although the fact that some people have periods has been a somewhat taboo subject for a long time and has often been ignored in fiction, The Last of Us it only needed two episodes to show that things can be treated as naturally as possible when it comes to making visible and, in addition to that, getting to make a portrait of the apocalyptic society worthy of taking off the hat.
One of the characters main roles of The Last of Us is Ellie a 14-year-old girl who has us absolutely in love with the brilliant interpretation of Bella Ramsey and who travels through a United States plagued by infected people with Joel (Pedro Pascal), the other great protagonist of the story.
Ellie is the great hope for humanitysince, even being bitten by an infected person, it does not catch the disease, and yes, Ellie, due to her own age, also has her period. The first time that The Last of Us addresses the matter is in the third episode, when, before getting fully into the heartbreaking and beautiful story of Bill and Frank, the chapter introduced us to Joel and Ellie in search of supplies to continue their journey after the sad event with Tess in Boston.
She barely needs a couple of seconds to do it: Ellie is searching an abandoned space, finds a box of tampons and puts it away. One of those small details that she makes the difference and that, without going any further, this one that she writes, she spent a long time discussing with her co-workers. Having the rule in the apocalypse: how brown.
Curiously, in the last episode aired, ‘Family’ (1×06), the issue of menstruation is addressed again when, after Joel’s meeting with his brother Tommy in an advanced community of survivors, Ellie receives new clothes and some advice from of one of the members of the democratic council of the place: María, embodied by the ex de True Blood Wesley routine. She also gives him something that will be most practical for her: a menstrual cup.
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Although Ellie looks at it with a mixture of surprise and amusement, there is no doubt that it is a most practical gift that, although perhaps in our society it is more thought of as a way of reducing the waste that we generate, in the apocalypse it wins whole by a landslide Isn’t the menstrual cup the intimate hygiene product par excellence for the end of the world?
Series creator Craig Mazin spoke about the scene in question in a statement to Vulture, explaining that they had enlarged the lettering on the leaflet Ellie is holding a bit so the viewer could read it, but didn’t feel any further explanation was necessary: ”The The intention was that if you don’t know what it is, you can ask someone or you can google it. It’s more for people who do know what it is. We do this all the time with things like guns. People don’t know how to load guns and they don’t we explain it to you. Why should we have to explain this?”
“These are basic items that we would need or want,” he continued. “In a post-apocalypse, it’s annoying to have to deal with that and have a dearth of options. Why do we show it? Especially since our co-star is a 14-year-old girl. This is part of her life!”