Getting real! Sophie, Countess of Wessex — who is married to Queen Elizabeth's youngest son, Prince Edward — spoke about menopause with a charity called Wellbeing of Women, which is "dedicated to improving the health of women and babies."
"I've always found out when we talk about women's' health, actually, it's actually preceded by talking about women's problems or issues, which immediately puts it into an negative light," Sophie said while chatting with the organization's chair, Professor Dame Lesley Regan and others.
The 56-year-old hopes to normalize these topics by talking about them "out into the open, and not making it some kind of behind closed doors conversation."
"The menstrual cycle, periods, the menopause, having babies ... you know, we all talk about having babies, but nobody talks about periods, nobody talks about the menopause, why not?" she shared. "It's something that happens to us 12 times a year. It's something that's incredibly normal, but it's something that is hidden. And I think it's time to say 'Enough, we need to bring this out onto the table and say, let's talk about this.'"
"I'm delighted to take on this role. I have a vested interest in it," Sophie said.
Ultimately, Sophie hopes that women shouldn't feel bad about experiencing menopause.
"Really we should be celebrating the fact that we don't have to have periods anymore – it should be a liberation, but it feels like a shackle," the countess said. "It's described as something incredibly negative. One, yes, it's an admittance of the fact that yes, we're getting a bit older, we're not as young as we were before … and it's quite a moment to admit it."
Sophie also wants women to understand that they are beautiful at any age.
"Whilst all of our media and the messaging about women's bodies, about our looks, everything is very superficial. And we're trying to cling on to all of that for as long as we possibly can," she said. "We've got to be fit, we've got to be clever, we've got to be looking skinny, we've got to looking beautiful. We've got to look 25 years old for the rest of our lives. But unfortunately our bodies are going, 'That's fine, you can do all of that on the outside as much as you possible can or afford to, but on the inside, things are a little different.'"