44 per cent of women say they have made positive life changes due to the menopause
Don’t define us by the menopause – that is the view off women aged 45-60 in the UK today who have issued a warning to brands and businesses that they are alienating and pigeonholing midlife women. In fact, almost half of women believe that the menopause has made their lives better.
In a new in-depth study of women aged 45-60 commissioned by The Behaviours Agency, almost half (44 per cent) believe that the menopause has inspired them to make positive life changes and a further 43 per cent describe it as a minor inconvenience and they are just ‘getting on with it’. Almost two thirds (63 per cent) have described their symptoms from moderate to mild. In contrast, nine per cent have experienced very debilitating symptoms.
And whilst names including Davina McCall, Louise Minchin and Andrea Maclean have been responsible for pushing the menopause agenda in recent years, we have now reached a point of information overload, according to the findings. Forty one per cent of women believe that there is now so much information available on the menopause it is difficult to know what is useful or relevant. Almost one in ten (8 per cent) say that there is so much information out there that they are overwhelmed.
Being bombarded with messages about menopause on social media is also becoming a big turn off according to many women who feel that they are being highly targeted.
In reality it is friends and family of a similar age who women are most likely to trust for advice on the menopause (41 per cent); compared to health brands (19 per cent) and celebrities who are vocal on the subject (12 per cent).
Brands are also being warned to stop over-labelling menopause-related products. Women want products that focus on solutions rather than labelling everything as “for menopause” which they find alienating.
The research also highlights some of the challenges of women experiencing the menopause – 67 per cent said that they have resented how much they have had to adjust to cope with the menopause and 64 per cent said that it has affected relationships with those closest to them. Three quarters have made changes to their routine because of the menopause.
Sue Benson (pictured), co-founder and MD of The Behaviours Agency, who commissioned the report, said: “Whilst we have in no way set out to undermine the experiences of women going through the menopause, we were really interested to see some positives shining out of this research.
“Our study showed that change is a huge defining factor in the lives of women aged 45-60 but menopause is just one small part of this. Unfortunately, many brands have lost sight of this and midlife women are still being misrepresented and placed in a ‘menopausal’ box – especially within advertising campaigns aimed at this life stage.
“In fact 69 per cent of the women we spoke to said that they felt invisible to advertisers, whilst 54 per cent believe that adverts target their insecurities rather than support the change in their lives.
“Pigeonholing women as hot, sweaty and horribly forgetful is way off the mark. Our study clearly shows the positivity, strength, intelligence and breadth of experience shining out of this diverse demographic and brands need to take note. We uncovered a real sense of awakening – a YOLO attitude and desire to really grab life by the horns.
“And let’s not forget – these women have considerable spending power. They’ve been dubbed ‘super consumers’ by Forbes and make or influence 90% of household budgetary decisions in the U.K. They are out-earning and out-spending their under-40 peers for the first time and they enjoy having the freedom to spend their valuable resources and time with brands who understand their wants and needs.
“We are living through a time of unprecedented, rapid social change. These women are not having the midlife experience of their mothers, and the experiences of the generations to follow are just as likely to be different again. It is crystal clear that in order to keep up with the changing needs and behaviours of this group brands must keep listening.
“This research is just the beginning. As a 50-something midlifer myself I have made it my personal crusade to fly the flag for midlife women to ensure that they feel seen and represented as the strong, fun, intelligent women that they are.”