What’s next for Stacy London: more women's wellness events? A new style show?
In part 2, she covers The Stacy & Clinton Show, the bullshit detector that comes with midlife, and a hint (?) at something new and stylish around the corner.
This is part 2 of the Stacy London interview. Part 1 is here.
By Gretchen Kalwinski
The Midst: The Midst will soon publish a piece titled, “Do I want a divorce, or am I just in menopause?”
Stacy London: I believe not every relationship is meant to last a lifetime. I was watching a dumb movie called The Girl Before, with David Oyelowo. [His character] said something like, ‘Why do people hold on to relationships when they're no longer what we want?” We're conditioned to believe that's the way to be but in younger generations we see less of that. There’s less emphasis on this idea that monogamy is the end all, be all; that you have to be with the same person for the rest of your life.
There are two things about that that are particularly hard for women. One is the perception that dating becomes harder in midlife for women than for men, at least stereotypically. But I also think there is a newfound freedom for women that they may not have been able to enjoy in the same way. Another thing I find in menopause, and particularly with any kind of sexual dysfunction, is that couples really struggle to talk about it. Certainly, in heteronormative couples, I've heard from so many doctors that men are offended if their girlfriend or wife doesn't want to sleep with them. Whereas women tend to internalize it; they think they're not attractive, it's their fault. So communication is one thing we're going to start to see a big emphasis on — knowing that there are other options in terms of libido and not having painful sex. That's a big part of it.
That's not the only reason people get divorced, obviously; it's just that this question comes up, when you don't have anything else to preoccupy your time, like kids. You look at each other and you're like, ‘Are we the same people we were? Do we want the same things?’ I think it's much more natural to question that than to put your head down and say, ‘Well, I'm stuck.’ Reassessment is necessary. As much as life is short, life is long, and you're not necessarily always gonna want the same thing, person, relationship, job, or style. This personal assessment at different stages of our lives feels more necessary than ever, to maintain a certain quality of life rather than just accepting the status quo.
I love the idea of reframing menopause as liberating. I read an essay saying that menopause enables women to follow their internal compass — you get a bullshit detector that starts going off and you’re just not going to take it anymore.
I agree. I think it’s empowering and very much about following your internal compass. Bravery is being afraid and then doing it anyway. This is where that internal compass starts to play back toward you; you become your own North Star, because you have to take time out to take care of yourself — I believe that’s part of what menopause is for. You spend all this time taking care of other people. Menopause is Mother Nature’s biological process to get you to sit down and shut up and take care of yourself and reassess what you want and really claim your sense of self and reclaim what this time of life can look like. That’s why I was so excited to pivot; I was like, “I’ve had three careers so far, time for another.”
“Bravery is being afraid and then doing it anyway. This is where that internal compass starts to play back toward you; you become your own North Star, because you have to take time out to take care of yourself — I believe that’s part of what menopause is for.”
— Stacy London