Skip to main content

Courteney Cox is best known for playing Monica Geller on the ‘90s hit show Friends. The series continues to attract fans around the world and is known for being one of the most popular sitcoms of all time.

While Friends is iconic in its own right, Cox herself has also done some powerful. For example, she was the first person to utter an important word on TV.

Courteney Cox
Courteney Cox | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

What important word did Courteney Cox say on TV for the first time?

Before Cox became a star on Friends, she was a television actor who appeared on shows like Misfits of Science, The Love Boat, and Family Ties.

In 1985, Cox appeared on a commercial for Tampax, where she said the word “period” for the first time on American TV. In the commercial, Cox could be seen in a locker room talking to viewers about the brand’s tampons.

“There’s a feeling with Tampax,” Cox said. “It can actually change the way you feel about your period.”

According to The Drum, commercials for feminine hygiene products are more comfortable mentioning the word “period” now, but they still continue to dance around the details of menstruation. Many TV viewers might remember seeing commercials with blue liquid representing menstruation blood, for example.

Courteney Cox’s iconic TV show ‘Friends’ has been praised for its feminist tropes

Cox continued to make strides in female representation on TV while playing Monica on Friends. While the show itself is not generally known for being a feminist series, fans have pointed out some tropes that went against the norms of Hollywood at the time.

As reported by Glamour, Friends featured three women who had their own lives outside of the men on the show.

“Monica, Rachel and Phoebe were not supporting roles to Ross, Joey and Chandler, or adjuncts to the main thrust of the narrative; but were independent characters – with their own arcs that often never intersected with the men, frequently overshadowed them and – even more significantly – often had nothing to do with romance at all,” the outlet wrote.

Monica herself also had a career as a chef that she worked hard at throughout the course of the show. Additionally, Glamour pointed out that Monica was often in touch with her own needs and did not ignore them for the sake of her love interests.

Courteney Cox has spoken out about sexism in Hollywood


‘Friends’: Courteney Cox Was More Like Monica Gellar Than Fans Know

Cox has been working in Hollywood for almost four decades now, and she has spoken out about how different men and women are treated in the entertainment industry.

For example, like many actresses, Cox struggled to keep up a youthful appearance in an industry that often discards women past a certain age.

She admitted on an episode of Running Wild With Bear Grylls, according to Style, “Being a woman in this industry is difficult, and getting older is not the easiest thing. But I have learned lessons.”

“I was trying to keep up with getting older and trying to chase that,” Cox said. “It’s something you can’t keep up with. The more you relax with it and the less you try… I have done things that I regret and luckily there are things that dissolve and go away. So that’s good because it’s not always been my best look. Now I have a new motto; let it be.”