Earlier this summer we held our first workshop post-pandemic. The topic was menopause. Tickets were sold out, and attendance was 100%.
Our customers inspired the workshop. Women who, in the fitting room, confided they didn’t have their now sizeable breasts before menopause. Women who wondered what the heck happened to the magnificent breasts they once had before going through “the change.” Women who traveled a distance for a bra-fitting but could not enter the fitting room once they arrived because they were fiercely hot-flashing. We recognized a common theme and knew we must be on to something.
Guest speaker Shirley Weir of Menopause Chicks did a fantastic job tackling our most burning questions about menopause. Rather than accepting sleeplessness, brain fog and mood swings, she encouraged us to get curious about our symptoms. Many of the complaints around menopause are common but not normal. You don’t have to suffer. There are options. As Shirley puts it, “You deserve to feel amazing!”
According to the Menopause Foundation of Canada, by 2025, more than 1 billion women worldwide will be experiencing menopause. In Canada, the number will be more than 5 million. We need to be talking about this. Just as we learned about puberty and pregnancy, so do we need to educate ourselves about menopause.
It’s shocking to learn 10% of women will stop working because their menopausal symptoms are debilitating. Given their approximate ages, these perimenopausal and menopausal women are often at the peak of their careers. Women who might otherwise go on to become CEOs but who do not get the support they need to relieve the physical or mental challenges of this stage of life. How can we fulfill our potential when menopause throws us off track? How do we get more women into positions of power and authority if hormones wreak havoc?
Menopause is synonymous with midlife, and to paraphrase Canadian singer/songwriter Jann Arden in her book If I Knew Then: Finding the Wisdom in Failure and Power in Aging, the middle of anything is often the best part! The middle of the Oreo is the most delicious, and the middle of the baseball game is the most exciting; why can’t midlife be the juiciest and most satisfying part of life? Let’s do away with the notion that we become irrelevant beyond our fertile years. We don’t have to shelve our goals and dreams. If this is midlife, then we still have a lot of life to look forward to.
At Diane’s Lingerie, we understand our customers are either going through perimenopause, have reached menopause, are post-menopause or haven’t-yet-but-will-eventually-experience all of the above. We’re declaring one day a month “Menopause Monday.” We will share nuggets of wisdom, humour, and support to help further the conversation around what is an under-researched, often confusing and isolating, yet natural and inevitable event in a woman’s life. Let’s end the stigma and negative stereotypes of menopausal women and celebrate this new chapter with vitality, knowledge, confidence, power, and joy.