Drew Barrymore on dating at 48: ‘I don’t want you to think I’m some dusty, old, dry thing’

Embed from Getty Images

Drew Barrymore is the latest celebrity attempting to bring perimenopause and menopause into the national discussion. Her desire, like Naomi Watts, Michelle Obama and Beverly Johnson, is not only to spread helpful information but to change perception about what women going through The Change are like. Specifically, in Drew’s words, so people don’t see menopausal women as “some dusty, old, dry thing.” Yes, I have to agree, I’d prefer a different descriptor in my bio, thank you. Drew said she was given pause while on a date recently as to whether she should admit to being perimenopausal because of the preconceived notions her date might have about what that meant. So Drew thinks peri and menopause needs a rebranding, which I love. But then she brought Mark Zuckerberg into the discussion, and we just don’t need him anywhere near a women’s health dialogue, Drew.

Drew Barrymore is opening up about perimenopause and how it has impacted her dating life.

The 48-year-old actress detailed her experience with perimenopause symptoms during an Oprah Daily panel last week alongside Oprah Winfrey, Maria Shriver, Dr. Sharone Malone, Dr. Heather Hirsch and Dr. Judith Joseph. Perimenopause refers to the time where the body starts to make its natural transition to menopause, which marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years.

“There’s something in that stigma that I don’t want you to think I’m some dusty, old, dry thing. That’s not the image I want,” Barrymore explained, noting that she was hesitant to tell a recent date about the topic of the panel.

“I feel very confident, normally, and I want to be who I am and present myself. But in that moment I thought, I have to tell this story because it was a real life experience of, I’m so proud to be here,” she continued. “I’m an open book. But in that one moment, I was like, ‘I don’t want to say what it is, because I’m engaging in someone who I want to see me a certain way.'”

Barrymore added that the moment made her wonder if there’s any way society can “rebrand” menopause so that it’s not a taboo topic.

“If Mark Zuckerberg could rebrand Facebook to Meta, maybe we can do this for menopause,” she explained. “Because, we’ve got the word men-o-pause. Pause is a natural stop… to a lover that there might be something repellent about that subject. Whereas with no one else do I find this subject taboo.”

“You’re just that dry old bag when you talk about menopause. And that is the conversation, the stigma that has to change,” she added. “We have to make it funnier, more sexy and more safe. Because the ‘aha moment’ is the safe.”

[From People]

I’m not single so I can’t speak to dating in menopause. I didn’t realize this was still the pervasive belief among the uninformed. I’m not shocked, though. I say let’s start the rebranding now. Drop the desiccated language even by way of example and start using funnier language along side sexier imagery. I love the idea of making menopause safe: safe to talk about, safe as a phase of life, safe to glorify.

Apparently Drew got her first hot flash on camera. Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler were the guests when Drew was set upon by the hot flash. She called it out during filming, saying she was glad to have the moment documented. Jennifer said she was “honored.” Adam, trying to make light of the situation, said the flash was commonly followed by “a very heavy, anger mood swing. Maybe you could bring that out.” I like Adam but I wish he had stuck with holding her hand and just kind of honoring the moment. The dry, dusty, angry, hostile language should take a backseat for a bit during our rebranding. I know they play into the funny part of our strategy, but they aren’t helping right now. Let’s lean into the sexy, reemerging, goddess language. Of course, we should also discuss brain fogs, hot flashes, hair loss, skin changes, teeth pain, muscle pain and yes, mood changes, but in informative ways, not as fodder for others to swipe left on us for a 22-year-old.

Photo credit: Getty Images, Instagram and Robin Platzer/Twin Images and Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency/Avalon

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

10 Responses to “Drew Barrymore on dating at 48: ‘I don’t want you to think I’m some dusty, old, dry thing’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Nicole says:

    This is my biggest fear/concern. I’m peri and just had a total hysterectomy. Things are just different down there. I have the hormones, but I am a little worried about not having a cervix, and general moisture issues. One of my good friends who had a hysterectomy within weeks of me (and is married) was just like “LUBE!”. I dunno I’m still worried and very gun shy about sex now.

    • Waitwhat says:

      I had the same concern post-menopause. So before being with a partner, I played with toys to see if I’d changed. At 56, I am relieved to say that I am not at all dusty and dried up. I realize we’re all different, but it’s not inevitable. (Sorry if too graphic, but I want to give hope and facts) 😉

    • meli says:

      I’m 49 and tbh my libido is much much higher now! So I masterbate a lot (although just recently now have a boyfriend so YAY!) which I truly believe keeps all the pipes going down there! Otherwise lube.

      Also, focus less on penetration and more on alllllllll the other stuff. Touching, massage, sensual massage. We are so concerned with penetration all the time I really feel we are missing out.

  2. HeyKay says:

    Drew has moved well into TMI.

    • theotherviv says:

      Such a sweet soul who should halve the amount of her words being emitted.

  3. Emmy Rae says:

    I guess, at least Adam Sandler knows something about menopause?

    I’m not there yet so I can’t relate but I’m happy this stuff is in the conversation now so it’s not a horrible jolt when it’s my turn. I have to say the stories in my family were negative mostly, I would like to hear the positive aspects of menopause brought out more in the culture.

    I love all of Drew’s bright capes!!

  4. meli says:

    The problem is the focus is ALL on the losses and negatives associated with menopause. Even this article rattles off a list of negatives at the end.

    I’m 49 and have never been hornier! Does this happen for all women…no. But I also don’t have most of the symptoms listed above.

    There is also a massive shift in self confidence, freedom, feeling ‘human’ without the pressure of child birth and rearing etc. There are massive shifts in how women see themselves and their contributions to the world. If we could all just flip that coin and see the beauty in this transition instead of focusing on a long list of symptoms that may or may not happen for you.

  5. Nicegirl says:

    I have had a lot of success personally with being Rx’d estrogen (estradiol), fam. As a patch. I‘m 48. It’s helped me a lot. I know there are risks and side effects associated with hormones, but it’s been immensely helpful for me. I’m not in the medical field, please speak to your Drs.

    I know we always say that we will end up with the faces we deserve, but I swear the estradiol is helping me either avoid or keep mine, 😂 . I know the estradiol has also way helped me too physically as I am not dealing w old dusty or dry ok ladies, like I’m like don’t confuse me downstairs into thinking I’m a youngster again, that’s trouble.

    Best wishes to all of you celebitches 💕

  6. Yessir says:

    I will say that although estrogen can help with the “dryness” issue (lube alone doesn’t work for everyone), it does have some side effects. I think I got endometrial cancer from it. So there’s that.

  7. cheryle says:

    Drew Barrymore is such an amazing person.