Inspirational Women of Menopause
Not too long ago, a certain famous actress turned wellness entrepreneur stated that there were no inspirational women of menopause. We beg to differ. Over the last few years, more women have shared their menopause experience - writing about it, talking about it on television and in interviews, and, most importantly, accomplishing amazing things during menopause. In honor of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting a short list of these inspirational women with the hope that they inspire us all to end the shame and silence associated with menopause.
In February 2009, Oprah devoted an issue of her magazine to talk about her experience with menopause. Her advice to readers: “I encourage you to take charge of your health, read this month's story on menopause, and research the best doctors for you. Most important to me is getting past the sense of shame. Let’s start the conversation and lift the veil.” We couldn’t agree more!
In January 2018, Good Morning America anchor, Amy Robach, hosted a 3-part series on menopause. In 2013, Robach was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. As a side effect of chemo, Robach went into menopause. At age 44, Robach shared what it’s like to deal with the “constant and powerful” symptoms of menopause. We applaud her courage for sharing her experience on national television and efforts to educate women about menopause!
Gillian Anderson is probably best known for her role on X-Files as Special Agent Scully. In March 2017, Anderson and her friend, journalist Jennifer Nadel, told the truth about the change in The Lenny Letter. Experiencing symptoms of perimenopause in her 40’s, in her closing remarks, Anderson voiced a perspective similar to our own - “Perimenopause and menopause should be treated as the rites of passage that they are. If not celebrated, then at least accepted and acknowledged and honored.” Here here!
When the former first lady turned 50 in 2014, an interviewer asked her about menopause. With her usual candor, Michelle shared that she and her girlfriends talk about it and that she’s asked her mom about her experience. Michelle is well-known for her healthy lifestyle, and her advice to other women in midlife is “be healthy.” Take a page from Michelle’s book and start making small changes to boost your health!
Cynthia Nixon is widely known for her character Miranda on Sex and the City and more recently for her bid as governor of New York. In 2017, she related to an interviewer that she and her wife were going through menopause together. Cynthia has embraced menopause, stating that “the freedom that comes from no longer being fertile is huge.” We love her positive outlook on the transition.
Viola Davis wows us every time we see her on the screen. We were doubly wowed when she used an opportunity on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show to explain menopause to Jimmy. When Jimmy asked why more men didn’t know anything about menopause, Viola replied: “when you talk about anything, especially dealing with menopause or breasts, men just die a slow death.” Fortunately, there are men out there who are very supportive of women going through menopause. Thanks to Viola, we hope there are now many more who will join in.
Angelina Jolie needs no introduction. She helped to change the stigma associated with menopause when she spoke openly about experiencing menopause after having her breasts and ovaries removed at age 42. Angelina’s outlook is inspiring, “I actually feel more of a woman because I feel like I’m being smart about my choices, and I’m putting my family first, and I’m in charge of my life and my health. I think that’s what makes a woman complete.” Follow Angelina’s lead and take charge of your health!
Whoopi Goldberg is a force of nature. The actress/comedian/talk show host speaks openly on just about everything and menopause is no exception. "It's wonderful and liberating. All of a sudden I don't mind saying to people, 'You know what? Get out of my life. You're not right for me." Whoopi’s dead right - menopause is a great time to end toxic relationships.
We are major fans of Absolutely Fabulous, the British comedy starring Jennifer Saunders. After undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer in 2009, Jennifer experienced induced menopause and came out of it with a stronger sense of self. “I don’t feel any less intelligent, in fact, I am probably more confident. I feel much more positive and confident for my own abilities of things.” Like Jennifer, let’s use menopause as a time to reflect and celebrate our strengths.
Who are the women who have gone through menopause that inspire you? We love to hear positive stories about women’s menopause experiences. Let us know!