It's enough to make you grab a cardigan and tie it around your waist in sympathy -- photos of 15-year-old Dakota Fanning with what appears to be bright red blood peeking out from between her miniskirt clad legs, have been zooming around the web today, accompanied with an expected furor of horror.
The pictures, from the set of her new girl band biopic "The Runaways," show the telltale stream familiar to any female who's cursed the inventor of white pants. In the series of pictures, Fanning yawns distractedly, two helpful females dab her inner thighs with Wet Ones. Is the blood part of the movie's plotline -- in which Fanning plays rock chick Cherie Currie -- or just a run-of-the-mill monthly mishap?
Probably the latter. But that hasn't prevented the Internet from erupting in an astonished, OMG! WTF? reaction, summed up best by the Livejournal poster who offered a pithy "Ew. Blood."
Yup, though moviegoers will gladly make blockbusters of movies that feature rivers of gore ("Terminator Salvation": $120 million and counting), a little trickle from a girl's bathing suit area is an instant nightmare. Keep Dakota Fanning away from the crops, folks, she may ruin the harvest with her woman blood.
As Carrie White knew, few events in a young woman's life can rival the mortification of a period mishap. There's probably not a female alive who doesn't have a story of ruined clothes, of standing blushing against a wall, or hiding in a bathroom.
Whether the blood is real or not, there are lessons here today: a) menstrual blood is scarier than every other blood put together, b) every girl who's never had her period mishaps featured on the internet has something to be grateful for and c) a big tub of Wet Ones always comes in handy.