When it comes to designing a pool float, there are plenty of things to consider. Is it easy to get on? Can it hold a drink? How will it look on Instagram?
But one of the things that should also be pondered: does it look like a giant sanitary napkin?
"It gives me the confidence I need to float in the pool," wrote the user.
Twitter picked up on it and quickly decided on the problem: there were likely no women consulted in the creation of this
pad pool toy.
Focus group. This could have been avoided with 1 focus group (of women). pic.twitter.com/C76lv5ji33— Jillian David (@JillianDavid13) July 3, 2017
No women involved in the design of this float. pic.twitter.com/uroQqbhtDV— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) July 3, 2017
But other options were, ahem, floated as well.
Alternative theory - it was designed by a woman who was sick of the men in her family stealing all the pool floats 😉— sam (@verysimple) July 3, 2017
And others were pretty excited about taking this to the streets.
Hahaha I would so buy this and go use it in a public pool. ⚡️ "Who hasn't wanted to float on a maxi pad?"https://t.co/ewCwY3XH9z— Ash (@WildIsTheAsh) July 5, 2017
So there is the possibility that the backlash could really work in this company's favour — we can picture plenty of people grabbing these for a girls' getaway weekend or simply just taking ownership of the fact that menstrual products shouldn't be relegated to back corners of bathroom cabinets. Lie on them in the pool instead, dammit!
If nothing else, it's a good reminder that designs for anything should be run by a diverse group of people, in case the ones who are doing the creating have a particular blindspot. It reminds us of the iPad debacle when it was first released — though considering no one bats an eye when saying the name now, perhaps pools will soon be filled with maxi pads of every size.
A girl can only dream.