Hi, I’m Anusha Singh and a rising sophomore pursuing Neuroscience at The Ohio State University, but beyond all that I’m a proud menstruator! On a typical day you may find me peering through the lens of a microscope in my research lab, contorting into crazy positions to use every bit of available canvas on my body for me to tattoo (I’m a part time Henna Tattoo Artist!), or sipping my iced-white chocolate mocha at Starbucks! However, at the core of this diverse pool interests is my passion to serve, educate and advocate, mirroring the three foundational pillars of PERIOD.
Why do you care about periods?
In fifth grade I remember lining up with the girls in my class and walking into a separate classroom from all of the boys. While the boys talked about the importance of hand washing and sanitizing, the girls were introduced to the concept of periods. My knowledge about periods at that age was almost nonexistent; However, one of the first things I learned as I walked proudly out of the class with a pad in hand, only to be scolded by my teacher to put it in my bag in case the boys were to see it, was that periods are supposed to be kept a secret because they are shameful. My next very notable encounter with menstruation was when one day during break in the ninth grade I got a phone call from my best friend who was visiting a holy temple in South India. She found out she got her period just as they reached the temple and told her family, and to her dismay that meant having to leave the temple and travel all the way back home (to another state!) because her period was said to make her “impure”. In our phone call she shared how upset she was at herself and how guilty she felt for getting her period, and in an effort to make her feel better, I replied “don’t feel guilty. This is something out of your control and completely natural and I don’t understand why there are so many superstitions about periods”. Deep within me I’ve always wanted to challenge this stigma surrounding periods, but to put it simply, I just never knew how or if anyone even thought this was a real issue. My passion for advocating for periods and educating people about them stems from misunderstandings, superstitions people might hold, and the desire to empower menstruators.
When was the moment you realized you were interested in becoming a part of the menstrual movement?
Fast forward, it was my first Winter Break in college as I was browsing the internet one late evening. I came across Nadya’s TedxTalk on Youtube and immediately felt so inspired by her story. Without realizing it, at that moment I shared the TedxTalk with one of my closest guy friends who was also very moved by it. I decided to cold email Nadya, asking her if she would be interested in an interview for my Humanism in Medicine blog at The Ohio State University, not expecting any reply back. But, to my surprise the next day as I scanned my inbox I could not believe Nadya had replied to me asking me to schedule a time to chat with her! I had never done an interview before, but soon after I did some more research about PERIOD and came up with some good questions to ask her and the previous Programs Director, Eudora. That led me into starting a Chapter of PERIOD at The Ohio State University and applying for this Digital and Creative Content summer internship for PERIOD.
What do I hope to accomplish during my time working with PERIOD?
During this summer, I hope to create and spread a new way of thinking about periods and increase the visibility of PERIOD in my area. However, the power of social media and the internet make it possible to spread creative content everywhere, and I definitely hope to employ those tools during my internship. While I hope to focus on the importance of Menstrual Health and educate people on that subject, I hope to also create videos and blogs aiming to destigmatize periods and raise awareness about them to get more people --menstruators and non-menstruators-- to be a part of this conversation.