A Lack of Strong Women in Television
There are so few depictions of strong, powerful menopausal women on TV and in films – mostly they are shown as deranged lunatics ready to stab their other halves on a hormonal whim. And it's easy on the days when you do feel like you are losing the plot to identify with these hackneyed portrayals, making you feel even more desperate and alone.
Mostly, the menopause is linked to being old. And while, yes, centuries or even decades ago you probably were getting closer to shuffling off this mortal coil by the time you were done you’re your child-bearing years, nowadays 40, 50 or even 60 is not considered old!
When I was a child I remember my Grandma talking (well, more whispering) about "The Change," which in my head translated into some scary B-movie where attractive young women are sucked into a menopausal vortex and ejected years later dead-eyed, dried up and stripped of all signs of vitality.
I also remember as a teenager already wishing I was done with the messy and inconvenient business of menstruating, yet decades later I seem to have downplayed that silver lining in my cloud of menopause misery. We should pop champagne corks and party streamers in celebration of that fact alone.
Let's face it – the commercials on TV, online and in newspapers and magazines are full of how free you can be to sail, ride and cycle wearing the right sort of sanitary protection, but there are no adverts boasting that after menopause you can wear white trousers with impunity and save a fortune as you sail past the sanitary products aisle in the supermarket and have sex all month round with no risk of ruining your bedclothes!
These are the bright spots of The Change we should be telling our younger sisters about – telling them that it's not all encompassing, unless we let it be.
What can we do? Well, sites like this are invaluable for women to speak out about their experiences, share and support. We need to accept menopause as another of life's inevitable transitions and not a condition to be treated and cured. We need to love our menopause and embrace her as our best friend.