The past few weeks, a video of an adorable preteen distributing tampons at sleepaway camp has been making the internet rounds. It’s..um… cuter than it sounds. Here:
This got me thinking of the educational materials my generation and before grew up on. Kids these days don’t know how good they have it:
The Pancake Video
This isn’t available online, but it is carved into my brain tissue forevermore. The year was 1996. Alanis Morisette was on the radio, and half of the heads in America were sporting “The Rachel.” It was a simpler time, until… until the permission slip came home informing our parents that the girls would be watching “the video” in school. You know. THAT video.
Unlike the other 9-year-old girls, I didn’t have to go through the embarrassing show of presenting my mom with the permission slip – because my mom was the fourth grade science teacher. Yes, my mom was going to teach all of my friends about “becoming a woman.” More accurately, my mom was going to teach half of my friends about becoming a woman, because the boys got to play outside during all this. I could hear the carefree sounds of childhood out the window as the boys organized a kickball game, and my fourth grade social world crumbled around me. So you see, there’s no way I could forget this freaking video.
The premise is this: a diverse group of tweenage girls is having a campout in someone’s backyard. One of the girls gets her period, because if these videos teach you one thing, it’s that this shit always happens on some kind of a campout. So the girls trudge in, and the helpful Generic 90s Mom decides to teach them about what is happening to this child. Apparently their school didn’t have fine videos like this one, nor did it have That One Girl On The Bus Who Knows All This Stuff.
Anyway, you know what a bunch of pubescent girls need in the morning, as much as anatomical advice? BREAKFAST! Lucky for them – nay, lucky for US – Generic 90s Mom is a multi-tasker. She mixed up some batter, fired up the griddle, and got to work on some falopian tube pancakes. It was like those awesome Mickey pancakes you get at Disney, except actually horrifying and with the syrup probably representing uterine lining. You know at least one of those girls grew up to be one of those wackos who eats her placenta, and this Breakfast From Epcot Hell is why.
When the video ended, my mom fielded questions. Just what every tween wants — her mom talking about her Blue Water Time in front of all of her classmates. Still, at least she didn’t make a menarche-themed breakfast to illustrate the point.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Either we weren’t paying attention to that video in fourth grade, or we were too busy being traumatized to actually take in any of the information, but in fifth grade this book started making the rounds and it’s like it was totally new information. I blame Judy Blume for my entire generation being like “wait… I thought there was supposed to be some kind of belt?” Either way, I learned more from this book than any of those school vids.
No, Just Kidding, This Is Really Epcot Hell
If you were educated in the old school, maybe you got this instead of the pancake video. For a Disney vid, it really needs more talking animals.
The Most ’50s Thing You’ll Ever See, Ever
This is probably what my mom watched in school, presuming Catholic schools in the 50s didn’t just tell you that it was the devil giving you a papercut or something. Jeez… is THIS why she named me Molly? Of course this bitch is named Molly.
Sample Dialogue: “Peggy, I can’t go swimming, you know I’ve got the curse!”
By the by, these 40s and 50s vids are reallll concerned about you possibly catching a cold, which evidently does something to your uterus. Freezes it?
Here, This Flapper Gets Most Of It Right
And THIS is what my grandmothers probably got in school, in the pre-video age. The pamphlet suggests leaving this, one of those damn belts, and maybe some money for later therapy on your kid’s pillow when you know she’ll be alone. It’s like the Ding Dong Ditch version of parenting. Drop the sanitary belt and run!
Just Watch The Supercut
Supercuts: not just for disappointing but economical haircuts anymore.