Playtex, known for their undergarment and feminine hygiene products, has launched a chatbot on Kik to help those with periods better manage their time of the month. Period tracking apps are a great resource for period-havers who might need a reminder a few months about where they are in the cycle and those who want to be more active in managing exercise, health, and more. Playtex’s chatbot accomplishes this by personalizing their reminders and keeping the conversational fun, rather than overly sterile.
While we tend to think of periods as a taboo and something to keep secret (just think of how many pads of tampons you have to discretely carry to the bathroom), that can contribute to a unfortunate—and even dangerous—culture of shame that leads incredible misinformation. Some might find it difficult to talk directly about their periods, so we can definitely see a chatbot being a useful source for younger folks still learning about their bodies. By launching the chatbot on Kik, it does feel like Playtex is aiming for that demographic of teens. All you have to do is find Girl_Space by searching “playtexsport” and while there’s an inclusivity critique to be made about the name, that accessibility is great considering how many scary internet forums and weird advice there is out there about health.
And again, it’s hard to be too critical when this bot really feels like it was designed for younger users. Someone more used to having their period will already have a general idea of how it affects their body and what works best to combat their personal PMS. No two periods are perfectly alike, so you can’t blame the bot for being more general in its suggestions—avoid greasy foods, switch up your exercise routine, etc.
Do you wish you had something like the Playtex Sport Kik bot when you were younger? If you’ve used similar health apps, how do you think Playtex compares?