Naomi Watts is on a quest to normalise conversations about menopause.
The 53-year-old actress got candid about the topic in a new Instagram post, admitting that the word used to “freak her out” before she has learnt to accept it is part of a woman’s life.
“It’s just a natural phase of life and something half the population will be directly affected by and the other half will feel indirectly,” she wrote in her post alongside a raw selfie.
The Penguin Bloom star went on to share her own experience with menopause, revealing her journey began earlier than she had expected.
“When I was in my late 30s, I was finally ready to start thinking about creating a family. Then the M word swiftly blew my doors down, it felt like a head-on collision with a Mack truck. 🚚💥,” she said.
“How could I figure this out when no one was talking? I was earlier to it than my peers. My mentors and mum didn’t seem up for discussing it, I didn’t know how to ask for help and they didn’t know how to provide…. even doctors had little to say.”
“It’s oddly like an unwritten code of silence: women should suck it up and cope, because that’s how generations passed have done it.”
However, the two-time Oscar nominee expressed her desire for media and marketing companies to represent and openly discuss menopause as she says more that one billion people worldwide will be menopausal by 2025.
“I think it’s time to see women in this phase of life or this age group be well represented,” Watts said. “We’ve been under-served in media, stories and marketing far too long … When you spotlight uncomfortable conversations, they get easier. Progress is made.”
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And she’s doing her part, too. Watts – who became a mother when she was 38 (she shares two sons, Sasha, 14, and Kai, 13, with former partner Liev Schreiber) – hinted that as part of the “change-maker generation”, she is “working on something” that she is “super proud of” and will detail in the coming weeks.
“Let’s conquer the stigma and address the secrecy and shame we’ve felt and help create a healthier foundation for future generations,” she concluded.
“Getting older is a privilege and a time for us to feel proud of our cumulative experiences — to feel empowered, unapologetically so. I think being part of a change-maker generation is exciting. No more walking through this alone.”
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