There are so many connotations around the word menopause, and most of them are negative — making women dread this phase in their life. However, the narrative around this chapter in life is slowly changing, thanks to actors like Halle Berry who are opening up about their journey through menopause.
Recently, in an interview with Women’s Health Magazine, the Oscar-winning actor and filmmaker talked candidly about menopause and ageing. She opened up about “accepting the station” where she is in life as a means to owning one’s sexuality.
“And I say that because I’m smack dab in the middle of menopause,” she told the outlet. “And I am challenging everything I thought I knew about menopause. Things like: ‘Your life is over.’ ‘You are disposable.’ ‘Society no longer has a place for you.’ ‘You should retire.’ ‘You should pack it up,’” Berry said.
The Bruised star said that at this moment in her life, she’s “challenging all those stereotypes about how you have to look a certain way or feel a certain way”.
She also went on to share the underrated perks of her current phase of life. “I’m my best self now that I reached 56 years old,” she said. “I have the most to offer. I have zero blanks to give anymore. I’m solidly in my womanhood. I finally realise what I have to say is valuable, even if no one else agrees.”
Her advice to others, regardless of their age, is to “own wherever you are,” because “that’s where I’m at.”
She added that as women, it’s really important to stay in touch with our bodies. “That we stay active, that we put importance on working out. And so, I always try to find the fun in it.”
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According to Dr Jagriti Varshney, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, women experience various physical and emotional changes in their bodies during menopause. “Various studies state that mental health issues such as depression are common during menopause, as well as night sweats, weight gain, insomnia, irritability, reduced libido, dry skin, and stiff joints.”
For this, she advises to imbibe some self-care habits that can help reduce the symptoms. “Regular exercise, a healthy diet, proper hydration, maintaining sleep hygiene, and keeping yourself cool can help with menopausal symptoms.”