“The Last of Us” is a post-apocalyptic television show that follows the journey of a smuggler and a teenager as they navigate their way through the unknown world.
Despite being based in a world overrun by flesh-eating monsters, the most thought-provoking and boundary-pushing moment of the show so far has come from a scene involving Ellie and a menstrual cup.
Starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsay as the leads, the show has received backlash from hardcore fans of the game for deviating from the original plot and the lack of zombie content.
However, the absence of flesh-eating monsters is made up for with poignant characterisations, as seen in episode six which aired on February 20th.
Arriving in a town, Ellie is gifted a menstrual cup, alongside a pile of fresh clothes. While initially confused, Ellie quickly gets excited and exclaims “Gross” with a smile.
This short, unassuming moment has been praised by fans for its realistic reflection of what it means to be a person who gets monthly periods, and for normalising the discussion around menstruation. The show’s decision to include this scene is a step in the right direction when it comes to normalising menstruation chat in a non-shaming or taboo way.
Showrunner Craig Mazin explained that the menstrual cup is a great solution in the ongoing apocalypse, as it is a reusable solution that doesn’t require the finding of boxes of tampons in infected-ridden cellars.
The intention behind the scene was for viewers to be able to ask someone or Google it if they didn’t know what it was, and it was more for the people who did know what it was.
The menstrual cup representation in “The Last of Us” has been praised by fans, with many appreciating the show’s acknowledgement of periods in a non-shaming way. This simple nod to the fact that Ellie gets periods is a positive step towards normalising menstruation chat and removing the stigma that often surrounds it in film and television.