Essity, creator of Libresse, Bodyform, Nana, Nuvenia, Nosotras and Saba, launches its latest taboo busting activation, #painstories, exploring the true extent of the pain women endure and inviting them to share their stories. #Painstories has been created to tackle the gender pain gap one story at a time and offer a new way to express and articulate pain, with a focus on endometriosis, via a newly launched Pain Dictionary. The launch will also see the world’s first Pain Museum created to educate and engage society on the extent to which this pain is overlooked, underfunded and often ignored. It shows how working together we can help close the gender pain gap once and for all.
The experience of pain for women is complex, complicated and desperately underacknowledged. Endometriosis is just one example of the agony being endured. It affects one in 10 women but, astonishingly, takes an average of seven and a half years to be diagnosed* due to the perceived notion that severe period pain is ‘normal.’ Enduring this pain has a profound impact on every area of sufferers lives with some people experiencing depression, loss of relationships and in some cases even considering suicide. This is also reflected in their work with research finding that over 40% of those with endometriosis had given up or lost their job because of it.
Libresse has created The Pain Dictionary, using real descriptions of pain from people with endometriosis. The dictionary includes new words and definitions which have been visualised by artists and creators, whose powerful illustrations bring the definitions to life, resulting in a new verbal and visual language for endometriosis pain. Contributors include illustrator Venus Libido, and textile artist Ellie Pearce, both of whom suffer from endometriosis.
The campaign will encourage a culture of sharing #painstories online: The Pain Dictionary is a collaborative ongoing project, where Libresse will continue to listen to women, to use their pain descriptions to build an expansive source of pain experiences, showing the variety and intensity of endometriosis pain.
To launch #painstories, Libresse has created the world’s first Pain Museum for people to explore the gender pain gap one story at a time. It will take people on an expressive deep dive into pain –– telling the #painstories that need to be told, exploring the taboos that fuel the silence around pain through artwork, and includes interviews with endometriosis sufferers and medical experts. The Pain Museum is a true education into the experience of pain that brings women’s #painstories to life and addresses how we can create a language to confront it, to move towards a world where this suffering is not something shrugged off as “normal”, simply to be endured.