Menopause needs rebranding, period.
Drew Barrymore hesitates to discuss her perimenopause journey with her appointments because of its negative connotations.
“There’s something in that blemish that I don’t want you to think I’m something dusty, old, dry. “This is not the look I want,” the 48-year-old actress said on Wednesday’s Oprah Daily panel.
The Mayo Clinic defines menopause as a natural, biological process that marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle. It’s diagnosed after 12 months without menstruation and usually happens to women in their 50s, but it can start in their 40s.
Perimenopause, meanwhile, refers to the time when a woman’s body makes a natural transition to menopause in her 30s or 40s, according to the nonprofit. Side effects include hot flashes, mood swings, decreased fertility and loss of sexual appetite.
Announcing that she’s recently gone through perimenopause, Barrymore revealed in conversations with Oprah Winfrey, Maria Shriver, and others that she’s “very confident” and wants to accept who she is at the current stage of her life, but also doesn’t want to. The men she dates are unfairly judging her for her hormonal changes.
“I want to be who I am and present myself. But at that moment I thought, ‘I have to tell this story’ because it was a real life experience, and I am so proud to be here. I am an open book. But at that moment, I said, ‘I don’t want to say what that is, because I’m interested in someone I want to see me in 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 subject less taboo.
“If Mark Zuckerberg can rename Facebook to Meta, maybe we can do it for menopause,” he said. “Because we have the word men-o-pause. Pausing is a natural pause…while I think there might be something repulsive about it for a lover, I don’t find it taboo with anyone else.
Barrymore continued, “You’re that dry old man when you talk about menopause. And that’s the talk. The stigma that needs to change. We need to make it funnier, sexier and safer. Because the ‘aha’ moment is safe.”
Last week, the “50 First Dates” star shocked audiences when she experienced her first flash of fire on her eponymous talk show while interviewing Jennifer Aniston.
“I’m so hot,” Barrymore said as he took off his jacket and fanned it. “I think I’m having one of my first perimenopausal hot flashes.”
Fans of the actress took to social media to praise her for being so open and honest about her natural hormonal changes.
“Thank you for helping normalize talking openly about perimenopause and menopause! 🔥🔥,” wrote one person on Instagram.
“This is very important and real to share. How beautiful! ❤️” another agreed.
Barrymore first spoke about her path to menopause in a “CBS This Morning” interview with Gayle King last month.
“I realized I was in perimenopause when I started having my fortnightly period,” said the “ET” child star. “A doctor also told me that it could take 10 years in the worst case scenario. I said, ‘I’m never going to do 10 years like this!’ I said.”
Barrymore also criticized the idea that menopausal women are “old” and “done.”
“It’s not like that,” he said. “Women in their 40s, 50s and 60s look very attractive, feel very alive and live their best life.”
Obviously, she won’t let the pressure of imminent menopause stop her love life with men. Last December, Barrymore announced that he was ready to date again after six years of being single.
She has been independent since her divorce from 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 three-time divorced Hollywood star was previously married to Jeremy Thomas from 1994 to 1995 and Tom Green from 2001 to 2002.