At home with snuggs x Hattie Morrison

At home with snuggs x Hattie Morrison


"At Home with Snuggs" is a series that revolves around individuals sharing their genuine and authentic menstruation experiences.

This month we chat with Hattie, a writer and creative director for Craig Morrison. Hattie chats us through her endometriosis diagnosis, how menstruation is portrayed by the media and her experience with snuggs.


Q1- To begin with, would you mind introducing yourself, and giving us a brief overview of you, your work and what you are all about? 

My name’s Hattie Morrison, I write narrative nonfiction, scripts and essays about womanhood, connection, loss and memory. I’m also Creative Director of a rubber couture and ready to wear brand - Craig Morrison Studio - with my sister, Leia Morrison.

I care about expressions of authenticity. About baring all in an attempt to connect with other people - and about getting out of one’s comfort zone for the sake of growth and personal understanding. I love walking with my hand in someone else’s pocket. I don’t like salted caramel or misogynists.

Q2- As a writer and creative director, how do you believe the portrayal of periods and the menstrual cycle in media and advertising impacts societal perceptions?

I really do believe that periods are misunderstood by so many people because of the narrow representation of menstrual cycles in the media. If periods aren’t discussed in a household, the next place to learn is the media, and so we have such power to get the ball rolling when it comes to starting crucial conversations - even if it means that those conversations are uncomfortable for some of our audience. Discomfort is important -  it’s how we open our minds.
 

Q3- How do you see the landscape of menstrual representation in media evolving, and what opportunities do you see for writers and creative directors to drive positive change in this area?

I’ve been seeing a slightly more diverse range of bodies represented in the media recently when it comes to menstrual products which is great, but I’d like to see more trans bodies invited into the menstrual cycle conversation, for example - because the violence that trans people face is very real, and it comes from a lack of not only compassion, but information. 

I’d also like to see more frank conversations around the way periods affect different people globally. More conversations about period privilege, for example. I’m here celebrating my menstrual cycle and the fact that I can wear reusable period pants every month while thousands are getting Toxic Shock Syndrome because they’re trying to make one box of tampons last them three cycles. Periods are not just personal, but highly political.

As a writer, I will always make sure not to cordon off subjects like periods, abortions and gynaecological issues -  because if writers and creative directors feel like they shouldn’t talk about these issues, then these issues don’t appear in books and films, and then they’re not issues discussed in people’s households. It has a rippling effect.

Q4- How do you personally manage the challenges of balancing your creative work with the fluctuations in energy and mood that can accompany your menstrual cycle?

My endometriosis symptoms have eased to a point where I can work relatively unchallenged when I’m on my period, but back when I was initially diagnosed two years ago it wasn’t as easy to balance my 9-5 with my period. The debilitating pain meant that getting to the office on time wasn’t possible, and I managed this by nervously raising it with my boss, who responded amazingly - she let me work from home whenever I was struggling with the physical pain and this took away the pressure. I’m one of the lucky ones! 

Managing my period symptoms in a way that means I can get on with my life has been a long road of trial and error. What I eat, drink, wear, shower in, all affects my next cycle which is still something I find surreal. I manage my symptoms pretty well these days, but try to offer myself the same sort of grace that my boss in London did, now that I’m essentially my own boss. If I need to work the day in pyjamas, I will.

Q5- Have you found that your own experiences with menstruation influence the themes or topics you explore in your writing and creative projects?

When I wake up and see blood between my legs or on my sheets or in my underwear I feel so powerful. It’s miraculous really, to be able to bleed for a week and go about my general tasks, eat my breakfast and drive to the supermarket. Walk and talk and live.

This feeling of wonder towards my body and bodies in general, is something I try to capture in my writing and my creative projects. I want to represent bodies in their splendour. I want to share stories that are gritty and real and raw sometimes, that are beautiful because of, not despite their pain.

Q6- When are you most connected with your body? 

I’ve been focusing my energy towards body neutrality lately - I don’t need to think I’m the sexiest woman on the planet, but I’d like to reach a point of consistent acceptance - which can be a challenge when constantly bombarded with social media diet plans. 

Throughout this early journey towards body neutrality I’ve noticed that I'm most connected with my body when I’m outside with my family, and I’m wearing something comfortable (probably with a stain on it) and my hair’s an oily mess- but I’m happy because I’m fully present. I’m listening to them, and the sea and in these moments I don’t care what my body looks like. I just care about the way it feels to be warm and loved, fed and healthy. To be alive on this planet with them at the same time. Moving our bodies. 

Q7- How are you kind to yourself, others and the planet? 

Maturing for me has meant accepting that I’m kindest to others and the planet when I’ve taken the time to be consistently kind to myself. I have a tendency to slip into habits that don’t serve me like sleeping very little, moving very little, working too much, ignoring my body’s needs.

Writing into the early hours of the morning and eating things that make my hormonal acne flare because they’re easily cooked or convenient. But it turns out that when I actually sleep more, move every day, drink enough water - I’m able to show up as a good friend and a better, more present person generally. I’m less grouchy and impatient and anxious. I smile more. I snap at my family less.

It’s not rocket science but it’s also not easy to maintain; self compassion. 

Q8- Could you share any rituals or self-care routines you follow during your menstrual cycle?

I heard someone recently say ‘I don’t mind being high maintenance because I’m the one who is having to maintain it - no one else’. It made me think about my relationship with self care over the years and the elements of my period self care routine that are non-negotiable; wearing comfortable underwear that I feel good in. I’m fine with the sacrifice of an itchy thong on any normal day if I know it’ll make me feel great in a pair of jeans, but on my period, I’m very strict about what underwear I put on. It has to be natural fibre, and it has to be period proof. I won’t go out without the right underwear on my period. I’ve never used tampons and I gave up on pads five years ago because I don’t like the perfumes and chemicals.

That’s why I love Snuggs. They’re actually comfortable, they don’t make my skin rashy, they don’t get stuck to my thighs like pads do and give me that unplanned wax feeling in the middle of the day, AND they don’t produce a load of waste like other period products. 

They make me feel good and empowered and strong on the outside when I feel a bit delicate internally- which is great for morale. I don’t mind looking in the mirror on my period now too, which would not have been the case a few years ago.

Q9- Can you describe your personal journey with your menstrual cycle and how it intersects with your day to day life. 

I held onto the idea of being an athletic tomboy quite intensely as a child which meant that getting my period was a hard reality to face. I hated the way that my body was changing, hated the hair that was growing all over me, hated that I couldn’t run without feeling my skin wobbling about in new places - it just felt like I wasn’t in control of my body anymore. I started shaving at twelve and would peel open sanitary pad wrappers as quietly as possible in the school toilets.

Now, as a 27 year old woman with a few scary gynaecology appointments and complicated pregnancy experiences under my belt, I’m so grateful for my period and the healthy, hairy body I have. I feel lucky to have a cycle that comes like clockwork - and by extension, I’m so grateful to have a body that moves without pain - something that I’ll never take for granted again.

How lucky am I, to not only have a body that menstruates with symptoms I know how to manage, but to also have access to free healthcare, and products that make the experience as comfortable and convenient as possible? 

Q10- How has your understanding of your own menstrual experience influenced your perspective on menstruation in a broader context? 

My understanding of my own menstrual experience has developed gradually and holistically. I decided not to take hormonal contraception when I was diagnosed with endometriosis, which meant that I had to take my internal health and lifestyle choices seriously and assess them at a granular level to understand what foods, cosmetics, clothing and activities made my cramps, hormonal acne, irritability and anxiety worsen or improve. 

In this way my endometriosis diagnosis, and my period more broadly speaking, is what forced me to take my health seriously as an adult. My period transformed me into a more active, more holistically well version of myself. 

Through this personal journey, I’m now more open minded when it comes to menstruation management methods in a broader context. I respect that what works for me may not work for another period, and what works to ease symptoms for another period may not work for me. And that’s the beauty of the body - we are all so intricately and infinitely different. 

Interview conducted by Sarah Hazeldene- Head of Community at snuggs, featuring Hattie Morrison. You can find more from Hattie over on @hattie.mrrsn and @craigmorrison.studio