Championing your period

Perth sexual health expert and musician Lucy Peach wants all women, girls and people with cycles to be empowered by their periods. She’s even written songs and a live show to help spread the message.

By Ara Jansen

When Lucy Peach’s young son barged into the bathroom while she was changing a tampon, she realised it was an important moment. When he asked whether he should consider it disgusting, she realised she had a chance to release a stereotype and told him it wasn’t disgusting, but actually quite natural.

Lucy Peach

The period preacher, author and folksinger – often called the Period Queen – has made it her mission to get everyone talking about periods and to do away with the stigma of being embarrassed and rise above all those unkind words that have ever been hurled at women over their menstrual cycle.

The Perth mother of two boys has spent the past two decades studying women’s health and wellbeing, human biology and menstruality leadership. She has a Bachelor of Science in human biology and biomedicine and a graduate diploma of education
in human biology. 

“This kind of body positivity is important and it’s part of being human and we have been conned into the story that there’s something wrong with us and we have to spend our lives fixing ourselves,” says Lucy. “I love to see young women claim themselves and not be apologetic for what makes them who they are. Everyone deserves to have great body literacy.”

Starting her career as a human biology teacher and sexual health educator, Lucy also built a parallel career as a folk-pop singer-songwriter. Combining the two, Lucy used her own cycle as a tool to create music that won her WA’s Best Folk Act of 2016.  

Lucy’s mission – while often wearing red – is to empower girls, women and those who menstruate throughout their cycles. She says the hormonal phases can be broken into four – dream, do, give and take. Understanding these phases allows you to make the most of your cycle and harnessing “period superpowers”. 

It doesn’t need to be a random emotional rollercoaster, but instead across a month having a time to dream, a time to do, a time to give and a time to take helps you make the most of your energy and creativity. 

She’s done a TED talk titled The Power of the Period and has written a popular book called Period Queen. Using her musical talents, she created a hugely successful and award-winning live show called My Greatest Period Ever. 

Returning by popular demand to this year’s Fringe World festival, it’s a hilarious and heartfelt show which combines music and menstrual messages. She’s joined on stage by her husband Richard, who creates live illustrations so you can learn how to hack your period and turn
it into the greatest ever.

Lucy started on her own journey of discovering more about the phases within her cycle in her late 20s. She hasn’t stopped talking about them since. 

“I’d had periods for 15 years and thought I was a pretty good feminist and felt pretty good about my body,” says Lucy. “Once I realised there was a cyclical part to how I felt and my energy levels, I realised I was kind of awful to myself when I was pre-menstrual. I was critical about myself and doubted myself.”

When she started to figure out things like understanding her tolerance would probably be short with just about anything during certain times, it allowed her to acknowledge that and work with it. 

Her work doesn’t only target females. She encourages men to be curious about the cycles of the women in their lives. “It benefits everyone when they have a clearer understanding of how having a cycle makes you feel and what happens across a month.” 

She has a number of online courses, works in schools and is currently working with businesses to help them empower employees to work with their cycle. 

My Greatest Period Ever is at Fringe World until February 12. The Sunday shows are family shows and especially suitable for young kids.