Naomi Watts wants to make menopause as normalized as puberty. (Photo: Jon Kopaloff/WireImage,)
Naomi Watts wants to make adult hormonal changes as easy to discuss as puberty.
The Mulholland Drive star, 54, took to Instagram on Wednesday to share a former Johnson & Johnson ad that she did at 15, in which she asked, “When can I start using tampons?” On the other side of the image was an adult Watts, who inquired, “When can I start using lube?”
She captioned the post, “What kind of Dry January have you had… Dry AF… am I right? Why is it that we can talk about periods and puberty with ease, but when it comes to menopause, and yes, drrrryness… we all get a little skittish…. I created this post in an attempt to capture a woman’s hormonal bookends.” (It is worth noting that many people believe we’ve still got a long way to go when it comes to discussing puberty, too.)
The Oscar nominee wrote that she shared these side-by-side images to show what it would be like if we “tackled midlife hormonal challenges with the same kind of boldness.”
“When it comes to the ‘adult version’ of hormonal changes we’re thrust into the shadows of secrecy and shame… with a total lack of information, plus misinformation,” Watts shared. “Who knew we’d have to sneak a pump of the good stuff before some hanky panky?”
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Watts noted the “stigma” surrounding lube, adding, “some people are even made to feel as if there is something wrong with them for liking and/or needing lube,” and that “it seems you’re either too wet or too dry for the patriarchy.”
“Let’s get real, take menopause and yes, dry va-jay-jay’s, mainstream. Unapologetically so! More than 1 billion people worldwide will be menopausal by 2025… That’s a whole lot of dry,” she concluded.
Watts is doing more than just spreading awareness. In October 2022, she launched the wellness company Stripes, which tackles problems associated with menopause, including dryness.
She told Fashionista at the time of her company’s launch, “You probably remember when you were going through puberty and how much empathy there was for you at that time from your parents because puberty was something we all understood and was well laid-out for us. [For menopause], we need to understand that this is a natural phase of life and everyone’s headed there, and those that aren’t headed there will be affected in some way or another, even if indirectly.”
That same month, she spoke to InStyle about the line of products.
“We included hair and body stuff, and then the vaginal products because that’s also an area that suffers. One thing people say about menopause is that the libido lessens, and of course it does a little bit because our hormones are not driving our moods anymore,” Watts explained. “But it doesn’t mean we stop thinking about sex or we stop wanting sex; we still have desire. You just have to get a little more organized and put a little more effort into it because women can be put off by sex when things are drying and it becomes painful. But I find, actually, post-menopause, things have been pretty good.”
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