Period Storage: the Latest and Strangest YouTube Teen Trend

Unrecognizable woman is choosing between pad and tampon in the store, selective focus

The latest fad for teens and preteens can be seen on YouTube, and is known as ‘Period Storage.’

What is ‘Period Storage’ you ask? It’s a good question, considering I just spent approximately the last 12 minutes watching a YouTube video of a teen girl showing off her massive collection of maxi pads and sanitary napkins, while also showing viewers how they’ve organized the items in different fancy boxes and huge Tupperware bins. Yup, that’s ‘Period Storage.’ If you don’t believe me, just go to YouTube and type in, ‘Period Storage’ and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

I’m completely obsessed, and I’m not the only one apparently. These videos are mindless yet fascinating. I’m actually in awe of their organizational skills and how passionate they are about their collection of sanitary pads. I’m not sure I’m that passionate about anything.

I found out about these ‘Period Storage’ videos from my 13-year-old daughter, who also finds them fascinating. ‘Rowan,’ I said to my daughter, ‘These girls are hoarders! No way could they possibly use all those pads in their entire life time!’ In fact, I’ve seen pharmacies and drug stores with smaller stashes of maxi pads than these teen girls store in their bedrooms.

We watched at least five of these ‘Period Storage’ videos. Me with my mouth agape, asking, ‘Why? Why? Why?’ and my daughter laughing at me.

The nearly 12 minute ‘Period Storage’ video I just watched has been viewed more than 26,000 times thus far. This trend seems so nutty, and leaves me with so many questions. Why do these girls have so many maxi pads? Who paid for these hundreds of maxi pads? Why do they need to have a lifetime supply of them, especially at such a young age? And why are they showing us how they organize and store them anyway?

So are these girls obsessed with sanitary napkins, or what? Yes and no.

‘I didn’t try to buy all of them. I don’t have an obsession,’ explains one YouTuber, ‘GirlshelpGirls’, to the camera. She’s just at a phase in her life where she’s still trying to figure out what products she likes or dislikes. ‘Because I’ve only had my period twice,’ she admits to her viewers.

Another Period Storage video I found myself hooked on was posted by ‘Girls 101,’ and has garnered more than 15,000 views. A teenage girl shows off her amazingly organized storage bins and shoe boxes stuffed with sanitary pads, saying things like, ‘These are my liners. These are my thong liners. I put them in this really pretty box. All these blue liners here I think are the brand Always, but I forget.’ She has organized her tampons by colours, the pads by size and thickness.

‘Here I have purple ones. I have green ones and only one blue one. And that’s my period collection. I’m pretty experienced since I’ve had my period for almost two years, so I can answer anything,’ she says at the end of the video to her viewers.

I can see where these young YouTubers, so openly talking about pads and how they store them might actually help other teens who may not be comfortable talking to their parents, or even friends, about their periods, or what kind of pads they should buy and use. One commenter wrote, ‘u are lucky u have pads because I don’t. I do have period but my mom doesn’t know so Im never gonna tell her.’ Another commenter? ‘I have a very heavy discharge and it stains my underwear so can I wear panty liners?’ Obviously, all girls have questions about periods. And these videos may be the best of teen girls helping other teen girls, because they feel comfortable asking strangers online certain questions about their menstrual cycles. But what’s up with showing how they organize them?

One YouTuber, ‘Girlshelp Girls’, showed off six big storage bins and boxes of her very organized sanitary napkins. ‘In this box, I keep my ultra thin pads without wings, and then here are my regular pads, and then here are my super long with wings, and then here are my heavy overnight pads,’ she says into the camera, going on and on about all the different types of pads she owns and organizes.

In all honestly, I never knew so many options existed. And I’m in my forties! I can’t overestimate just how many pads these girls own and how organized they are storing them. But, again, I can see how it’s helpful for other pre-teens. As the YouTuber Girlshelp Girls explains, ‘I went to Michaels and got all these boxes. My mom was like, ‘What the heck are they for? What are in them?’ The girl answered ‘stuff,’ but goes on to say, ‘It shouldn’t be awkward to talk to my mom. I know it shouldn’t be so I told her it’s my period stuff. She knows about all the pads I have, but not the tampons. I use the tampons if I have to go swimming, or if I’m in gym class. I may have to talk to my mom about them, but anyway, I keep them in this small crate,’ this teenager says.

I STILL just have so many questions! Do all their parents know they are doing this? Again, why the heck do they need storage bins of pads, as if they were packing up to move houses? Who is paying for all these pads? I’ll never know. And that really bothers me.

Again, I can see how these ‘Period Storage’ videos can take the stigma away from talking about maxi pads and periods openly, as well as normalizing periods for those just getting them, or about to get theirs. I just can’t figure out why how they store their supplies is so important. Even though I’m not a teenager, I did get suckered in to watching a number of ‘Period Storage’ videos, and I’ve had my period for a long time.

What can I say? Welcome to 2017, where YouTube videos on ‘Period Storage’ is actually a ‘thing,’ for teens. It’s an odd but fascinating trend for sure. Period.

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