3 min read
Rochelle Weitzner | June 5, 2020
I’m the founder of Pause, and here’s something you should know: I knew nothing about menopause before it happened to me. I vaguely knew that menopause had to do with estrogen fluctuations and periods ceasing forever. I didn’t have any idea that there were three stages of it and that once you started menopause, you were in it for the rest of your life.
I had heard about hot flashes but had no clue what one would actually feel like… until that happened, too. During the summer of 2017, I was driving to the beach and suddenly found myself sweating. I mean really sweating. So, I cranked up the A/C and was ready to crack a joke about the heat when I noticed everyone else in the car was shivering. And then it hit me: I was 48 and this was my first hot flash.
So, I did what any woman would do. I panicked.
I felt like my life was over. Beachside lunches and long walks along the surf would be the sentimental last act before the credits rolled – not the climactic sequence of the life I'd been working towards. For the first time, I really felt my age and the limitations that lay ahead, as well as the turning point in my looks. Because you see, I was a cosmetics executive. I had been expected to represent the brands I worked for and I always stayed close to a mirror to make sure every hair was in place, every line was concealed, everything appeared as it should. That day, I knew things were about to change.
I’ll be honest, my vanity took over. I started thinking about what products could get me out of this so-called mess. But I realized, to my horror, that I was grasping at straws. Sure, there were tons of products for anti-aging, but I was aging. And there was nothing on the market to help me and every other woman my age to embrace that reality. During a career spent promoting beauty as youthful radiance, I'd not only neglected the millions of women older than me – I'd neglected my own future.
With no great resources to turn to, something had to be done. I couldn’t be the only one struggling through menopause, right? My panic turned into productivity (possibly the one upshot of menopause-induced insomnia) and six months later, Pause was born. I wanted to focus on Well-Aging®, not anti-aging, to inform and equip women to make the most of all three stages of menopause.
Did you even know about the three stages of menopause? Most women don’t, and like I said, I certainly didn’t. There’s perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause.When I was young, my mother told me what to expect when I got my period, but she never told me what would happen when it stopped forever. When I told her I was starting Pause, she couldn’t understand why I thought people needed information and an outlet for shared experiences on this subject. I think for her it was the attitude of her generation to keep quiet and simply endure.
Three decades after the Golden Girls, in the era of third-wave feminism and #metoo, menopause is still a taboo subject whispered in powder rooms. Nobody in the marketplace knows how to talk about it and nobody wants to think about it simply because – and I must be blunt here – nobody thinks there's anything in it for them.
Well, as a woman verging on my 50s, there is something in it for me. I’m looking to start the conversation in a bold, sophisticated and positive way. I want women to feel empowered, beautiful and capable of thriving during this time that, for a lot of us, might feel scary, confusing and even a little crazy. I want to offer Pause Well-Aging® to the women before and after us as something beyond a beauty brand. Through education, practical advice, and stories from everyday women dealing with menopause, I want to demystify and take the fear out of this experience that every woman eventually goes through.
For me, that drive to the beach was a pause in more ways than one. It made me think about what I had been doing. But more importantly, it made me think about where I needed to go and what I needed to do to help women like me age the way we want to.
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