Naomi Watts Wants to 'Conquer the Stigma' Around Menopause: 'Getting Older Is a Privilege'

The actress, 53, admitted in a candid Instagram post that the word menopause used to "freak her out"

Naomi Watts talks about menopause
Photo: Naomi Watts/instagram

Naomi Watts is hoping to shed a light on an "uncomfortable conversation" and remove the stigma surrounding menopause.

On Wednesday, the 53-year-old actress got candid on Instagram about menopause, admitting to her followers that the word used to "freak her out" before realizing it's "just a natural phase of life."

"When I was in my late 30s, I was finally ready to start thinking about creating a family. Then the M word swiftly blew my doors down, it felt like a head-on collision with a Mack truck. 🚚💥," Watts wrote alongside a selfie.

" How could I figure this out when no one was talking? I was earlier to it than my peers. My mentors and mum didn't seem up for discussing it, I didn't know how to ask for help and they didn't know how to provide…. even doctors had little to say," she continued. "It's oddly like an unwritten code of silence: women should suck it up and cope, because that's how generations passed have done it."

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Naomi Watts
Naomi Watts. Naomi Watts/Instagram

The Penguin Bloom star added that she wants this phase of life more represented in media and marketing, noting that more than one billion people worldwide will be menopausal by 2025.

When you spotlight uncomfortable conversations, they get easier. Progress is made. Why has this particular one taken so long?" Watts said. "Let's conquer the stigma and address the secrecy and shame we've felt and help create a healthier foundation for future generations."

"Getting older is a privilege and a time for us to feel proud of our cumulative experiences — to feel empowered, unapologetically so. I think being part of a change-maker generation is exciting," she ended. "No more walking through this alone."

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Watts is often vocal on social media about women's health. Last week, the actress shared a PSA on Instagram reminding her fans about the importance of staying on top of health screenings.

"Reminder to get your lady parts checked! 👩🏽‍⚕️🩺," Watts captioned the mirror selfie, where she's dressed in a pink medical robe and wearing a matching surgical mask.

According to the Mayo Clinic, women should get regular screenings like mammograms for breast cancer beginning at age 40, pap smears to check for cervical cancer starting at 21 years of age, and colorectal cancer screenings such as a colonoscopy starting at age 45.

In 2019, Watts talked to SHAPE about how she has shifted the way she takes care of her body with age. She told the magazine that she's started doing weight training to maintain her muscles.

"As you get older, you have to work harder to keep muscle tone, so that's why I do strength training with weights," she said. "Not the 3 lb. kind but with higher-level weights using barbells."

The mother of two said that was just one of the ways she pushes herself to stay in shape. "I love the feeling of exercising. But the days of getting up at 4 or 5 a.m. to work out are long gone for me. I'm not fanatical, so I change it up," she said. "I love yoga, and I have a Pilates Reformer in the house."

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