In this surprisingly charming and funny filmstrip, a girl named Judy and her boyfriend take a trippy journey and learn everything they need to know about menstruation. (Let's not take the film's advice and use two tampons at once!)
Most educational films about menstruation were either antiseptic and formal or eye-rollingly cheesy, and definitely have their place in the YouTube canon, but this 1974 filmstrip called Linda's Film About Menstruation manages, in less than twenty entertaining minutes, to cover everything from ancient tribal taboos to the different types of tampons (including a kind I'd never heard of that no longer exists — the "stick tampon") in a way that is way more self-aware than I thought anyone but Woody Allen was in 1974. In chapters with titles like "The Missing Wastebasket" and "Judy's Nightmare," a 15-year-old named Judy educates herself and her (disturbingly older-looking) boyfriend about menstruation. In the clip above, Judy introduces herself and her problem: at fifteen, she hasn't yet gotten her period. The video is confusing at first (she's really introducing herself with her bust/waist/hip measurements?) but by the time Judy yells at Johnny "It means blood is flowing out of my uterus!," we realize the jokes are very much intentional. The only way I can describe this thing is if a 1974 version of Sassy Magazine got Gilda Radner to write a menstruation filmstrip. And then got an adorable comic actress (Mady (Heflin) Kaplan) to star in it.
Judy's new friend in the park talks about using two tampons at once (not recommended!):
Judy and her boyfriend head to Staten Island, reflecting on all that they've learned:
It was hard to choose clips from this thing because the whole eighteen minutes is really fascinating. Just those exotic and mystical 1970's accents alone!
Related: Ten Days In The Life Of A Tampon