Oprah Winfrey has denounced anti-aging culture in a conversation about menopause and growing older.
The 68-year-old media mogul was joined by Maria Shriver, 67, for an episode of the Paramount+ series The Checkup with Dr. David Agus, during which the two women discussed the stigma that they face as they age.
In short clips Shriver talked about the importance of changing the narrative around aging as women, specifically "re-marketing menopause as not something to fear, not something that makes you crazy," she said. "For women to kind of push up against that, and therefore the stigma will go away if women feel empowered and feel like there's not something wrong with them if they talk about these issues they're going through."
Winfrey added, "Especially Black women. I know we have been known for bearing a lot and being the strong ones and [to] keep moving no matter what."
In her own experience, that hadn't led her down a healthy path. Winfrey has shared her difficult journey into menopause with a piece published on Oprah Daily in 2019 in which she explained that she had been suffering from restlessness and heart palpitations over a two-year period. A doctor had put a catheter through her artery into her heart before recognizing that the issues could have been symptoms of menopause.
"It could have caused real problems," Winfrey said of the catheter. "And when I went back to her and said, 'You know, this was menopause,' she said, 'Well, you’re Oprah Winfrey, I wasn’t gonna have you die on me.'"
Although Winfrey eventually found what works for her to ensure that she continues to feel her best as she ages, she pointed out to Shriver and Agus that "in a culture where everything is anti-aging" it's difficult for anybody to find the peace and beauty within getting older.
"I mean, every product is an anti-aging product, everything you’re supposed to eat is an anti-aging thing, is an antioxidant thing. So the whole culture is set up to tell you that the thing that is most natural for everything in nature … we’re surrounded by these beautiful trees here that literally get better with age, I think we all get better with age … and the culture is set up to tell us in our particular society that it’s the wrong thing," Winfrey said. "That you should be fighting it and resisting it with everything that you have, which is kind of ridiculous. Cause in the end, aging’s gonna win."
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