A mother from Jacksonville, Florida, captured international attention after she threw a “period party” for her 12-year-old daughter.
“Brooke started her period today,” tweeted 12-year-old Brooke Lee’s 17-year-old cousin, Autumn, on Twitter, sharing photos of a smiling Brooke posing with a cake that reads, “Congrats on your period!”
The unorthodox celebratory photos quickly went viral, provoking a range of responses, ranging from disapproval to enthusiastic support and simple amusement.
“I would have been MORTIFIED!” commented one BuzzFeed News reader. “A party? With close friends? To me, that’s a bit much.”
“If I have a kid, she’ll have her foray into womanhood kept hush hush also and not splattered all over social media!” chimed in another woman.
Another user agreed, adding, “Isn’t anything private anymore?”
Most seem to approve of the move, with many praising the mother for her support.
“I love this,” wrote one Twitter user. “A lot of people scare away from menstruation and don’t give proper information that girls need. She’s got a good team around her.”
Others found the whole thing funny.
“If this ain’t red velvet they doing it wrong,” joked another person.
Brooke’s mother, Shelly, explains she threw the party after her daughter expressed anxiety about menstruation.
“I wanted to make this event a little more fun!” she explained.
So, with the help of relatives, Shelly organized a celebratory event in honor of Brooke’s first period, ordering pizza and handing out tampons and sanitary pads as gifts, reports the Daily Mail.
Brooke’s aunt explains the cake was especially significant, making sure it was made of serotonin-filled chocolate to “to help her with Brooke’s first period.”
Photos of Brooke smiling seem to show the mother succeeded in making the event a fun one.
The girl later explained that, while others might find the party surprising, it wasn’t that strange to her.
“This is just a normal thing for our family to do,” she said.
Autumn agreed: “[Brooke’s mom] always makes sure to make the best memories out of everything and Brooke’s period was one for the books.”