Vice Tackles Menstruation Fashion With Startling ‘There Will Be Blood’ Photo Shoot

Vice loves the chance to provoke people (occasionally with memorable results) but this time we’re 1) kind of impressed by how far they’ve gone and 2) kind of shocked no one’s done it before*. In “There Will Be Blood,” we have what looks like a typical Vice shoot–a mix of new and vintage fashions, unconventional models, unglamorous locations–and period stains. Yes, the subjects appear to be menstruating.

The editorial was shot by a woman named Emma Arvida Bystrom who–based on a rough Google translation of her blogspot–seems very interested in the representation of women in media, especially beauty ideals (and, it would seem, subverting them). On the one hand, the images show nothing more than biological function and are only shocking because we never see things like this. On the other, some just seem like gory sensationalism.

So. Is this interesting or not? Is it provocation for provocation’s sake? We expect a few of you to note that just because it’s natural doesn’t mean one wants to see it in a magazine.

Be warned.

All photos by Emma Arvida Bystrom. This is about half, see the rest of them at Vice.

*Has anyone done this before?

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    • lyle

      Personally, they don’t bother me. But some are definitely more realistic than others.

    • Fabel

      At least it’s a totally new kind of deliberate provocation!

      • gaia

        Good point. I’m also more swayed by the fact that a woman took the photos.

    • Katie

      I’m split, too.

      I’ve never had such a heavy day that I bled DOWN TO MY KNEES. But I really like the one of the girl with the tampon.

      • quay

        I haven’t either but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, right?

      • Bean

        Was definitely really really afraid of that growing up! But no, never.

      • jen

        I have. At school. High school.

        It was a bad day.

    • superjack

      They don’t bother me. I don’t think they’re particularly great pictures (they seem very blogger-y) but I like that I had to say to myself, “Wait. You shouldn’t be grossed out by that.”

    • raina

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds these particularly bloody. I was like That doesn’t seem right.

    • Tank

      I’m for it. It’s like, so what? We bleed. I’ve seen a lot grosser before.

      • Una

        I’m kind of into it, too! It’s a Fuck You to people who think it’s gross.

    • Liz

      The whole “oh no periods aren’t gross, how dare you think so” thing baffles me.

      Yes, it’s natural.

      You know what else in natural? Pooping, peeing, nosebleeds, snot, getting a gash on your leg, the stray cat in my back yard messily murdering a bird. All natural. All also gross.

      A period is certainly no more gross than having to take a crap, and is nothing to be ashamed of, but it isn’t any less gross either.

    • kjon

      Wrap that ‘poon in tissue paper before you throw it away! DAMN.

    • Steph

      I really don’t have a problem with it.

    • Lindsey

      The only one that bothered me was the girl sitting with her legs open. Because, seriously lady? Have you NEVER worn a skirt in public before? Do you like giving people panty shots?

      Otherwise… meh.

    • AnnH

      I wouldn’t expect ladies to be disgusted by that. That’s more or less what we’re used to seeing every month afterall.

    • Annie

      I like it. People shouldn’t be grossed out by something that happens to them every month.

    • D

      Girl with tampon — wrap that shit up before you throw it out! Thanks.

    • Nessy

      Thanks for taking me back to my days in an all-women’s college, Vice! It’s magical place where bodily functions are valid forms of art and subject matter and it’s social context (i.e. shock value) weigh far more than actual execution of a piece.

    • Amy

      A cheap attempt at getting publicity through ‘shocking’ ideas. Pooing and sneezing are natural too, but I’d rather not see models with diarrhoea running down their legs or snot all over their face either. Not everything natural needs to be seen and admired.