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Hartman Collection, Duke University Library

“To Meet Every Individual Need…” Tampax Incorporated, 1940.

In 1939, Tampax began selling tampons that differed in size. With Super tampons, Tampax adapted product design to reflect differences in women’s menstrual flow. Women with heavier flow could avoid leaks by using larger, more absorptive tampons. The well-manicured disembodied hand not only indicates the scale of the tampon, but also provides tacit instruction on how to insert the tampon. Menstrual product advertisements avoided depicting taboo areas by using disembodied hands to represent the female body. This advertising technique appears throughout the exhibit.

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