meet lola

lola ross, bsc and co-founder of moody month, shares her thoughts on feminist healthcare

 

We got the chance to talk to Lola Ross about her interpretation of feminist healthcare, and how she came to her work at Moody Month

s.w

Lola, where and how did you learn the most about your body as a young girl?

Lola

I have an older sister and female cousins that I grew up with, and we spent endless sleepovers discussing our bodies, bra sizes, tampons, pubic hair, etc. I also has a liberated mum who (mostly) encouraged a non-judgmental space for us to chat. She walked around naked, and talked to me quite factually about her experiences of periods, sex, and love. Can’t forget to shout out some key literature! Forever by Judy Blume, Where Did I Come From? and my dad’s dusty The Joy of Sex.

s.w

What do you admire/dislike about the dialogue around women’s bodies today? Do you think it’s possible to perform a feminist healthcare practice? If so, what does that look like to you?

lola

It’s an incredible time to celebrate yourself and salute diversity! Social media has been crucial in women being able to define themselves. I do worry, however, that there is a lot of focus on visual identity and not enough on the health of our brains.

Feminist healthcare feels real in my field [of nutritional therapy]. NT’s often give focus and attention to the nuance in women’s hormonal physiology in a way that some mainstream healthcare doesn’t. NT’s also tend to bridge the gender gap and health gap that exists in mainstream healthcare.

s.w

That’s really interesting. How do you think Moody Month’s mission relates to this idea of feminist healthcare?

lola

We want women to understand themselves better. By tracking patterns and providing cycle-related education we help women optimize their health. This information is not readily taught in schools, nor is it shared by GPs. We are sharing vital information.  

s.w

Let’s talk Moody Month—Moody worked as our content partners on our most recent manual, and you’re one of their co-founders! How did you first get involved?

lola

Amy [one of Moody’s co-founders] and I discovered each other through a chance introduction. When we met, I knew we were meant to do something important together. We spent the first six months meeting at cafes and snatching time to brainstorm, plan, visualize, and eventually build the web platform. We got investment and our amazing team grew from there. The app followed less than a year later in the UK and US.

s.w

Your point about tracking patterns really resonates with me—I know that I gained such insight I around my body when I began tracking my cycle. Do you feel similarly? What can people gain from studying their cycles on a deeper level?

lola

Cycle tracking can help identify imbalances, but it can also help you understand what might be working. For example, knowing when it’s likely for you to experience low moods or anxiety can help you ride it out, be easy on yourself, and take time for self-reflection. On a deeper level, this learning is important in terms of dismantling the notion that people who experience periods are hormonally out of control. Our fluctuations have meaning if we learn to listen to them.

s.w

Alright, time for some real world applications...  ;)

 

What’s the best time in your cycle to plan a sexy date?

lola

Driven by estrogen, you’re likely to be feeling your best, most attractive, seductive, optimistic, and aroused during your rise (follicular) phase. It’s a clever physiological design, as it’s the phase that leads up to ovulation, so in procreation terms it’s the perfect time to find a mate. This will be different if you are on hormonal contraceptive, but if you track your cycle you have start to see patterns of when you feel optimal and seek sexual intimacy.

s.w

Worst time in your cycle to have dinner with your mom?

lola

It all depends on your sensitivity to hormone shifts during your cycle. There are two typically more emotionally sensitive times during the cycle, the shift and rise phases, as estrogen and progesterone drop. this isn’t the case for everyone who experiences periods. The main thing, of course, is mums are important, even if flawed. and not to be taken for granted!


Thank you to Lola and Moody Month for taking the time to chat with us. Learn more about Moody and cycle tracking here.

14   

"i took it off"

so, it was like 2012. i was in williamsburg, just walking around. i was HOT. it was, like, august?  and this kid hits me up. he’s like — bloop! — and i was like, what’s up? and he was like, do you want to meet up? and i was like, sure! because you know what “meet up” means..

 

I go to the bathroom to prepare, and im like, wait, this shit smells. So right before he pulls up, im like, i don’t need underwear — even though underwear is also great — i don’t need this underwear. i took it off, threw it in the garbage, and I moved on with my life and had a great night.

13   

"my lucky underwear" 

so a couple of weeks ago, i had, like, given up all hope of getting this pop up space. I was wandering around soho, wondering what my next step in life would be, and the broker called me and asked me if I still wanted it [because] something had fallen through with the long term renters. i was like, “yes! yes! i’ll take it!”

as soon as I got off the phone, i realized i was wearing my oddobody underwear — it must have been good luck! i texted the girls, and i was like, “im pretty sure this is my lucky underwear.”

12    Fredgy

"people have been doing this forever"

I’m so used to just throwing panties in a laundry machine. but these [oddobody], i was hand washing them, and i remembered when i was a kid i would hand wash all my panties. that was a very sacred time. you would hang them all up, and they would dry and that’s just how i did it for years. and now im like why have i been washing my underwear in a laundry machine? it’s like, so rough.
[and then you said you went to your grandma’s?]
oh, so then i went home and i’m thinking about hand washing. and then i notice that there’s just panties all over her bathroom! and it was like, other people have been doing this forever! what happened to make me stop?

10    Kalindi

"I'm never wearing a thong again"

 

I remember in college when thongs was the thing to wear. And so I tried on lots of different kinds of thongs, and realized that only the string kind was comfortable for me. (the kind that was like an inch thick was painful.) And, yknow, that liberation of finding a thong that was comfortable and being to wear thongs all the time. But I remember once I got out of that head set, that thongs are the thing to wear, I realized that thongs are not comfortable, and I am never wearing a thong again.

 

09    Nayara

"i've definitely upped my game since"

I massively disappointed this ex-boyfriend of mine with a nice pair of granny panties. So it happened that I grew up in a more conservative town, and sexy lavey underwear was just not a thing. I had just moved to the US from Brazil, I was in my early 20s, and yea, the poor guy was so disappointed. He didn’t even try to hide it, so it didn’t make me feel bad or anything, because I just thought it was really funny. I still think it’s really funny. I’ve definitely upped my game since.