Sweet Baby Jesus in the manger with Christmas lights and candles to light up all the little barn animals: this commercial is h-y-s-t-e-r-i-c-a-l. This piece, titled “First Moon Party,” is the latest viral venture from HelloFlo, a monthly mail-order tampon and pad service that’s using this new internet commercial to hawk its period starter kits. In the ad, this fast-tail 12-year-old is so desperate to join the ranks of friends who’ve gotten their periods that she fakes getting hers. How, you ask? By pouring red nail polish on a pad and leaving the “evidence” for her mother to find. Her mother’s response to the trickery? A “First Moon Party,” with lots of guests and period-themed activities for everyone—including Grandpa—to enjoy.

Straight Tomfoolery, I tell you!

And boy can I identify. I didn’t get my first period until I was almost 14 damn years old—years after my best girlfriends, who had boobs, tampons and boyfriends for what seemed like centuries before I did. Between doing those stupid Judy Blume-styled, “I must, I must, I must increase my bust” moves to get out of those embarrassing trainer bras, and walking backward on my butt to try to flatten my derriere so that I could fit “alla this” into those Jordache jeans, I was on my knees praying to Yahweh, Dios, Allah, Ma’at, Jah and Rastafari that my period would come so that I could be a “woman.”


Jesus saw fit to grant me my wish while I was vacationing with my brother at my Uncle’s house, where there was nary a pad nor a woman around to talk me through the flow, the cramps or the fear I had when my period finally did show up. What’s worse: I kept the news from my mom for months because for some reason, telling her was about as scary as announcing it on the loudspeaker at school: outside of buying me one of those “first period kits,” she’d never talked to me about menstruation. Except to say that I “better not bring home any babies.” I swear I didn’t know what the hell that meant for far too long.

Anyway, this commercial called up all of that foolishness, and reminded me that though I’ve been having these conversations with my daughters since they were old enough to understand the words coming out of my mouth, it’s time to check in with both of them about body changes, self-care and the nature of, well, nature. And perhaps I’ll show this commercial to Totally Lila, you know, so she doesn’t get any grand ideas and I don’t have to call a “vagician.”

Good Lord, press play. This is too perfect not to watch!

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. LOL! So funny!! I remember those days when I wanted so badly to have boobs and my period. It seemed like EVERYONE else was developing and I wasn’t. I too, was scared to tell my Mom for a while. I don’t want my daughters to feel that way with me (if I have any).

  2. I laughed so hard I cried. I got mine early – a few months shy of 12 – and I didn’t really tell my mom so much as ask where to find the pads and she responded with a huge smile, tears in her eyes, and asking me. Later, we went to the grocery store and she was so excited she kept asking me preferential questions like “Do you like tampons or pads?” “I don’t know, Mom. I got my first period today.”. My little sister didn’t tell my mom for months, though, and she didn’t know how to use pads or tampons so most of her clothes were ruined by the time my mom found out – and I do mean found. She stumbled onto her dirty laundry and looked so hurt that she didn’t tell her. But this is a whole new level. I thought that a special trip to the grocery store was bad. This would have been my nightmare.

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