Free shipping on orders over $100!
Free shipping on orders over $100!
Cart

Shopping Cart

0Item(s)

null
Your order will be sent when pre-order items arrive.

0Item(s)

Subtotal $0.00 NZD

Episode 001: My First Period

EPISODE 001.
MY FIRST PERIOD | TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:09]

Sasha: You're listening to the Red Tales. The Red by Modibodi Podcast, which candidly celebrates the messy and iconic parts of our teenage years and our bodies. From juggling, changing friendship groups, dealing with first heartbreaks, and waking up to changing body parts, our teenagers are filled with the most defining and often cringe worthy moments of our lives. Luckily, we're not alone. Red by Modibodi is sustainable, easy to use period underwear for tweens and teens. It gives us the best protection against period leaks and stains, so we can ditch pads and get on with living our best lives. I'm Sasha Meaney, your host, and every fortnight, I'll be joined by a young Aussie who isn't afraid to open up about the all too relatable moments from their teenage years and how they lived to tell the tale.

A memorable moment for every person who bleeds, the moment they get their first period. Some of us were lucky enough to get it while we were safe at home in the comfort of our own bathroom. Others weren't quite as lucky. The first time I got my period, I actually pulled down my underwear and I screamed, like a Macaulay Culkin Home Alone type of scream. My mom came running into the room as if someone had died, and I told her I had my period. She just laughed at me. She gave me a pad and she left. I remember being in shock. All she kept saying was that she was going to throw a traditional Sri Lankan party and celebrate me becoming a woman. She texted her friends to tell them the good news, and I was just sitting there thinking I am literally pouring blood from my vagina.

Someone else who understands the anxiety of getting a period for the first time is 18-year-old Pratha Nagpal. Today, Pratha shares her tale about the first time she got her period in an unexpected and very public way.

[00:02:05]

Pratha: I think I was really excited to get my period because all my friends had gotten their period and they were all talking about it all the time. They were like, "Oh, yes, finally it happened." And I was the only person going like, "Oh, wait, this hasn't happened for me yet." Everyone was getting their periods for the first time, and it was like a first experience. I guess I just wanted to have that experience.

I remember being in class one day and one of my friends going, "Hey, I just got my period. And I was like, "No way. No way. I was supposed to get my period." [laughs] That was like one moment when I distinctly remember being very angry about not getting my period. A few months later, I guess I was in school and I felt this icky feeling. It was so unknown to me, so I just let it be. I was just like, "Oh, that's probably nothing." That period ends and I've done nothing. I've not going to the toilet or anything. I'm with friends having a good time, waiting for the next class and I stand up and there's a huge red stain on my white uniform. All these boys are looking at me and I'm like, "Whoa, what's going on? Am I looking cute today?" I think 12-year-old Pratha was so confident, but little did she know…

Two of my friends came running to me and they were like, "Pratha, there's a big stain on your skirt." I was like, "Oh, my God." Kind of happy but also very embarrassed. I was like, "Finally it's happening, but I didn't want it to happen this way." I remember they were like, "Let's go to the toilet right now." And they were following me really closely so no one else could actually see that stain.

I just went in to the toilet. I had never used a pad or knew how to use one. So, they handed me one and they were like, "You know how to do this?" I was like, "Yeah, of course. Of course, I know." I played with him for a second. I feel like I can imagine if you're watching a YouTube video and a girlfriend hands their boyfriend a pad and they're like, "What is this?" While I was doing that, my friends were buying me a new skirt because my skirt was completely ruined. I don't think I got it right.

I grew up in India and period still is such a taboo conversation. There's not much education about it in schools, but I went back home and I was like, "Mom, this happened today. I'm just so embarrassed to go into class tomorrow. What's going to happen?" But being like, "It's okay. It's fine." She sat me down and explained to me everything. I was like, "Mom, you could have come one day before and we would have been good." Afterwards it became a very normal routine thing. When everyone had had their first periods, everyone was just like, "okay, now this becomes the norm."

Interestingly, tampons were not that big a thing in India. I moved to Australia when I was 14, I think, and it was after that when I was like, "Tampons, diva cups, period underwear, la, so many things." I know a bit about period products, but I usually just use pads. I think what you're introduced to in the beginning is what, again, becomes your comfort thing. Mostly what I knew was through my friends and once I had gotten my period, that's when I had a conversation with my mom and that's when she was like, "Hey, this is how you use period products and you'll probably have cramps. You'll have some symptoms before and come to me for help you need and anything that you feel is wrong, and then, yeah, we'll go from there."

I have a sister and as we've grown up, the conversation about periods has become more normal than it was when we were growing up. I think when I was younger, I was so scared to be in front of my parents and be like, "Hey, I just got my period." I would go to my mom and be like, "Mom, I just got my period." But now it's kind of just like, "Hey, I have my period right now. I'm cranky." If I'm being really moody that day, then I'm like, "Dad, it's because I'm on my period."

Now, I'm so much more open to different stuff. Even diva cups and period underwear, all that, I think they're so much more sustainable than pads and tampons. Pads and tampons create so much waste and to help not do that for the rest of my life, or the rest of the time that I do, I'm going to get periods.

I think one funny thing is that whenever I’ve told my dad to buy pads or something, it's always like, I get a call and he's like, "Which ones?" And I'm like, "Oh, this is going to be hard to explain over the phone. Next time I'll show you which ones."

I guess this is embarrassing for me just in my space. I wake up with the stain every time I have my period. I've stained so many mattresses, and it's so embarrassing because if I have to sell them or just get rid of them, people are like, "What is that thing?" And I'm like, "You know what? it's a period stain." Got to be real.

What I would say to my younger self about a lot of things, it would be, "It's not that big of a deal as you think it is." Also, I would say that it shouldn't be that embarrassing. Periods are such a normal thing about your body and that they can become such a big part of womanhood for people, for women. Just embracing that and celebrating it because literally, it's the reason we're all here. So, not being embarrassed by that and not being so ashamed of talking about it or having a stain and being in front of boys or anything like that. Just celebrating what it is.

[00:08:54]

Sasha: As you start to learn more about the different changes your body goes through, we bet you'll hear a lot of quirky names for the term period. Some people call it the crimson tide, code red, the time of the month, shark week and even Aunt Flo. At Red by Modibodi, we love having a chuckle at period slang, but we also believe in normalizing the conversation around periods. Why? Well, periods of simply a natural part of your reproductive cycle, and they are just as normal as eating, sleeping, and breathing. They're also a wonderful sign that your body is healthy, maturing and functioning as it should. We shouldn't be afraid to call it by its name and talk about it openly without feeling ashamed or embarrassed.

But what are periods exactly and why oh why do they show up every month? Well, friends, it's actually quite a fascinating process. Every month the lining of your uterus gets thicker. This lining is called the endometrium. Your hormones then signal your ovaries to release an egg into the fallopian tubes. This process is called ovulation. When an egg is fertilized by a man's sperm, it results in pregnancy. But if the egg isn't fertilized by a sperm, your body will shed the lining of the uterus through your vagina and appear as blood.

This marks the start of your period and is known as day one of your menstrual cycle. The average cycle is 28 days, which typically means that you get your period every 28 days, but your periods can fluctuate depending on your hormones. You may end up missing a period or it may arrive later than usual. It normally takes one to two years before you get a regular cycle. The average time you bleed is normally four to five days, but it can often be shorter or longer. Although it may seem like you're losing a lot of blood in the early days of your period, you'll only lose an average four tablespoons of blood.

If you haven't got your period for the first time yet, you can prepare for it by asking somebody you trust to teach you how to use pads, tampons, or even better, a pair of period underwear. If you've already got your period, but aren't sure when it's going to come next, you can pack a pair of period underwear in your school bag or locker, so it's ready to grab whenever you need it.

Remember, friends, our bodies are unique and that often means we experience change at different times. You may be someone who gets their period a lot earlier than some of your friends. Or you may hear about everyone else getting their period and feel left behind. Whatever camp you fall in, know that there's nothing wrong with you and getting your period is not a race. Sooner or later, we'll all end up in the exact same boat. So, if you ever have any concerns about getting your period, please don't be afraid to talk to somebody that you trust, who can help you consult a medical professional.

Thanks for listening to The Red Tales, the RED by Modibodi Podcast. If you enjoyed tuning into today's episode, related a bit too much to the story, or learn something new, please subscribe to our podcast and leave us a review. If you're curious about how RED by Modibodi underwear protects you against period lakes and you'd love to give it a try, visit the RED by Modibodi website at modibodi.com/red.

You can even join the Red squad by signing up on our website to receive exclusive VIP offers. Because you've tuned in to our podcast today, we're giving you a special offer that's exclusive only to our podcast listeners. Simply use our special code, PODCAST, and you'll get a 10% discount on any RED product, excluding bundles.

Lastly, to keep up with all things RED, make sure to follow us on Instagram @RedbyModibodi. Remember, life is messy, but your period doesn't have to be.

End of Audio [00:12:48]

Episode 002: My First Heartbreak

EPISODE 002.
MY FIRST HEARTBREAK | TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:09]
Sasha: You're listening to the Red Tales, the Red by Modibodi Podcast, which candidly celebrates the messy and iconic parts of our teenage years and our bodies. From juggling changing friendship groups, dealing with first heartbreaks, and waking up to changing body parts, our teenage years are filled with the most defining and often cringe worthy moments of our lives. Luckily, we're not alone. Red by Modibodi is sustainable, easy to use period underwear for tweens and teens. It gives us the best protection against period leaks and stains, so we can ditch pads and get on with living our best lives. I'm Sasha Meaney, your host, and every fortnight I'll be joined by a young Aussie who isn't afraid to open up about the all too relatable moments from their teenage years and how they lived to tell the tale.

They say you never forget your first love, but for many of us, it is the sting of first heartbreak that sticks around for even longer. I was completely boy mad in high school. I'm curious in everything that I do and romance was no exception. The first time I felt truly heartbroken, I was in Year Nine. I had a massive crush on my best friend for a year, and then when we eventually started dating, I was over the moon. I was so invested in the relationship and I threw myself into all those warm glowy feelings, completely blind, and trusting. But after a month, it became obvious that he wasn't feeling any sparks towards me. Eventually, I just flat out asked if he changed his mind. He had. I was gutted and cried for ages. I don't think I ever stopped caring about him until a whole year later.

It changed the way I viewed myself in future relationships because I was left wondering, is that how feelings work? Would future friends or boyfriends just all of a sudden change their mind about me and it would be over? And to be honest, I still care about that experience, but this time, it's different. When I look back, I'm proud of myself for wearing my heart on my sleeve, and being brave enough to talk about my feelings, even if it meant getting my heart broken.

Thankfully, I'm not alone in suffering heartache during my formative years, as it turns out, very few of us are. Today, 23-year-old Tiffany Wong shares the tale of when she got her heartbroken.

[00:02:49]
Tiffany: I was in year nine, so I think I was about 14 years old. I was a bit of a nerd. I went one day to support my school at a debating tournament and I didn't actually have a debate that day. I was just supporting the school and my friend's sister. After the debate, I was just there with my friend and then I saw a boy in a cadet uniform, and I was like, "Oh, I've never seen, never spoken to a boy that did cadets." And I was like, "Okay, I'll just go up to him and spoke to him." We bonded over the fact that he also didn't have a debating tournament that day. He was supporting his sister, and that we both recently did Da Vinci Decathlon, which is an academic gala day. So, we were both very nerdy. We had a lot in common, not really, but at the time, it felt like a lot.

Essentially, we added each other on Facebook. We just talked online, didn't really know what to do, and then one day we decided to try and meet up, but he had never really gone outside properly. I went to Chatswood library and he went to Gordon library, but he didn't have a phone that had mobile data. I thought I was stood up and it was like tragic, but it was fine. And then we talked online and it was fine, and we kept going on like that. Then one day, he decided he was going to make me something on Minecraft. He rewrote my name into like the blocks, and then he posted on Facebook. Then I was like, "Oh, what's going on? It's public on Facebook. Oh, everyone thinks we're dating." But I was like, "What does this mean? Does he like me?" Because at the time I was liking him.

Then it was actually Valentine's Day. I was sitting in Latin class, and then my year coordinator came to knock on our door and she's like, "Tiffany, I have something for you." And turns out this guy had sent me a bunch of long stemmed roses, but it didn't have his name on it. On the note it was like, "Tiffany, have a great day. Smiley face." I was like, "Who sent this to me? I don't know." I was really confused. I was like, "I have a great idea." I took a photo with these roses, and then posted on to Facebook and he was the first person to like them, so I was like, "I knew it. This guy sent them to me."

So I was like, "I'm pretty sure he likes me. It makes sense." He's always asking if there's anything he can help me with. He revealed to me accidentally that he had been stalking my Tumblr, so I was like, "This is it." It went on for a really, really, really long time, and we also like went on to like Model UN camps where there's plenty of opportunity to just sneak in a little kiss or something or hold hands, but it never happened. Then we had like a little drama because he was talking to my best friend at this Model UN camp, but not talking to me and it was like, drama.

One day, we just started drifting apart. There wasn't really anything that brought it on. There are specific moments I remember, we went to another debating tournament. I was telling my friend, "Oh, this person and I used to talk every single day, and we're not talking anymore." Then we went up to him and I was like, "Hey, what's up? How are you? How's your debating?" And then he just said, was like, "Hi." And then just didn't talk to me. I was there awkwardly with my friend and we had just both been ignored.

It was really, really weird and it kept going again. We also had different-- this went for a whole year, right? I was really like, "I don't know what's going on. He hasn't talked to me for a few months." And then suddenly, as well, I got a text being like, "Tiffany, pls come to formal with me." I was being like, "What is going on? You don't want to talk to me, you're inviting me to your formal." It was just so confusing, and it felt like everything I was doing was futile. If you send your message, you got a one word answer, like, "k,"

I felt like I was putting all this effort and energy into trying to keep contact with someone who was just not wanting to keep contact back. It was just like really, really confusing, and I was like, "Is it me? Is it something I've done? Is it him? Has he just changed and doesn't want to be friends anymore? Was it his friends? Have they said something?" Because when we were there with his friends, his friends kept teasing him about it and I was just like, "I don't know what's going on." I shed a few tears. It wasn't a huge sob because it wasn't like something had broken, it was just like something drifting apart and you just don't really know how to deal with that.

I just spent a lot of time wishing a lot of things. I would think like a specific moment made him turn off and not want to talk to me anymore. Or I'll be like, "Maybe I'm not smart enough. Maybe I'm just not good enough. Maybe I'm not all these things." Essentially, yeah. It just was at a point where I was like, "There's nothing I can do about it. I don't really know how to interpret the whole situation." What I did at the time was trying to write a story about it. I wasn't much of a writer, but I tried to write about him. It was just good to have all of my feelings like on a page, just being like, "They're valid." Because I think that's one of the hard things is, when you have a lot of emotion, and no one else seems to be going through the same thing as you, you don't really know what that means. Just having them on the page just made it like, "Oh, okay, it's legit. I'm actually having these feelings and that sort of thing."

Yeah, it was just really bizarre because it wasn't like he was at my school. No one really knew who this guy was. So, I was just having to process it by myself. When all this heartbreak was happening, I was in year nine, so I still had to go to school and that sort of thing. But just being with friends was good because it was just, you're actually going out and doing things. Some people, they actually need to take time off and just do self-care by themselves. At that age I was like, "I don't know what self-care is." It was just good to have a distraction for a little bit. I was still being really active in the school community, doing debating, doing all of rowing, and that sort of thing. It was really intense, but it just meant I was actually doing stuff for myself.

I mean, in hindsight, if I the similar thing happened to me right now, I'll probably have to actually take time off. It's a really heavy burden. You don't really know. It's just so much feeling that you just need to sit. It's just weird. I think a lot of people have different coping mechanisms and mine would just be like, "You need to take time off and sit and think about what's happening." And then just be like, "Okay, that happened. I'm going to carry that a little bit every day, but it doesn't mean I have to like stop and do everything."

I am a little bit of an amateur songwriter. I do write songs about people. I haven't actually written one for a whole year because I've started dating someone, hello. Essentially, I would write. Writing is just a way to just have your emotions out there. I also cry a lot, but I think crying is really good and I purposely watch sad films or happy films just to make sure I'm emoting because I think bottling your emotions in isn't good for you. With regards to my first heartbreak, it just meant like, writing. I guess, I was the first person in my group to have any of the super negative emotion about a crush, essentially. It was just good to talk about it, but it just meant I was having that difficulty with my friends because they didn't really know what that was. That's why it's good to, you write it, you read it and you're like, "okay, it seems silly, but it's legit to me."

I think rejection as well. When you get older, so I'm 23 now and you get a lot of rejection from jobs. I'm also in acting, so I get a lot of rejection at casting calls and it's right to your face. In a sense, you have to build up that thick skin. You don't really want to, but you have to. It's obviously different when it comes to relationship, it really pierces through that because someone is rejecting you, for you rather than you for your ability. It's the same thing that you're like, "Okay, it's just happened and now we have to take a deep breath and move on."

If I were talking to my younger self, I'd probably be like, "This is your first heartbreak and there's going to be plenty more to come." Which is really sad when you think about it, but it's true. At year nine, I was so young and I was pinning all these hopes on this one dude who would never really speak again. Then you get to 18 and then you have another boyfriend and it's more serious and then you've got more heartbreaks. While you're young, just try and enjoy yourself. It's probably really cliché to say, but just learn from all your experiences. It's going to be your first heartbreak. It's going to be your first like, holding hand, your first kiss, that sort of thing. You just got to learn from it, and then when you're older, hopefully, meet someone that you get along better with.

But even now, I'm dating this guy at the moment. I'm like, "It's great. It's going really well." We've been dating for seven months, but it doesn't mean that we're going to spend the rest of our life together. I think it was really difficult to deal with. So, I had this like whole picture that I was going to be a Disney princess and you find that one Prince Charming, and then you live with him forever. I think at a certain age, I was like, "It doesn't really happen like that." Once I accepted that, I was able to enjoy dating, and then be more free and I didn't feel so restricted. I didn't feel like, "Oh, I have to find the one."

[00:13:45]
Sasha: Let's be real, rejection hurts. When you finally collect the courage to tell someone you like them and they don't like you back, it can feel like the end of the world. You spent all this time and emotional energy fantasizing about what it would be like to be with this person, only to get a big fat no. Ouch. Whether you've recently gotten rejected or have yet to go through the ups and downs of young love, it's really important to know that rejection will happen to everybody. Literally, everybody. Even the person you admire from afar who looks like they've got it all, has been rejected before and will be rejected again. We promise it's not all bleak gloom and doom.

In fact, the future is 100% bright. When it comes to rejection, the way we react is as unique as our fingerprint. Some of us may feel like crying, throwing up, we may vent to our best friend over a whole tub of ice cream, or we'll bury our head under the pillow. Or if you're like me, you'll lock yourself in your room and you'll declare very loudly that you're never ever, ever going to pursue romantic affection of anyone else ever again. As tough as it is, rejection is an inevitable part of life and applies to more than just our high school crush.

We can get rejected when we try out for the football team. We might run for school captain and lose to someone else. We may apply for a Christmas casual job and not even get a callback. It can happen anytime you put yourself out there in unfamiliar territory and scream, "Here I am. Take me or leave me." Yes, rejection and heartbreak are definitely inevitable. What makes rejection worse is that we feel like there's something wrong with us. We believe that if someone doesn't pick us, it must be because we're not smart enough, good looking enough, qualified enough, or just plain not good enough. These thoughts are normal, but we shouldn't believe them.

The most important thing to know about getting rejected is that it's usually not about you, and it doesn't reflect your worth as a person. Just because your crush doesn't like you back doesn't mean you're not pretty enough. Just because you didn't get the job you wanted or get into the football team, doesn't mean that you're not smart or talented enough. Know this, friends, you're more than the person who didn't like you back. You're more than the number of workplaces that have said no. You're more than the number of times you were rejected as a teenager.

What's important about getting rejected is that you were brave enough to go after it in the first place. You were brave enough to tell someone that you cared about them. You were brave enough to apply for the job or try out for the team. You were brave enough to step up and be a leader.

The world needs more brave people who dare to go after what they want. So, if you've been rejected recently, we are super proud of you, and we encourage you to keep being brave. After all, just because it didn't work out this time, doesn't mean it won't work out in the future.

Thanks for listening to The Red Tales, the Red by Modibodi Podcast. If you enjoyed tuning in today’s episode, related a bit too much to the story, or learnt something new, please subscribe to our podcast and leave us a review. If you're curious about how Red by Modibodi underwear protects you against periods leaks, and you'd love to give it a try, visit the Red by Modibodi website at modibodi.com/red. You can even join the red squad by signing up on our website to receive exclusive VIP offers.

Because you've tuned in to our podcast today, we're giving you a special offer that's exclusive only to our podcast listeners. Simply use our special code, PODCAST, and you'll get a 10% discount on any Red product excluding bundles. Lastly, to keep up with all things Red, make sure to follow us on Instagram @RedbyModibodi. Remember, life is messy, but your period doesn't have to be.

End of Audio [00:17:56]

Episode 002: My First Heartbreak

EPISODE 003.
MY FIRST BREAKOUT | TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:09]

Sasha: You're listening to the Red Tales, the Red by Modibodi Podcast, which candidly celebrates the messy and iconic parts of our teenage years and our bodies. From juggling changing friendship groups, dealing with first heartbreaks, and waking up to changing body parts, our teenage years are filled with the most defining and often cringe worthy moments of our lives. Luckily, we're not alone. Red by Modibodi is sustainable, easy to use period underwear for tweens and teens. It gives us the best protection against period leaks and stains, so we can ditch pads and get on with living our best lives. I'm Sasha Meaney, your host, and every fortnight I'll be joined by a young Aussie who isn't afraid to open up about the all too relatable moments from their teenage years and how they lived to tell the tale.

Picture this: you've just woken up, headed into the bathroom to get ready for school and all of a sudden, you see that you've sprouted that bright red pimple the size of Jupiter, smack dab in the middle of your forehead. As we get older, it is normal to get pimples and breakouts across your face, back, and even your butt. It's just a side effect of our hormones playing up, but even though we know it's normal to have acne, we can still feel incredibly self-conscious and everybody in the world is judging us.

I was such a self-conscious child. I was so busy trying to hide things I saw as defects. My big mouth, the braces I had for two years, the food that got stuck in said braces, and the huge pimples that would erupt on my face. Whenever I had a breakout, it felt like everyone was looking at it. Especially if I was already hot and sweaty, walking around in public felt unbearable. To me everybody was judging me. I was the center of everyone's negative energy, and it's really hard to get your head out of that space because it can feel exceptionally lonely. Luckily, I'm not the only one who has ever felt this way. Today, 23 year old Ashley Chow is sharing her tale about her struggle with acne.

[00:02:25]

Ashley: Growing up, my skin and my complexion wasn't something I ever really noticed or paid attention to. I would have older cousins complain to me that their pores were really big, and I would watch lots of movies where the girls were just complaining all the time about popping pimples or having breakouts, but it wasn't something I ever needed to concern myself with until I hit puberty.

When I was in year eight, I started to get these severe breakouts across my cheeks and my forehead. It felt like every time I woke up, there were just more red throbbing pimples were erupting overnight and there was nothing I could do about it. When I was 14, I was at this age where I didn't know a lot about makeup or concealer or foundation. There really wasn't anything I could do to cover it up. I remember this one time, I went out and bought mineral, loose powder foundation or something. I was 14, so I didn't know how to colour match myself. I had bought something that was completely white. I was born quite tan, so when I put it all over my face and went to school, it was quite obvious. I had tried to cover up my face because I looked like a ghost.

It always just made me feel really self-conscious, especially since it would always end up highlighting my pimples even more. It got to the point where I was always endlessly buying and using products that promise to clear out my skin in a day, or promise to give me picture perfect skin in three hours. I was always using these products and spending all this money and I would just wash my face all the time and constantly apply spot treatments just hoping to God that my skin would look beautiful the next day. The first thing I would always do was look at the media. Social media wasn't as huge back then when I was 14, but we had things Dolly magazine and Girlfriend magazine. I guess just seeing all these celebrities on the cover with perfect skin, I just thought that whatever products they're endorsing, I must have them too. I would just look through the pages of celebrity magazines or I would go into Priceline and look at the skincare section and just look for anything that said, "breakout or spot treatment." It was around the time when Proactiv was also quite popular, so there was Justin Bieber and Katy Perry and all these celebrities like, "Look at my face. My skin is clear, thanks to proactive."

I think when you're 14 and you're going through puberty and hormones, and you're starting to really boys, and you start to really want a boyfriend, I think acne just makes you feel so self-conscious and there must be something wrong with you. Whenever I would have conversations with people, I would start to avoid eye contact with them because I didn't want to see them looking at my pimples. So, I would just look at the ground, or just over their head, just not look at them at all. Obviously, it ended up hindering my confidence and just really impacting my ability to speak properly to people or even just put myself out there and try new things.

During this time, it just felt when you're at this age, all everyone cares about is their appearance and whether or not they're able to get a boyfriend or judging how pretty or ugly someone else is. I guess just hearing all these conversations in the schoolyard and within my group of friends, it made me feel so much worse. Especially since it looked like all my other friends weren't going through it at all. Maybe they would have one or two pimples here and there, but nothing compared to the volcanoes that were all across my face. I guess when you just see your friends and you feel they're looking so beautiful, and you look an ogre, it really, really impacts your self-esteem and how you go about life and how you approach relationships and people.

It got to the point where I just hated looking at myself in the mirror. I would literally get up, maybe brush my hair, but I wouldn't look in the mirror, and I would just go to school. Whenever I spoke to my mom about my acne, I would always just cry and complain about, "Why is this happening to me? Why am I cursed?" And she would always say like, "It's just a phase. It'll pass." But when you're 14, you don't believe that it's a phase or that it will pass. You think that high school is literally all that's ever going to happen to you in the world. Needless to say, it really impacted my self-worth and how I saw myself. Over time, this lack of self-worth really contributed to my well-being and even was, I guess, one of the causes of my depression.

Eventually as I got older, my hormones started to calm down and I started experiencing fewer breakouts. I ditched all the hyped products that promised miracles, and I also ditched the friends that made my appearance feel like it was everything. I ended up finding a really beautiful group of friends who showed me that my self-worth was just so much more than what I look and the number of pimples I had on my face.

I think the people you surround yourself with is the most important, especially during high school. I think, I always say to myself, "You are the sum of the five closest people you have in your life." You have to really think, "Okay, who do I have that’s speaking truth over my life? Are they the sort of people I want to become? Are they the sort of people I look up to? Or are they bringing me down?" Then I realized once I changed the group of people I was hanging out with, so people who cared more about changing the world, encouraging others, empowering others instead of trash talking other people. I realized those are the people I want to be and it just made me realize there was just so much more to life than always fretting about my pimples.

I'm now 23 years old, and I still get pimples on a daily basis. I even break out a lot in the week leading up to my period, during my period, and even after it. Pimples just happen 12 months of the year, and I still have a lot of the scars and the marks from old pimples and just marks that don't really want to go away. When I see a pimple now, I feel like pimples always just happen to appear at the worst moment. Like, when I'm about to go out to a party or when I'm about to go out on a first date or when I'm about to appear on camera, they usually just sprout. It's like the body knows that you're about to do something cool and you're about to face the public, so it just decides to-- It tries to help you, but really it just really hurts your confidence. When I do see a pimple I do still get upset because you see a blemish on your face and you're like, "Oh, no." I think the difference is I don’t see it as a definition of my worth or how beautiful I am. I just see it as, "Okay, there's now another red mark on my face. I'll have to spend maybe a bit more time covering up." Or sometimes I don't even cover it up. It depends on who I'm about to hang out with or where I'm about to go. I think there's something really refreshing about appearing in public, with no makeup and being just as you are.

I've absolutely come to love the way that I look now. Nowadays, when I look in the mirror, even though I see all these imperfections and marks, I just love the way that I look. I think that when you're younger, so many people are afraid to acknowledge that they love how they look because it comes off as narcissism or they're up themselves. I think that just loving the way that you look and just loving who you are as a person and who you were made to be, I think that's one of the most beautiful traits that you can actually have as a person and as a human being. I think that that's something we all need to start acknowledging more. I think nowadays when I look in the mirror, I don't even see the pimples and the marks, I see someone who is resilient enough to keep showing up to life, no matter how many storms she goes through. I see someone who has a great group of friends who don't care about superficial things and cares more about her values and her belief systems. I see someone who is just willing to just keep showing up to live her best life.

The way I reached my confidence is, I learned that no one is actually paying attention to my pimples. No one is paying attention to my acne or how I look. I think that people are inherently self-obsessed and that's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just that they're focused-- every one of us is focused on our own safety, our own comfort, our own dreams and desires and appearance. What that means is, we can let go of the pressure of appearing perfect in front of everyone because chances are they're not focusing on us. The things that we think are a big deal such as having acne or stuffing up or having an embarrassing moment, the chances are, no one is going to remember that because they're worried about themselves not stuffing up. I think once I realized that, I was like, "Okay, no one's looking at my acne, nobody cares, but nobody cares in a good way. It's fine, people care about me as a person and just because I have acne that doesn't diminish how they see me or how I should see myself."

The advice I would give to parents who currently have teenagers or children who are going through acne is, I would tell them to first validate their child's emotions. To just say like, "Yeah, I know you feel like you look ugly. Or I know you feel like no one else is going through this. I know you're in a tough spot right now." Because I think validation is so important. It's just one of those key things that helps someone process their emotions. By validating someone's emotions, you make them feel like it's okay to feel things that are not always happiness or joy. It gives them a safe space to process their feelings. Once they’re given that safe space, they can then start to think a little bit more rationally like, "Yeah, okay, maybe there is some truth in what my mom is saying. That maybe she is right in saying that it will pass." My first advice is always just validate your child's emotions. Then secondly, give them a story or your own experience about how you were once going through something, but then you made it through that and you lived to tell your tale. Because I think that hearing other people relate to you also makes you feel just 10 times better.

10 years on, I look back and I'm like, "Yeah, it was definitely a phase." I think I would tell my younger self that storms pass, this will too, and you are going to end up having the most beautiful life. So many wonderful things are going to happen beyond your imagination. You're going to find love, you're going to find friends, you're going to end up in a really great job. Everything that you've always hoped or desired, you will actually get if you just learn to just trust.

[00:14:41]

Sasha: As a teenager, it often feels like we can never catch a break. Just as we're getting the hang of high school, figuring out our friendship groups, and finally talking to our crush, fate intervenes and gives us acne. While pimples are those red bumps that pop up once twice in your skin, acne is a persistent skin condition that occurs when your skin gets inflamed and leads to lots of deep sore pimples often across your face, chest, and back. Why you ask? Why? Why? Why? We respond. Well, when we go through puberty, the changes in our hormones cause our body to start producing excess oil called sebum. Too much sebum can lead to your pores getting clogged, which traps dead skin cells and bacteria inside. This leads to redness, swelling, and eventually a breakout of pimples and blackheads.

As you get older, you may notice that pimples and breakouts start reoccurring around the week before you get your period or even during your period. This is known as PMS acne. When you're about to get your period, the progesterone levels in your body starts to rise and cause more sebum to be produced. Again, too much sebum leads to clogged pores on your face, which then lead to breakouts. When you get a breakout, it can be very tempting to pop your pimples or cover it up with a ton of makeup. But popping your pimples can actually lead to more inflammation across your face and even result in scarring. Putting makeup on can also clog your pores up even more and increase oiliness. Instead, it's best to adopt a simple skincare regime, such as gently cleansing your face at morning and at night and using an oil free moisturizer. But be careful not to get too caught up in the hype of products that promise clear skin.

I saw these ads for blackhead and nose strips and I was desperate to use them. I would keep buying and using them, but nothing would come out of my nose. Now, I actually do have blackheads and it's only because I kept pulling out my skin hoping for something icky to come up. Basically, if skincare or makeup products aren't working for you, it's best to stop overusing them. If you're still concerned about your skin, the best thing to do is please talk to your parents or someone you can trust who will refer you to a dermatologist. Because while dealing with acne can feel incredibly isolating and distressing, it's an experience that literally everyone goes through. Instagram’s face tune exists for a reason. It's nothing to feel ashamed about, and you certainly don't need to rush out and buy heaps of products to cover your face. You're beautiful and imperfectly perfect. No matter what.

We encourage you to keep showing up and living your best life, no matter how many pimples you have. The world needs to hear your laugh, see your smile, and enjoy your presence. Remember, like all our troubles in life, acne doesn't last forever.

Thanks for listening to The Red Tales, the Red by Modibodi Podcast. If you enjoyed this tuning into today's episode, related a bit too much to the story, or learn something new, please subscribe to our podcast and leave us a review. If you're curious about how Red by Modibodi underwear protects you against periods leaks, and you'd love to give it a try, visit the Red by Modibodi website at modibodi.com/red. You can even join the red squad by signing up on our website to receive exclusive VIP offers.

Because you've tuned in to our podcast today, we're giving you a special offer. That's exclusive only to our podcast listeners. Simply use our special code, PODCAST, and you'll get a 10% discount on any red product, excluding bundles. Lastly, to keep up with all things Red, make sure to follow us on Instagram at @RedbyModibodi. Remember, life is messy, but your period doesn't have to be.

End of Audio [00:18:58]