Femvertising and Postfeminist Discourse: Advertising to Break Menstrual Taboos in China

Jingyi Guo, Ziwei Zhang, Jinhong Song, Lu Jin, Duan Yu, Sara Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This article investigates three commercials for Libresse sanitary napkins that aired in China in the transnational brand’s marketing to counter menstrual taboos. Employing feminist critical discourse analysis (CDA), we interpret Libresse’s efforts in China as exemplary of the appropriation of femvertising, or women’s empowerment advertising. Our findings indicate that Libresse’s commercials attempted to eschew explicit menstrual stereotypes and taboos, emphasizing instead individual desires and autonomy, with an implicit heterosexist message intended to involve men in the agenda. Libresse’s femvertising strategies in China have been influenced by social and cultural factors—primarily, industry self-regulation, menstrual taboos, and the development of feminism. The commercials create a postfeminist discourse that has generated contradictory gender discourses, both liberating and constraining women in an elaborate dance that should be understood in relation to postfeminism, advertising, and global capitalism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-398
Number of pages21
JournalWomen's Studies in Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Communication


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