Don’t want to be the next serial killer? We have a pill for that!

(says all the marketers hoping to capitalize on the medicalization and monetization of menopause.)

I just posted a quote from Amy Pence Brown over on Instagram. Here it is: “I finally realized it wasn’t me that needed fixing, it was society.”

This quote accurately reflects my research journey from perimenopause through to today. Originally, I naively thought cracking open the conversation was all that was needed; that we simply needed to bring the conversation out of the closet, and then get on with things.

And then I became acutely aware of ALL the “M” words: myths, misconceptions, medicalization, monetization and marketing of menopause that convinces women we are broken and need someone else to either fix or cure us. (The concept that we are the best expert of our own bodies goes somewhat against our societal norm!)

Nothing underscores this more than a bottle of something that promises a solution to “all your menopause symptoms.” REALLY? One bottle? One magic wand solution? Just like that?

Now, I’m all for buying into the placebo effect. The power of believing something is going to work is a well-known and proven fact. I’m simply suggesting that as you are getting informed and choosing the journey that is RIGHT for YOU, that you wave a caution flag around anything that sounds too good to be true. Behind the label could be a well-intentioned company who cares about the health of midlife women. Or, it could also be a seasoned marketer hoping to capitalize on the largest wave of perimenopausal and menopausal women in history.

Yes, perimenopause and menopause can be a trip. But we can learn to navigate any of its challenges…just as soon as we UNlearn the societal and generational messages that have been clogging up the airways for decades.

So, what does this have to do with serial killers?

Unfortunately, this is not a great quality image, but it is an award-winning ad from the 1980s featuring 19 female serial killers and one bottle of a product called¬†Femalene¬†that promises you won’t be the next.

Wow, just wow.

This ad did more than sell product and win awards. It contributed to the midlife stereotypes our generation is now up against…and in my opinion…must tear down for our daughters’ generation.

Think about this ad and its promise the next time you are surfing the net or wandering the aisles of your local pharmacy. When you see an ad that speaks to midlife women, ask yourself what values is the company portraying? Ask yourself if you yourself are shopping for a “duck tape” solution, or more interested in identifying and treating the root cause. Ask yourself if you are getting your information/being influenced by experts… or advertisers.