Vinnie’s Tampon Cases

When I was in high school my friend Ashlee had a totally awesome tampon case. It had a very cool retro design and kept all the supplies she needed for her period in one neat and tidy pouch. I was jealous, instead of smoothly grabbing a retro-chic pouch with tampons etc in it to head off to the bathroom, I had to discreetly and bashfully cram a tampon in my pocket without letting any of my male classmate see and sneak off to the bathroom. More than 5 years later I am still cramming stupid little cotton tampons into my pants pocket and slinking off to the bathroom, until now. I recently re-discovered Vinnie’s Tampon Cases while perusing youtube. I happened upon a video on Vinnie’s Tampon Cases and how it all got started. I always wondered why some dude was featured on the outside of a case for women to put their menstrual supplies, I found out this dude was the man.

Vinnie D’Angelo, the founder and producer of Vinnie’s Tampon Cases, started making tampon cases with his mom’s sewing machine in 1996. He decided to start making tampon cases after a female friend of his revealed that she had been kidnapped and raped in high school by a group of men. Vinnie was angry that there were no female characters in pop-culture to serve as role models for young-women, nor were there non-sexual avenues for which men and women could discuss women’s health and safety issues. Hence, Vinnie started making Vinnie’s Tampon Cases. Vinnie describes his project here:

An important part of the project was to never let on that my effort had anything to do with combating rape or violence against women. And in the thousands of interactions and interviews I almost never let on (the one exception being an interview I did for the online website Adiosbarbie.com). My plan was to always present the project with the humble explanation that I simply came up with the idea “after seeing my female friends fumble in the bags for a broken tampon”. My plan was to avoid burdening the case with “a cause”. I wanted the case to bring a smile and to encourage conversations where conversations had never existed before-a non-sexual dialog about a woman’s body between a boy and a girl (Boy- “What’s that?” Girl-”Its a Vinnie’s Tampon Case!” Boy-”What does it do?”). I wanted the case to eventually appear as if it was sanctioned by “the man” so that teens who are all about “sanctioned” products (mainstream gear that keeps them from appearing like a…(gasp) nonconformist) would pick it up and use it.

I’ve always been a “tom boy”. In high school I joined traditional boys sports, I wrestled on my high school’s all boys team, played rugby and wore a pants suite (a la Hilary Clinton, looking back it was a major fashion faux-pas) to Home Coming my sophomore year. Having this mentality, the biggest thing that drew my attention to my friend Ashlee’s tampon case was that it wasn’t designed “with women in mind”. That is, it was not about being ashamed of being a woman and having a period, nor was the case covered in femme soft pinks, purples, flowers and butterflies that are typically attributed to menstruation. Vinnie had this in mind when he designed his tampon cases:

I decided to feature big wheels, revving engines and race flags to attract boys to the products. It was imperative to have the exact opposite look of typical period products, to nix the soft pinks and euphemistic jargon, and replace them with bright reds, bold blacks and unapologetic language that announced the function of the case with authority. I figured women would enjoy this complete departure from the norm. They did and do.

Vinnie's Vinyl Tampon Case Vinnie includes a period chart with each of his cases so women can track their cycles and stay healthy.

After re-discovering Vinnie’s Tampon Cases after 5 years I ordered one ASAP, from his online store. And must come to the conclusion that he is totally awesome. Mad props to you Vinnie for being so dedicated to women’s health and for keeping men and women in the know about menstruation.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi, would love to repost this entry to our site. We did one of the first stories on these amazing tampon cases and Vinnie way back in the day. Would love to have an updated piece for our new site.

    Warmly, Pia (editor)

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