I’m Kate and I recently joined The Dot as one of the co-chairs of Advocacy and Internal Development. With Valentine’s Day just having passed, I was thinking about things in my life that I love or have an appreciation for, and honestly, my period was not one of them. I thought about whether this was because of personal experience, social construction surrounding menstruation, or simply finding it to be an inconvenience, and I realized it was all three. Periods are often a private topic and carry a lot of social stigma for everyone. As long as I can remember, I absolutely dreaded my periods because of all the changes that occurred in my body. These include bloating, breakouts, and indulging myself in more sweets than I care to admit. Although many menstruators experience similar symptoms, known as PMS, we are taught to loathe these changes with each monthly cycle. Advances in technology and the menstrual product field further contribute to this idea by marketing new gadgets to soothe the discomfort associated with periods. This month, however, I decided to take a more positive approach to my period and show it a little more love. As a science major, I decided to view my period from a biological perspective and appreciate the fact that menstrual cycles, although they can be irregular, are a sign of a hormonally balanced body. Hormones are active within most biological systems, so without them, it would be challenging for bodies to fulfill daily needs and maintain homeostasis. During high school, I began experiencing issues with my period due to over-exercising and undereating. While I always despised “that time of the month,” knowing I was skipping periods due to these stressors made me disappointed in myself. I was embarrassed that I could not even take care of my body enough so that it could perform its natural functions. Eventually, I gained my regularity back and realized I took my period for granted. The second way I was able to love my period was through recognized empowerment and unity. Periods have been, and continue to be, a source of shame. However, this narrative is beginning to change with movements that want to change how the public views menstruation. People are becoming much more open about their experiences with menstruation and the rights they deserve as menstruators. Various organizations, such as The Dot, are on the rise at universities and high schools to allow young people to work towards reducing the disparities among different populations of menstruators. These collaborative efforts attempt to destigmatize this natural wonder of the body and create new constructs to pass onto future generations of menstruators. Reflecting on these two perspectives, I definitely want to continue showing my period more love and especially appreciate how it keeps me healthy and gives me something to be proud of. I should not have to be ashamed of carrying a tampon to the bathroom or admitting that my cramps sometimes keep me in bed. My reflection about periods is not meant to discount the PMS symptoms and challenges associated with menstruation. Trust me, there have been many times where I have had to take some pain relievers and lay in bed instead of doing anything productive. However, next time you are laying in bed with a heating pad or grabbing another pint of Ben & Jerry's after feeling a sugar craving, I encourage you to try and think of just one way of how you can show your period some love.