Is it worth talking about tampons on a beauty blog? Of course it is! We'll buy more in our lifetime than foundation or brow gel. They're vital for us to go through life comfortably and confidently during a tricky week each month. And we should count our lucky stars that most of us can just breeze into a shop and pick them up, which isn't always the case. Periods shouldn't be a shock for anyone - they happen to 50% of us, for 12 weeks out of the year - and as such, sometimes we're going to want to talk about them.
That time just happens to be now for me and Ruth who are feeling a touch disgruntled with tampon tax - much like women up and down the country. In the UK sanitary products are taxed as luxury products. This is baffling. To give a little perspective, I've rounded up a list of products tat are deemed essential by the UK government, and therefore are exempt from tax:
Marshmallow tea cakes
Edible sugar flowers/cake decorations
Incontinence products (dealing with something involuntarily leaving your body… Hmm...)
I compiled this list from good old internet searching, so please correct me if I’ve made any mistakes. But I'd like the person who suggested that crocodile meat was more essential than a tampon to stand up. So they can get a slap in the face.
The whole situation got stickier last year when George Osborne stated that the £15m raised each year from taxing sanitary products, would be used to fund women's refuges and domestic abuse charities - which are suffering at the hands of funding cuts. Right - thanks George, but this is a bit puzzling. As Rose George stated in the Guardian: "Women will now fund services that protect them from violence perpetrated almost entirely by men... What message is that sending - other than violence against women is some kind of "women's issue"?" And now it’s difficult to argue against the tax, as how will these charities be funded should it be rightfully scrapped? Nice move George.
But amongst this tomfoolery, I bring a nugget of good news. Superdrug will now reimburse you for every penny you pay in VAT on their own-brand sanitary products. You'll need to pick up one of their beauty cards, as you'll get your money back in the form of loyalty points. Gemma Mason, Superdrug Head of Customer Service had the following to say: "It's not like women choose to have periods. Britain is so far behind on this compared to some other countries... They aren't luxury items, they are essential and I think it is unfair women are being charged more." So me and Ruth will only be buying our tampons in Superdrug - thank you very much.