Oona Kivelä – A Multiple World Champion of Pole Dancing
Oona, you have won the World Champion title of pole dancing several times! We are SO happy and proud you chose Lunette to partner with! What are some things you have in common with Lunette?
“We both represent fresh and new ways of doing things, like with my pole dancing and Lunette in the period business. I’d like to think that we’re both ambassadors for what’s best in Finland; open-mindness and an energetic attitude for getting things done.
When I first started publishing my pole dancing videos on Youtube, they became really popular really quickly. The same thing happened when Lunette released its first cups.”
You can find Oona’s Youtube channel here.
This year we are celebrating the year of the #PeriodPower. We are raising awareness about important topics such as periods in societies. Have you ever thought about your period other than just a personal issue?
“Very often! I was so stunned and inspired when Chinese swimmer Fu Yanhui spoke about her periods at the Rio Olympic Games a couple of years ago. She mentioned it like it was the most normal thing in the world, which it is. She made me realize that I also want to speak up and make an effort to make periods less taboo. In sports we could shift the way we see period cramps and make them as normal as having a sore knee.”
What kind of problems does society still have with the attitudes we have towards periods?
“Why do we feel so ashamed about them? That really interests me. We feel ashamed and we often blame men for that. I’ve told men I’m on my period before, and luckily, I still haven’t gotten weird reactions. I’m in a new-ish relationship and one time when I told my boyfriend that I was having awful cramps, he offered to give me a massage and asked if I wanted to cancel the plans we had or if I was too exhausted to go.”
Amazing! What kind of personal experiences about period shaming have you gotten?
”I’ve been coaching children in various sports for over 15 years and I’ve noticed how comfortable boys are about telling me that their genital area hurts. Girls on the other hand, don’t even have words to describe the situation. A little girl came up to me once and whispered, “coach, can you come here? Why can’t we say my vagina hurts out loud?” We just keep pushing this weird mentality of shame for the next generation, even if we don’t even understand why.
I’ve caught myself having this same mentality. Once in a dance class in New York, a fellow dancer had a leak. Instead of letting her know, I turned away and thought it was gross. I have the same feeling when I see tampon strings in a locker room, and in this sport you see them a lot! I feel bad for thinking this way, and it’s something I’m working on, but I think recognizing the problem is already a great start.”
Totally, we’ve gotta start somewhere. Can you give us some tips about how to handle period shaming?
”We should understand that the feeling of shame is in our heads. It’s not based on anything real. You can get rid of those thoughts if you decide to do that, and work hard with your thoughts and attitudes. Also, an open and honest conversation is really important.”
We think having an open and honest conversation about menstruation is important too. Thanks so much Oona for sharing your thoughts!
Next time, Oona will talk more about having periods as a top athlete. Follow us on social media to find out!