5 TV Shows and Movies that (Gasp!) Mention Menopause

Phoebe Waller-Bridge in “Fleabag.” Photo Courtesy: Amazon Studios

October 18 is World Menopause Day and we’re celebrating it. Menopause is woefully underrepresented in TV and movies, even more so than menstruation, and that’s saying something. So let’s mark the occasion by discussing a few shows and films that break the barrier, ignore the taboo and actually talk about menopause.

Let’s start with Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s acclaimed comedy Fleabag. The Prime Video/BBC show made headlines for several reasons, one of them when it aired season two back in 2019. Kristin Scott Thomas had a guest role in episode three where she plays Belinda. She’s just won the Best Woman in Business award and she ends up having a drink and chatting with Fleabag (Waller-Bridge). Belinda is 58 and imparts some wisdom to Fleabag, who’s 33.

“Women are born with pain built-in. It’s our physical destiny. Period pains, sore boobs, childbirth…,” Belinda says. “We have pain on a cycle for years and years and years. And then, just when you feel you’re making peace with it all, what happens? The menopause comes. The f*cking menopause comes and it is… the most wonderful f*cking thing in the world.” She goes on to talk about how your pelvic floor crumbles — get those Kegel exercises on! — and you have hot flashes, but then you’re free. “It is horrendous but then it’s magnificent, something to look forward to,” she tells Fleabag.

It’s difficult to find another example of menopause being addressed in such a direct and specific way — the pelvic floor is not something often mentioned or referred to in film or TV. Not for nothing, Fleabag went on to win six Emmy awards and has become a symbol of contemporary feminism. But we found a few more M-word representations out there.