Helena Bonham Carter shared what it was like to go through menopause while her two children were going through puberty.
Although the 56-year-old actress is “post-menopausal now,” she told The Sunday Times that “there’s quite an interesting thing when you have these two moments of change: you’re going through the menopause and they’re going through puberty.
“You’re both basically going insane at the same time, so that’s an interesting challenge,” she said, referring to her son, Billy who is now 19 and daughter, Nell, 14.
While things continue to change today since Bonham Carter went through the transitional period, “The Crown” star emphasized that she’s glad there’s less of a stigma surrounding women and menopause.
“There was a shame about it, because I think it’s wrapped up with this false idea that you’re obsolete once you stop producing eggs,” she told the outlet during her recent interview. “It’s really unfair because people can become very seriously deranged because of the hormones. But also it’s a thing of wonder, the gift of being able to make a child — and this is the payback.”
Bonham Carter candidly revealed that she’s not embarrassed of aging and actually embraces it, noting that she’d never want to appear younger by means of cosmetic surgery.
“I think the French have it right: you’re allowed to be sexy and old [there],” she shared. “Change isn’t necessarily bad. There are some things about ageing I don’t really care about, like wrinkles. The droop isn’t great, though. But then you think, ‘Am I betraying feminism by thinking that?’”
The “Fight Club” actress went on to discuss how the narrative around getting older is “finally” changing, adding that she thinks people become better with age.
“We’re more interesting, wiser, more powerful, more ourselves. We’re richer in character and we have more to give,” she said. “Why should we be diminished just when we’re getting going? And it’s not just the acting profession — everywhere the attitude towards ageing is pathological. The messaging is we must avoid ageing at all costs.”
“There is a sense of indoctrination: thou shall not age, thou shall be valued only for what you look like; women are only worthy as long as they’ve got eggs,” she explained. “It’s thousands of years of thought that we’re undoing, but slowly.”
Bonham Carter then suggested that people fear older women “because we have found our power.”