Here is an undeniable fact. Over the past few years, I have aged.
I have more conspicuous gray hair, need to lug around an impractical array of different glasses, and I’ve definitely gathered some unfortunate sweetness around the jowls. Oh… and I’ve been through menopause.
Now support me on this last point because I wouldn’t normally mention the M word.
I don’t think it’s interesting (not that the other signs of aging are particularly fascinating), but recently I’ve started to realize I’m alone on this one.
Judging by how many times the subject has come up now – Emma Freud was the last one last week – it seems a lot of women think menopause is absolutely fascinating. That’s why I mentioned it.
I don’t think it’s that interesting (not that the other signs of aging are particularly fascinating), but recently I’ve started to realize I’m alone on this one, writes Alexandra Shulman (pictured)
It’s a big change in attitude and I’m confused.
Among most of the women I know and with whom I have shared the changes in our lives, menopause has simply been something we have been through, just like periods. We have accepted them as part of our existence, as women have throughout history.
I don’t really know what they thought about it because it wasn’t something we spent a lot of time discussing.
Our partners, our homes, our children, our work we talked about endlessly – but menopause? No.
Not because we were embarrassed, but because it was not a topic we found entertaining or particularly useful.
I imagine for them, like me, it wasn’t the funniest thing to experience. Every once in a while someone might fade at work in a meeting, with a wry smile.
Feeling weak for a week, we might mumble something about “hormones”. We had all changed our sleeping habits.
If someone felt really rotten, they would talk about it the same way as a migraine or aching joints.
I (and I’m telling you this in an effort to keep in touch with Share Times) went through a few years of waking up frequently at 2 a.m. feeling like someone had started a fire down there. my back.
Meg Mathews (pictured), once a boisterous British woman married to Noel Gallagher, posted The New Hot: Taking menopause with attitude and style
I knew it was a side effect of menopause, but as someone who prefers to avoid medication at first, I didn’t turn to HRT immediately.
And when I did that helped, if not totally solved, the problem.
Sometimes someone would mention they were considering bioidentical HRT, or someone else would be concerned about the link to cancer, but in general, this conversation was less common than whether butter was better than oil. olive oil for roasted potatoes.
We have straddled this period of our life; many of us still use it.
Yet at no time did I feel that these physical changes had defined me or caused some sort of seismic change in my being.
Did I miss a tip? In the past few months alone, ex-Red magazine editor Sam Baker has read The Shift – now also a podcast – sells postmenopausal life as the freedom to be a new you.
Meg Mathews, once a boisterous British pop bride married to Noel Gallagher, released The New Hot: Taking On The Menopause With Attitude And Style.
Baroness Warsi and Nadine Dorries share their experiences of temporary oblivion and bad humor in Still Hot! From Kaye Adams and Vicky Allan! 42 brilliantly honest menopause stories.
Menopause is the stage in life when the production of estrogen and progesterone in women decreases, causing all of these effects on our body. Along with other factors, it marks the stage where we can no longer conceive.
I asked my gynecologist the other day how long does menopause last and she said, “How long does a piece of string last?” Only you will know when this ends, judging by how you feel.
I have no doubt been fortunate not to suffer from debilitating symptoms, and there are certainly women who have really terrible times, especially those who are shaken prematurely by illness or some other factor.
It’s not shameful, and thank goodness it’s no longer called The Change, which indicates a terrible and nonspecific thing that happens to women.
But it’s not that fascinating either.
So why an increasing number of women want to define themselves by this experience is something, frankly, I find disconcerting. How many men define themselves by the fact that in their mid-fifties their erections are probably not what they used to be?
In the past few months alone, ex-editor of Red Sam Baker magazine has read The Shift – now also a podcast – sells postmenopausal life as the freedom to be a new you.
How many times do we read articles where men are ready to sink into a quagmire of self-pity by starting to lose their hair?
Some women, however, not only seem oddly eager to let a gynecological fact dominate their feelings about themselves, but, wrongly in my opinion, encourage it to be the lens through which others view them as well.
If I get vague and forgetful in public, the last thing I want reaction to be, “Oh, give her a little slack – she’s past menopause.”
In fact, I’m just saying it’s vague and forgetful, which I have often been, regardless of my age.
Why make menopause such a central part of how we think about ourselves and how others see us?
I know Michelle Obama mentioned in a podcast that she had a hot flash on Marine One, the White House helicopter, and that’s fine.
In fact more than good. Funny – the juxtaposition of something so ordinary that happens to all of us in such an extraordinary situation.
She’s right to believe that menopause shouldn’t be the state that dares not speak her name.
He doesn’t need to be at the heart of every conversation involving a woman over 50.
There is currently, and rightly so, an outcry over women being released from major roles once they hit their 50s.
However, I’m not sure that as older women we are making ourselves the best of ourselves by painting a picture of a demographic constantly overwhelmed by brain fog and irrational bad moods.
Or speaking of our invisibility – just another little elderly lady sitting in the corner of the restaurant rather than a curvy girl that every server rushes to attend.
No doubt if your whole sense of yourself is wrapped up in your appearance – if you were one of those magically beautiful women who could silence a room at the entrance (and how many are there?) – you might feel the reaction to your presence. as you get older is not quite the same caliber.
But for most of us, if we feel relatively comfortable with aging, we see little difference.
Baroness Warsi and Nadine Dorries share their experiences of temporary oblivion and bad humor in Still Hot! From Kaye Adams and Vicky Allan! 42 brilliantly honest menopause stories
Perhaps instead of focusing on the issues of aging, we should focus more on the success of our contemporaries in so many areas.
Probably menopause, and leading a rich and varied life at the height of his career.
Fashion designers such as the Duchess of Cambridge’s favorite, Sarah Burton, and Dior’s artistic director, Maria Grazia Chiuri; business leaders like Dame Sharon White of John Lewis; heads of creative institutions such as Maria Balshaw of Tate and Jude Kelly of Southbank; and artists like Tracey Emin and Rachel Whiteread.
We should shout about their achievements and denounce the notion of older women as victims of society.
We should celebrate the benefits of our age – adult children, grandchildren, freedom to travel, time to read and learn, and for those of us who have given up on incessant daytime work, the joy of being able to create a more life. around our own schedule.
These benefits are unrelated to the hormonal change.
Of course, I am not saying that the rules of the game between the sexes are level. There are even more gray-top men running the place than women.
And I don’t deny that menopause is embarrassing, sometimes messy and sometimes uncomfortable.
But at the end of the day, as a 62-year-old female, I feel as vibrant and interested as ever, with the same unstable days and moments of self-doubt as at any age.
Menopause, however, has nothing to do with it.