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Menopause needs a rebrand, period.
Drew Barrymore doesn’t feel comfortable discussing her perimenopause journey with her dates because of its negative connotations.
“There’s something in that stigma that I don’t want you to think I’m some dusty, old, dry thing. That’s not the image I want,” the 48-year-old actress said during an Oprah Daily panel published Wednesday.
The Mayo Clinic describes menopause as a natural, biological process that marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle. It is diagnosed after 12 months have gone by without a menstrual period and usually happens to women in their 50s but can begin as early as 40.
Perimenopause, meanwhile, refers to the time a woman’s body makes a natural transition to menopause in her 30s or 40s, according to the nonprofit. Its side effects include hot flashes, mood shifts, decreased fertility and loss of sexual appetite.
Barrymore, who recently revealed she is going through perimenopause, explained during the conversation with Oprah Winfrey, Maria Shriver and others that she is “very confident” and wants to accept who she is at the current stage of her life but also does not want the men she dates to unfairly judge her for her hormonal changes.
“I want to be who I am and present myself. But in that moment, I thought, ‘I have to tell this story’ because it was a real life experience of, I’m so proud to be here. I’m an open book. But in that one moment, I was like, ‘I don’t want to say what it is, because I’m engaging in someone who I want to see me a certain way,’” she shared.
The “Charlie’s Angels” actress said she thinks menopause needs a serious publicity campaign to end the stigma and make the topic less taboo.
“If Mark Zuckerberg could rebrand Facebook to Meta, maybe we can do this for menopause,” she suggested. “Because we’ve got the word men-o-pause. Pause is a natural stop … to a lover that there might be something repellent about that subject, whereas with no one else do I find this subject taboo.”
Barrymore continued, “You’re just that dry, old bag when you talk about menopause. And that is the conversation. The stigma that has to change. We have to make it funnier, more sexy and more safe. Because the ‘aha’ moment is the safe.”
Last week, the “50 First Dates” star shocked viewers when she experienced her first hot flash on her eponymous talk show while interviewing Jennifer Aniston.
“I’m so hot,” Barrymore said while removing her blazer and fanning herself. “I think I’m having one of my first perimenopause hot flashes.”
Fans of the actress flooded social media to commend her for being so open and honest about her natural hormonal changes.
“Thank you for helping to normalize talking openly about perimenopause and menopause! 🔥🔥,” one person wrote on Instagram.
“This is so important & real to share. How beautiful! ❤️” another agreed.
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Barrymore first spoke about being on the path to menopause during a “CBS This Morning” interview with Gayle King last month.
“I realized that I was in perimenopause when I started having my period every two weeks,” the “E.T.” child star shared. “One doctor also just told me this could last, in the worst case scenario, 10 years. And I was like, ‘I will never make it 10 years like this!’”
Barrymore also slammed the idea that menopausal women are “old” and “done.”
“That’s not it,” she said. “Women in their 40s, 50s and 60s are looking so attractive, feeling so vibrant, living their best lives.”
Clearly, she isn’t going to let her impending menopause press pause on her love life with men. Last December, Barrymore revealed she is ready to date again after being single for six years.
She has been unattached since divorcing her husband of four years, Will Kopelman, in 2016. She and Kopelman, 44, continue to co-parent their daughters, Olive, 10, and Frankie, 8.
The thrice-divorced Hollywood starlet was previously married to Jeremy Thomas from 1994 to 1995 and Tom Green from 2001 to 2002.
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