The actress talks about challenging menopause stereotypes and destigmatizing discussion of women’s health issues with 'Women's Health.'
Halle Berry is looking to challenge the way we think about menopause. The 56-year-old actress spoke to Women's Health about what it really means to own your age and sexuality, and why she's ready to start the conversation when it comes to destigmatizing discussions on women's health.
While some may argue that it's easy for Berry to talk about health and loving your body when she's one of the most beautiful people in the world, the Academy Award winner pushes back on that thinking, telling the outlet that community is the true solution to removing the stigma that comes with discussing women's health issues.
"If you start the conversation, most women will follow. Do you know why? Because it's something that we're dying to do," Berry says. "It's something that we've been deprived of, and it's something that we want to share with one another. We just need the permission to do it."
She continues: "Community is the entrée into understanding. We're all going through it. And we learn from one another when we talk about it, when we become curious, and when we share with each other what we're going through. We educate each other and we give each other ideas. We understand how to manage things better."
Even renowned Hollywood stars can fall victim to doubts and fears, especially when internet trolls are happy to criticize at any moment. When Berry shared a photo of herself naked on a balcony holding a glass of wine back in April, a Twitter user attempted to shame the star for "posting nudes for attention in menopause."
"Imagine being in your 50s, still posting nudes for attention in menopause when you should be chilling with the grandkids," the critic wrote in a since-deleted comment. "Aging with dignity is no longer a thing."
While Berry shot back with a pithy response, it's far from the first time the actress has had to combat society's ageism and sexism.
"The most important thing about owning your sexuality as a woman is accepting the station you're at -- and embracing that," she tells Women's Health. "And I say that because I'm smack dab in the middle of menopause. And I am challenging everything I thought I knew about menopause. Things like: 'Your life is over.' 'You are disposable.' 'Society no longer has a place for you.' 'You should retire.' 'You should pack it up.' I'm challenging all those stereotypes about how you have to look a certain way or feel a certain way."
The Bruised director says she's her "best self now," despite what anyone else may believe because of her age. "I have the most to offer. I have zero blanks to give anymore. I'm solidly in my womanhood. I finally realize what I have to say is valuable, even if no one else agrees," she says.
That mindset doesn't only come into play when dealing with trolls on the internet. Berry says she applies that brand of thinking in all aspects of life, including her work as an actress, producer and director.
"Today, I challenge every script. I ask, 'What's the female point of view?' Because so many of these scripts today are still written by men. Men are writing roles for women. They're writing roles for characters that they do not understand," she says. "If you don't know what the female POV is because you're a man, then open your mind, expand your reality, and hear my point of view. And take that into consideration."