Tomorrow is my birthday. And not just any birthday. It’s a BIG one. And it has me reflecting on the reasons I wanted to be part of Kindra and work to break the silence of menopause.
Last year, my birthday fell on Superbowl weekend. The half-time show had a big impact on me. Jennifer Lopez, 50-year-old superstar, blew our collective minds. Moments after she stepped offstage, my feed was jam packed with opinions — about her age, her body, her outfit, her message. But what was clear is that she defied the expectations of everyone watching.
It made me reflect on how we think about what 50 is supposed to look like. Did you know that the Golden Girls character, Blanche Deveraux, was 53 in the series premiere in 1985? Don’t get me wrong — she’s fabulous in every way. But she and all the other Golden Girls are just one representation of a diverse tapestry of women over 50.
The average age of a woman at menopause is 51 — only months older than JLo on the stage in all her glory that night, and just a hair younger than iconic Blanche. And yet the image gap seems more significant. Society’s mental picture of a woman in menopause is usually the golden girl with the blue hair. And while maybe we can’t all expect to be Jennifer Lopez at the top of her game everyday, I believe many of us find ourselves somewhere in the vast space between her aspirational glamour and whichever Golden Girl you love the most. (I call Dorothy!)
Just like that revolutionary Superbowl performance last year, Golden Girls was a groundbreaking show, largely because it showed women of a certain age still really living, and loving, and — yes — having sex! But the idea of menopause continues to be this signal that women are old, finished, and no longer sexy. And as I look in the mirror on the last day of my 40s and reflect on the rich conversations I’ve had with so many of you over the last year, I can assure you that is simply NOT TRUE.
For my 50th birthday this year, I am making a very special wish — that all of you see yourselves as beautiful and vibrant as I see you. Because you really and truly are.
You are not alone. And despite my milestone birthday falling on the tail end of a pandemic, I am not alone. We have each other. We see each other. We are Kindra.