I remember the first time Rudy got her period on the Cosby Show. I had always wanted to be a member of that family — well who didn’t? There was always so much laughter and love floating around. I was very interested to see how they would deal with their daughter’s first period. Would it be in a way that I would have enjoyed?
Mrs. Huxtable declared that she wanted Rudy’s experience to be better than hers. She didn’t want Rudy believing all the rubbish her friends would have told her, such as sharks would follow you to the shore if you swam in the ocean. So Mrs. Huxtable decided to have a woman’s day for her daughters: a special day where they could choose to do whatever they wanted. Vanessa went out for dinner in the city, but Rudy was embarrassed and was not interested in celebrating.
As an adult looking back, I can understand both points of views. As a mother and someone who has years of periods under her belt, I know periods are nothing to be embarrassed by. They are something to be celebrated (and something that allowed me to have a beautiful son). But I also vividly remember when I was eleven and scared. It was so tough to talk to anyone about “woman stuff” — even though I had so many questions.
I am grateful that the script writers weren’t scared to have an open dialogue about periods in a time when it was never mentioned on television. It was refreshing that they focused on a real mother-daughter relationship instead of making easy cramp/headache jokes. Thanks!
The more we talk about periods, the more they are included in our culture in a positive way — that means girls hopefully won’t be so scared and alone when they have their first period. That was the goal of my book, On The Day I Got My Period, and I’m also glad that was the goal of the Cosby’s.