Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu on breaking the stigma and myth about menstruation

She shares an empowering message to her younger self

We all know that every pageant candidate must be brave, smart, and powerful to show the world how women can be all good in every aspect—intellectually, physically, and mentally.  

Most women in this world experience a monthly period. Yes, you read it clearly, period. Menstruation. Whereas every month, women will experience bleeding and abdominal cramps for seven days or three days (if you're lucky enough). During these tough times, women fight for raging hormones, cravings, and more. 

Reining Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu from India answers questions during an event in a hotel in Pasay city discusses with them the problem of every woman regarding monthly period.(photo by Ali Vicoy)

But believe it or not, even though monthly periods is a natural cycle for women, ladies are experiencing discrimination because of the taboo and myth about it. This is the very reason why Modess, together with 2021 reigning Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu, and Miss Universe Philippines forged a partnership—to encourage “the young Filipina to be stewards of their menstrual health.”


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A post shared by Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu (@harnaazsandhu_03)

"Don’t let that stain, stain your mind. Don’t lose your confidence because of a dot," says Harnaaz encourages every young lady to never stop and never lose hope just because of normal occurrences.  

And just like any other woman who happened to have different stories on how they got their first period, Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz proudly shared her own experience.

The 22-year-old Indian beauty queen says that she is grateful to her best friend and to her mother who is a gynecologist who taught her about periods even before she got her own.

"I was scared just like any other girl and I think it's normal to feel like that,” she says. "There was a time I used not to talk about when I'm menstruating and I think I should have told my mom." 


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A post shared by Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu (@harnaazsandhu_03)

Harnaaz also mentioned that she talks to different organizations to make "period poverty" into "period powerty," which aims for every woman to have access to free and safe menstrual equipment—including the poor countries. 

She then persuades everyone to never be afraid to reach their goals and dream about natural happenings to women’s bodies which are periods. "It isn’t wrong to talk about your health and natural occurrences," she says. "Don’t let that fear win over your dreams as you fall behind due to missing classes or those seven days (in) a month."


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A post shared by Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu (@harnaazsandhu_03)

Looking back, Harnaaz then shares a wonderful message to her younger self. "To my younger self,  don’t worry about what’s happening in your life right now. Everything will be fine and you need to love yourself and trust the happenings of your life," she tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. "You will be a stronger, better version and you will love yourself the most, more than anyone else. You got this. If you dream about it then you can make it happen, and just go with the flow. Life is all about that."

Harnaaz is now more open and comfortable talking about periods and women's reproductive health—so does every woman should be too. We, especially us women, must not be afraid to talk and open a discussion about what must be normalized in this society.

(Contributed by Michaella Joy Tsuji, student City of Malabon University)