My husband pulled an old Parade Magazine out of a drawer. It was from October 10, 2004 and was dedicated to “Healthy Mind, Healthy Bodies.” The first article listed on the cover was “Who’s Afraid of Menopause? How new research and some dynamic women are shattering assumptions.”
Awesome – right? The actual article was entitled “Embrace the Change” and depicted some vibrant looking over 30 women in revealing exercise gear riding stationery bikes. So why do we sense a moment of sarcasm on the horizon? I’ll tell you why!
What a great article! Not really, for two reasons; the article says a lot of things that are misleading, mistaken or just plain insulting. It says hormone replacement is dangerous and anyone who has to be on hormones should get off them ASAP! In reality there is no research that confirms that often misquoted hypothesis. Research has been done, but it was inconclusive and misleading. It says if you are healthy and not overweight you won’t have any problems/symptoms with menopause; so now those of us with symptoms are sickly fatsos – that’s great!
Sadly, as ‘off base’ as the details of this article are, some of these things are still being said to women all over the country – by their doctors! We haven’t come a very long way, baby!
So what’s good about it, you ask. It’s the right overall message. It’s not a time of old age and it’s not a time to curl up and give up. It’s a time when we’ve come into our own and we deserve to feel good about it! We should in no way feel diminished or patronized – yet we still are.
Here’s the really scary part: that article ran in Parade Magazine eight years ago; Parade has an enormous circulation and is a credible source for many (hence all of the drug company ads), so why didn’t everyone embrace the idea of the menopausal woman as awesome and relevant after the article ran? With this kind of a reception what chance do we have of changing all the closed minds out there? Will we have to wait for this generation to die off before menopausal women can unbind their feet and get out of the kitchen?
Much like the successful surgery where the patient dies, this was a great approach to an article that has made no discernible positive impact in the plight of the misunderstood menopausal woman. Thanks for nothing.