Stacy London is a Business Leader in Menopause, but she was turned down by the entertainment industry

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Stacy London, co-hosting the show, was also present What to Avoid WearingSince 2000, has been working to make sure you look and feel your best.

But this time, instead of with clothing, she’s doing it as CEO of the company she took over in 2019, State of Menopause. After going through a very difficult period in her midlife, when she had to deal with severe perimenopause symptoms and back surgery, her father’s death, and other complications, she decided that her platform would be used to help midlife women thrive.

And if she couldn’t do it with a TV show (which she repeatedly hit brick walls trying to create), she would do it in business.

Menopause in the United StatesThe brand offers products that help women manage, understand, and even enjoy menopause transition. This brand offers everything, from cooling sprays to CBD vaginal moisturizers. Launched a line hair productsThis article focuses on all changes that locks go through in midlife.

Gen Xers like London (and myself) were taught to compete, but we’re learning that collaboration delivers better results than competition. London hosted the first Menopause CEO Summit this week in New York City. World Menopause Day. Although some of the companies attending are in direct competition with one another, she believes there’s room for everyone, and hopes the event will strengthen education and community around menopause issues.

Check out my interview with London. We spoke about being a Gen X leader, the difficult journey through menopause, and the ridiculous notion that everyone should be evaluated based on their reproductive status.

RELATED: ‘I’ve Been A Monster:’ Women Share The Unexpected Emotional Impacts Of Menopause

How has being a Gen X woman influenced your leadership style?

“We were taught to compete. We were taught there was only one way to get the job, one man to date or one first place. It was a matter of survival or death to get there.

“I think we are a fascinating generation. Gen X is the last generation that will probably experience generational shame around aging and menopause, as well as generational confusion and ignorance around aging and menopause. And we’ll be the first to break that stigma in a real way.”

Yes And Hopefully We’re Changing The Way Our Culture Views Women In Midlife.

“So menopause has traditionally been seen as this kind of expiration date. Simply because you’re no longer able or willing to have children, that means that you are no long the center of attention.

“When we had wooly mammoths and sabertooth tigers, you were no longer the focus when you were not furthering the race anymore. And there are a bunch of people who have theories about why women live past menopause or past child-birthing years I’m not sure I understand or agree with entirely.

“But this idea that you can reduce us to our reproductive health or our hormonal chaos is ludicrous.

“If you look at the contributions of women over the age of 40 for a long, long time in our history, they have nothing to do with giving birth to children.”

What’s the Meaning Behind Your Name? ‘AND’ Necklace?

“Things can be true at the same time. The most important thing to me is the ‘AND’ means I had a career in magazines and in television and now I’m in business.

“I can feel like I am at my most authentic self, I can be incredibly self-aware, and yet still be bummed that I don’t get looked up and down on the street anymore. These things can all be true at the same time. And aside from that, it stands for ‘a new dawn’ and ‘a new day.’”

That’s what I love.

“Over time, we become less culturally relevant. We begin to feel invisible. But one, I don’t think Gen X is really into that. We enjoy being the centre of attention. I think we believe there’s room for all of us.

“But also we can actually look at the trope of a midlife crisis and recognize that that is really part cultural invalidation and part hormonal chaos. What that creates is a crisis in confidence and confusion about identity. Both of these issues can be solved within the menopause experience as well as the midlife experience. And we’re just starting to get to the tip of the iceberg.

“That was part of the reason for wanting to be involved in [the State of Menopause].”

What Do You Think Gen X Learns From Younger Generations,

“I believe in a lot of ways younger generations have given Gen X permission to be more transparent and more honest about their own experiences. I mean, I remember growing up being taught you never show weakness, you don’t cry. Be a duck, like perfectly floating on the surface and you are like paddling like hell underneath. Or if you were exercising and somebody said that you looked great, you never admitted to how hard it was to get there. There was always this illusion that we were supposed to have done everything without effort.”

Totally. The Cool Girl Fallacy.

“Right, cool girls are all of the things. They just know how to play chess, they didn’t have to learn.

“But I think millennials and Gen Z feel very much cheated by the idea that we didn’t talk openly about the struggles and tribulations that we had. And by not sharing those things, by not being more transparent and honest about those experiences, it’s made them very forceful in the way that they talk about things that are quite personal, that we would’ve considered off limits in terms of conversation, like race and gender and sexuality.”

What was Your Menopause Experience?

“I medically did not have a profile that allowed me to go on hormones. And what is so astounding to me is that I thought at certain points, my moods, all of the different issues that I had going on at the same time, when I say hormonal chaos, I mean, I’ve been quoted saying it was a tsunami of batsh*t, crazy. It was like I was about to fall off a bridge.

“Some days I was just like, I don’t know how I’m going to do this. Imagine all the millions of people who have been through this. Who never spoke a word, never consulted their doctor. ‘please help,’ or never got the kind of counseling or care practitioner that they needed—it breaks my heart to think about it.

“I just feel very fortunate that we are at that stage where Gen X is like, it’s bullsh*t that we’re being rated on the performance of our reproductive health. I mean, it’s ludicrous. These systems cannot reduce us all or our worth.

“Instead we really just need to be looking at the science. We only started insisting that women be in health trials in 1993. We don’t know enough about female physiology to feel safe in our bodies. That’s insane to me.”

If you tried to create a show for midlife women, can you tell us about it?

“When I was around 47, I started to feel like I didn’t know what my next move was. I wanted to do this show about middle-age transformation, particularly for women, and do it about fashion, but also about finance, empty nest syndrome, elder care, all the things that we want to really be thinking about at this stage of life. And I pitched to every streamer and every channel to crickets.”

Wow.

“Everybody said nobody wants to watch middle-aged women on television. And I was like, okay, I don’t know who you think the Real Housewives are, but you’re basically telling me you don’t want to see anything that really tries to elucidate and illuminate what aging means and what midlife means.

“I took that very personally because I was like, I’m a middle-aged woman. This is the topic I want to talk about. Because I was having an identity crisis, this is the woman that I want to connect with. I didn’t look like myself. I didn’t feel like myself and I didn’t know what to do about it.

“I knew it couldn’t be just me who feels this way, and little did I know that a lot of things I was attributing to my midlife crisis, like having pretty significant spine surgery and my father dying—I thought physical or emotional grief was kind of taking over my body, having no idea what perimenopausal symptoms were, having no idea that that is what I was experiencing. And perhaps those two events really amplified that experience, but I felt like I was fading.”

‘I Didn’t Know How To Dress Myself Anymore’

“I was like, I don’t know where the Stacy London from What to Avoid WearingOr Stacy London, who is a successful person anymore. Every day, I struggled to get off the couch. I was experiencing difficulty getting up from the couch every day, so I knew something was going on. I decided it was worth investigating in the medium that I am most familiar with, television.

“And being able to talk about these things in a visual way, that there was always like an ‘aha’You were watching the moment What to Avoid WearingIt was not about the clothes. It was all about the potential of the clothes. How can we help people to see themselves differently and be more compassionate with ourselves?

RELATED: You’re Not Crazy, It’s Perimenopause Rage: Women Open Up About Their Experiences, And How To Spot It In Yourself

“How could they treat their bodies with respect? They could walk into a room and feel amazing. It was like I had lost it. My body has changed at 47. I didn’t know how to dress myself anymore. I knew that I wasn’t the only one feeling like this. After being rejected by every television channel, COVID was born.

“I had this come to Jesus moment with what is my kernel of truth? What is it that I want to do? I am in a fortunate enough position to be able to choose a new path instead of banging down a door that leads to a room with a crowd of people that don’t really want me there anymore.”

‘I Want To Be A Self-Esteemist.’

“I really wanted to be influential in the way people feel about themselves. And so I’ve always considered myself a stylist, but I think that even more, I want to be a ‘self-esteemist,’ that’s the only word that I’ve been able to come up with.

“And that was partly why I wanted to take over [the] State Of Menopause. I want the company to have products the same way on What Not To Wear I wanted you to wear clothing—because they’re instruments. They’re weapons in your arsenal of making sure that you feel and look the way you wanna feel.”

It’s Exciting That The Younger Generation Is Noticing Midlife Women Since We’ve For So Long Lacked Attention And Resources. Suggest’s CEO Is In Her 30s, And There’s A Community Called Revel Whose Founders Are Also In Their Thirties.

“That goes back to the generations coming together and I mean, not for nothing, a lot of this has to do with commercial viability, right? Our population is smaller than that of boomers or millennials. However, we were able to attract our attention at a lower cost. Now that we are in middle age, certainly after COVID and other health issues, it is very profitable to grab our attention.

“And I think younger generations are actually recognizing that the lifetime value of any consumer can start very young and actually go the lifetime of that consumer. And that we’re going to stop segmenting everything by decade or even just by age and more by circumstance and the other issues that connect us.”

How did the Menopause CEO Summit come about?

“I am very lucky to be able to do what I do. But the women and all of my colleagues who have been working in this field for a lot longer than me don’t have the same kind of following and don’t have the same kind of soapbox.

“And what is the point if I am the only one screaming from the rooftops? That’s a drop of rain in the ocean. What matters is being able to use that soapbox and convert it into a platform to raise everybody’s voices.

“That to me is not just part of my company, but of this stage of my life—wanting to share the spotlight, wanting other people’s success to help impact my own. And that is something that I’ve never done in my lifetime. I’ve never had the opportunity to do it this way.

“Menopause as a topic and a community that in 2025 is going to be 1 billion people—that’s 12% of the Earth’s population. That’s the population of China. There are only 13 or 14 companies right now. I want to get us all together. I want that to grow bigger so there is a group of people out there who aren’t just fighting for you to have information, or for you to have agency over your own wellbeing, but we’re like cheerleaders rooting for you.”

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