Menopause is one of society’s last taboos and, as such, with the onset of my own perimenopause some of the symptoms were unexpected and overwhelming. Chapter one of this project reflected how middle-aged, menopausal women are often invisible to wider society and that loss of fertility is often seen as loss of relevance. There has also been a medicalisation of menopause and many of the remedies on offer have little or no proven efficacy, the issues caused by menopause have been commodified.
Chapter two considers the stereotypes of menopausal women, celebration at the cessation of menstruation, grief for the loss of fertility, and the woman who sees it as seasonal growth with opportunity for new pastimes. I have wondered which stereotype, if any, I will become once perimenopause turns to menopause and have, therefore, constructed each of the characters and performed them as a trial for my own metamorphosis. Not one of them really corresponds to who I believe I am and, as such, chapter two concludes with my own reality and stereotypical symptoms.
All images created using Hassalblad CM500, Kodak Portra and Ilford HP5