For many women, the menstrual cycle is a process that is complicated, unavoidable, and often annoying. But for the amount of time and money that women and girls spend on menstrual issues, many women don’t know the specifics of the cycle itself. Alison Sanchez, a Missisauga, ON-based entrepreneur, has created the Female Empowerment Bracelet as way for women to track the basic changes in their menstrual cycles. The bracelet, also called a Feby bracelet, has 28 beads that symbolize the different days of the cycle, and are coloured accordingly—black for pre-menstrual, red for menstruation, white for “neutral” and pink for ovulation. The beads are arranged in a pattern that matches the cycle itself. Each day, the wearer can move a knot in the bracelet’s string in between the beads, which helps to keep track of what day it is in her cycle. The 28-bead bracelet may not be useful for girls whose periods are shorter or longer than the average, but can provide a girl with a general sense of how her cycle works in relation to the average.
I was provided with a sample of Feby while manning the Shameless booth at the Word on the Street Festival, and decided to try it out. On her website, and during her visit to the Shameless booth, Sanchez says that Feby is intended to be an educational tool for girls and younger women who are beginning their periods. She also suggests that girls can use the bracelet colours as coded ways to discuss their periods with other girls, in order to feel more comfortable discussing their bodies. In this way, Feby can be both an educational and an interactive tool, especially for younger girls who are just beginning to learn about their unique experiences of the menstrual cycle.