From rock and roll to entrepreneur, Meg Mathews tells us how she was inspired her to create her own beauty line
Meg Mathews is a former music PR, turned activist and entrepreneur, and she is on a mission to make the menopause a more comfortable topic to talk about. She honestly and refreshingly confesses to finding this stage of her life difficult and she is keen for other women to go through this time without suffering in the same way she did. Here, she talks to Natural Health about why there’s still such a stigma surrounding the menopause and why it inspired her to start her own intimate beauty range…
There is a huge stigma and taboo when speaking about the menopause. Every time the word ‘menopause’ is mentioned, it’s all very grim and whispered like it’s a bad word or not to be mentioned in public. It puts women down, with negative phrases like ‘All dried up’, ‘Going through the change’, ‘She must be having a hot flash’, often used. I feel this actually shames women; making us feel worthless. It makes it hard to admit publicly, or even to your family or partner that you’re going through it, which can sometimes make you feel very much isolated and alone. For so many years now, this is the narrative that the media pushes. This is why I want to try to change this. I have been through the negative conversations, jokes and innuendos and decided that now it’s time to shift the conversation from feeling weak, pathetic and the butt of people’s jokes, to finding empowerment within the menopause.
The mental and emotional symptoms that have come with the menopause have been the hardest. At times you can feel completely drained, even if you haven’t done anything physically tiring. I feel I’m making progress, but I still get very bad anxiety some days, which can sometimes last more than a week. When I’m anxious, I find it hard to leave the house; I get a little agoraphobic. This just furthers the isolation that the menopause can often cause. All of this coupled with a lack of sleep due to racing thoughts and an uneasy mind, can lead to days (even weeks) of just feeling so low and miserable.
I’m just starting to dip my toe into more natural remedies. I’ve started to see Caroline Gaskin, a homeopathic practitioner. Simply dabbling in the holistic world is still quite new to me. I’m currently embarking on a liver detox and trying juice cleanses and I’m feeling so great.
My biggest piece of advice is to reach out to someone you trust – whether it be a GP, a friend, or a partner. One of the hardest things about the menopause is feeling like we have to go through it alone, but we really don’t. If you can find it in yourself to open up about your journey and allow yourself to be vulnerable, I would say you’re already halfway there.
I decided to launch my own beauty line because I was desperately looking for products to ease my symptoms. I had a house full of teenage children and a lot of the products were just embarrassing to have around the house. That’s not what I want people to think when they see me using it. I don’t want to be seen buying intimate items at the pharmacy – it’s embarrassing, and I think a lot of women feel the same way! I wanted to create a line of products that women can buy that they can feel comfortable taking to the till. Something they can have on the bedside table, or in the shower and not have to feel self-conscious. I chose to create something ageappropriate, classy and discreet.
I think natural health is the way forward. The more I’m learning about natural medicine, I believe there’s more to be said about natural health than we know. I’d like to take more of an interest in it. I’m taking little steps to begin with: I choose organic food and I’m becoming more conscious of everything I put into my body. I’m finding a healthy balance between natural health and medical remedies in order to treat my menopause.
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