Break the cycle

A BIBRA LAKE business is helping young women embrace their period and overcome any stigma and shame they feel. 

Run by Eve Kermack and Karen Peradon-Alaga, Wild, Wise and Worthy hold workshops on a variety of topics connected with female empowerment, menstruation and being comfortable in the female body. 

“We wanted to create a really safe container where girls can be seen and heard,” Ms Kermack says. 

“The importance of the work that we do is to allow a girl to feel like she’s not alone in her experience of growing up.”

Recent workshops include Growing Bodies and Cycle Wisdom for Mums and Girls, focusing on body changes during puberty, and the Queen of Her Kingdom discussing body sovereignty, body image, boundaries, consent and beauty.

There’s also workshops for older girls like Let’s Talk Online, about the ramifications of covid on their emotions and social lives, and Let’s Talk About Friendship focusing on conflict resolution and building self-esteem to handle the changes in friendship dynamics that typically occur at ages nine to 11.

“I think that if a girl can see her worth and her value and know that she belongs and likes herself, then she gets to really live life fully,” Ms Kermack says.

“We don’t have the magic wand, but we definitely want to be part of the village that can help parents with those really positive messages that they want to instil in their kids.”

Wild, Wise and Worthy recently released their Bud to Blossom first-period hampers, containing a variety of goodies including two pairs of period undies, cleansing grains for skin changes during puberty, deodorant to deal with body odour, lip balm, ceremonial cocoa drink powder for chocolate cravings, and affirmation cards to reminded girls they are beautiful, wise, worthy and totally less clinical – more like a celebration of a girl becoming a young woman – and a nice way to start a discussion with your daughter about her period.

Society’s perception of menstruation is slowly changing – last week the Spanish government approved plans to allow women suffering from period pain to take unlimited paid time off work. The draft law still needs to be passed through parliament, but it’s the first government in Europe to get this far.

In recent times, high profile female tennis players have become more vocal about period pain affecting their ability to perform. Previously they would have been too embarrassed to discuss it or it would have been viewed as an excuse for a defeat.

Ms Kermack is also studying to become an accredited coach to work with mothers who are still ashamed about their body image or menstruation, but don’t want their daughters to feel the same way. 

“They’re trying to break the cycle of what they were delivered from their parents, to the messages and the stories and experiences they had, and they’re really consciously trying to create a different narrative for their kids,” she says.

Wild, Wise and Worthy also held a workshop Critical Critters at the Coogee Live Festival and in local schools, teaching kids how to deal with their inner critic and be gentler on themselves.

For more info on workshops and hampers go to wildwiseandworthy.com.au

by GEORGIA GIBSON

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