A shocking study finds that 63 percent of women still consider some feminine care topics off limits. So why are periods still taboo in 2016? Actress, cooking connoisseur, mom and wife Tia Mowry has partnered with Carefree to help women feel confident to speak freely about managing life's potential little surprises. From periods to bladder leaks, the #SpeakFreely campaign is all about making feminine hygiene an open conversation. Tia breaks down why she got involved and spills on the last little surprise she got with BET.com.
BET: What are some things you think women should speak more freely about?
Tia Mowry: Feminine care. You know, like why do we have to feel embarrassed about something that every single woman goes through? I also think women should feel free to speak about the changes that we go through in regards to body image. You know, how our body changes after having a baby. I feel like a lot of women feel insecure about the changes that happen after having a baby and I feel like women feel like they automatically have to snap back and be perfect and be better than what they were before. But why?
This is a journey that you’re going through. You just gave birth to a beautiful, amazing human being that’s a miracle. Like embrace that. I’m proud of my cesarean scar. I never look at my cesarean scar and say, ‘ugh,’ but there are women that do. If we feel like we can be ourselves and speak freely about stuff like that, maybe other women will not feel so insecure about having a cesarean scar or having stretch marks. It’s OK. You don’t have to be perfect.
Women in 2016 do feel pressured to be perfect in every aspect — from being the perfect mom to being the perfect career women. You seem to be doing it all. How do you do it all successfully?
When it comes to balance, the thing is to prioritize. You know sometimes it gets overwhelming, but I embrace those moments. I think sometimes when you kind of ignore that, you’re not being true to who you are. So I don’t mind just embracing those moments of just being overwhelmed. If it’s emails, if it’s studying or whatever, I’ll just kind of put it aside and I’ll give myself some me time. Whether that’s taking a bath for 30 minutes, listening to some Sade with some bubbles and candles, whether that’s even hiding from my son — I’m so serious! There are moments that I’m overwhelmed and I come home and my son’s like, ‘Mommy!’ I literally go in the closet and hide. I’ll hide behind the door just to have me time for just a second, but my point is that I’m being true to myself in that moment. It’s being able to nurture myself in that moment, so guess who’s no longer overwhelmed? Me. Then I’m able to move on to the next task.
Also, focus on something that recharges you and energizes you. So my family is that and my husband. So I definitely have to have at least one day out of the week that’s a date night. I dress up, put on a little makeup and he dresses up and we go out. And every Sunday is family day — no emails, no nothing. We’re either going to the movies, going to the park or doing something as a unit. So I think when you do things that recharge you, you’re able to kind of get back out there and take on the world. So that’s kind of how I balance it all.
One of the themes with the Carefree campaign are the little surprises that come along in life. What’s the last little surprise you got and how did you handle it?
You want me to be really honest?
Yes! Please do.
Well the last little surprise I had was — I was working out with my trainer and I’m not the woman where I get the alert that I’m on my period because my period is irregular. So I can’t really track it. And I’m working out and she decides to put a white towel down when you’re doing sit-ups or working out. She was so sweet. Her name is Jeanette. She’s so awesome. You know, thank God it was her and I wasn’t working with a guy trainer. And she goes, ‘Honey, honey, you have your period.’ I was like ‘Ugh! Are you freaking kidding me?’ And literally I had a little surprise, a little accident while I was working out on the towel. But you know it’s all good. We all go through it and she was so cool about it.
As a woman who’s always on the move, if you have 10 minutes to get a quick workout in, what is your go-to?
I’ll do abs. So if I had 10 minutes, it’s easy. I can do it anywhere. Whether it’s a hotel, whether it’s in my room, whether it’s after I put my son to bed. And I also bought the weights. It came in a Zumba package. Sometimes I’ll do the Zumba, but I think if you have free weights close to you, you can just get in some reps wherever.
B: Do you have any quick and easy meals that you can recommend to other women on the go?
TM: I think the easiest meal to make is a salad. I always say people who are overwhelmed with cooking, start with something that’s easy and it’s very quick. Salad, everything is already pre-cut. So you have your tomatoes. You have your olives. You have your cucumbers. You even can put a little bit of spice. I like pepper cheese in there. Your dressing is really easy. I like to put olive oil with lemon juice and salt and pepper. It’s so easy. I mean you can put protein in there if you want.
You can have pre-cooked chicken from the deli and you just throw that in there. Same thing with shrimp. Even with salmon. Get some fresh salmon from a grocery store and then just sauté that bad boy. It literally takes like five minutes on each side. Salt and pepper, olive oil, you’re done. Salads are healthy, easy go-to meals for any woman on the go.
(Photo: JDHallphoto.com for Edgewell Personal Care)
For the past 10 years, Yusef has been dictating all of the beauty trends we emulate via his most famous client, none other than Rihanna. He started out his career as a performer, but he ended up behind the scenes. In Hairstory, he details his rise in the industry from aspiring singer to creative directing the hair for Fenty x Puma.