The 53-year-old actress wants to have "uncomfortable conversations" about the unnecessarily taboo topics.
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Close Up of Naomi Watts
Credit: Getty Images

Naomi Watts has thoughts on aging and menopause, and she's not afraid to share them with everyone — or, at least, her more than one million followers on Instagram. Alongside a photo in which she appears to be makeup-free, Watts wrote about the stigma surrounding menopause, the upside of having uncomfortable conversations, and her perspective on getting older. (Related: Jane Fonda's Perspective On Aging Is So Refreshing)

"Does the word menopause freak you out?" she asked in her post, admitting that it did for her. Quick biology lesson: Menopause is a natural part of aging when someone goes 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Changing levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone during menopause can lead to symptoms that include hot flashes and vaginal dryness. "It's just a natural phase of life and something half the population will be directly affected by and the other half will feel indirectly," wrote Watts on Instagram.

The actress began dealing with menopause "earlier" than others, she explained. "When I was in my late 30s, I was finally ready to start thinking about creating a family. Then the M word swiftly blew my doors down, [and] it felt like a head-on collision with a Mack truck." she wrote. While it's rare, premature menopause can happen before the age of 40, reports the National Health Service (NHS). It affects an estimated one percent of women under 40 and 0.1 percent of women under 30, according to the NHS.

Watts felt like she didn't have anyone to talk to about it, she shared. "My mentors and mum didn't seem up for discussing it, [and] I didn't know how to ask for help," explained Watts. "Even doctors had little to say. It's oddly like an unwritten code of silence: Women should suck it up and cope, because that's how generations passed have done it." (Related: Finally, Skin-Care Brands That Believe Menopause Is More Than Just Hot Flashes)

Watts seems to be passionate about destigmatizing the topic that's often considered too taboo to discuss. "I think it's time to see women in this phase of life or this age group be well represented," she wrote in her caption. "We've been under-served in media, stories, and marketing far too long. When you spotlight uncomfortable conversations, they get easier. Let's conquer the stigma and address the secrecy and shame we've felt and help create a healthier foundation for future generations."

The Mulholland Drive star also shared some of her thoughts on aging in general, and her perspective is refreshing. "Getting older is a privilege and a time for us to feel proud of our cumulative experiences — to feel empowered, unapologetically so," she wrote on Instagram. "I think being part of a change-maker generation is exciting. No more walking through this alone."

Fellow celebrities and fans have taken to the comments section to share their support. "I love you for this! (Well, lots of other reasons as well😉) but THANK YOU!!!❤️," wrote Paulina Porizkova. "Completely agree!" added Ali Wentworth. (Related: This Skin-Care Brand Aims to Revive Menopausal Skin Without Hormones)

Watts seemed to tease that she's working on a larger project in this space at the end of her post, so stay tuned for more from the actress on this unnecessarily taboo subject.