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In one xoNecoleThe legendary actress talks exclusively about embracing this phase of her life, pursuing new projects and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and that she is still going through it at 51. According to the Mayo Clinic, perimenopause “refers to the time when your body makes the natural transition into menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”

“I haven’t moved on to the next phase yet, but I think part of it is that when you hear about menopause you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old person thing, but for me, I was 37 and didn’t understand what that really meant to me. And I don’t think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.

Gabrielle Union

Photo by Brian Thomas

“But you can experience a lot of the same things during this time that people talk about and experienced during menopause. So you can have hot flashes, weight gain, hair loss, depression, anxiety and so on.” Other than that, mental health issues, all of that can occur, you know, at any stage of menopause, and I myself have been in the process for about 13, 14 years in perimenopause. If you know, most doctors say, “Oh, but usually it’s about ten years and I’m like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).'”

Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and anything related to women’s bodies were often considered taboo and therefore not discussed publicly. However, times are changing and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic conversation about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of safer spaces and mutual support.

“I want to be in community with people. I never want to feel like I’m on an island for anything. “So if I can help create a community where we’re lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So it’s like there’s no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? I was a bad bastard before perimenopause. I’m a bad wanker now, and after menopause I’ll be a bad wanker too. Do you know what I’m saying? Nothing needs to change about that. I’m a bad bastard, I welcome this part of the change. I just get better and stronger and smarter, wiser, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcome and none of it should be scary.”

The Being Mary Jane star isn’t shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it and encourages others to try it too. She compares therapy to dating and suggests that you continue to search for the right therapist to meet your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she’s still working on the latter).

“Before perimenopause I was a bad bastard. Now I’m a bad bitch, and after menopause I’ll be a bad bitch. Do you know what I’m saying? None of this has to change. Like a bad son of a bitch I am, I welcome this part of the change.”

Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade

Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images

“I hope that a.) you realize that you are not alone. Seek help and know that it’s okay to be honest about what the hell is going on in your life. That’s the only way you know you can get help, and that’s the only way people know you’re in need if something happens,” she says, “because we all have these big, very wild, high expectations” from people , but if they don’t know what they’re actually dealing with, they’ll always fail and you’ll always be disappointed. So how about you just tell the truth, be transparent, and show people where you stand? In order for them to be helpful, they can be compassionate.”

It’s her transparency that makes Gabrielle so likeable and so many people fall in love with her. Whether through her television and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. When you scroll through her Instagram, you’ll see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and stunning fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we have seen her evolve in many ways. From producing films to starting a hair care line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”

“This is a time of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The idea of ​​’Oh, so and so’ has changed. They have become completely new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to constantly grow and develop. Having more clarity, moving with a different purpose, and all of that is very, very welcome to me.”

“I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to constantly grow and develop. Having more clarity, moving forward with different goals, and all of that is very, very welcome to me.”

She continues: “So I’m just trying to figure out what’s next. You know what I mean? I throw myself into what comes next. I’m excited to see what’s next and new. I just embrace everything life has to offer.”

Look for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film “Riff Raff,” a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce “The Idea of ​​You,” starring Anne Hathaway.

Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

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