Jessica Biel hopes to ‘normalize the discussion around periods’ with her new kids’ book

Being a parent means having a lot of potentially tough conversations, especially as they enter their tween and teen years. And while it’s totally normal if you feel nervous to talk to your kids about periods, it’s so essential to help them navigate the many bodily changes that occur during puberty, no matter their gender.

Thankfully, Jessica Biel is here to help make those “important conversations” a little bit easier. The actress is releasing her very first kids’ book, aptly titled A Kids Book About Periods, with the goal of destigmatizing period talk with your little ones. Biel, a mom of two, had this to say about her book: “People don’t talk enough about periods,” she recently told PEOPLE.

“I’ve always felt strongly that we need to normalize the discussion around periods,” she added, “and as a parent, writing this book felt like an organic way to engage kids in the conversation from early on.”

She created the book in partnership with PERIOD., a nonprofit organization that works to help end “period poverty and stigma” through education and advocacy. They also provide free menstrual products to those in need around the country. It’s estimated that period poverty—the inability to afford or access basic menstrual products—impacts up to two-thirds of the nearly 17 million people in the U.S. who have periods. Five percent of the proceeds from each book sold will go to support the efforts of PERIOD.

Though it’s worth noting that Biel has aligned with anti-vax politicians in the past, it seems she’s passionate about advocating for open and honest conversations about periods. In a March 5 Instagram video, she shared the story of her own first period, revealing that she was about to go onstage during a school play when she noticed she’d gotten her period.

“I was so scared,” she recalled. “I locked myself in the bathroom. I was crying hysterically, I called my mom. I told her, you know, ‘something’s wrong.’ That’s what I felt, I felt like something was wrong with me. Even though she had prepared me, I wasn’t prepared.”

“And to this day, I’m still hiding tampons up my sleeve as I scurry away to the bathroom, which is insane. You should not feel that way at 42,” she continued. “I ended up doing my play, my mom helped me out, hooked me up. It was bizarre, I managed to do everything I needed to do that day and still have my period, so pass that around.”

She noted that it’s “crazy” that “not a lot of people talk about” periods, “because it happens to 50% of the population. And, still, in 2024, having a hard time destigmatizing this… your period, right? I think it’s just important to normalize this thing.”

In the comments section of Biel’s announcement post, people were questioning why she didn’t use the word “girls” to describe who the book is for. But as some commenters rightfully pointed out, it’s important for all genders to understand and feel comfortable talking about periods, even if they don’t have them and will never get them. Shrouding these topics in secrecy only leads to stigma and shame, and it’s long past time we scrap all of that nonsense, in our humble opinion.

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