Shweta Bachchan says her ‘own children’ make fun of her menopause: ‘It’s not fair; for you, it’s a joke…’

Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan’s daughter, Shweta Bachchan, recently talked about the stigma around menopause and how women are not adequately guided through the experience in India. She vented her feelings about the subject on the latest episode of her daughter Navya Naveli Nanda’s podcast What the Hell Navya, on which they were joined, as always, by Jaya Bachchan. The topic of their discussion was ‘Biology: Blessed But Biased’. Shweta, who expressed anger at how women are disregarded after they hit middle-age, also said that she herself is going through menopause, but her children make jokes about it.

Shweta told Navya that though she and her brother Agastya joke about her mood swings, it is not funny to her. “My own children say it to me if I am in a bad mood, and I shout at them, they will say, ‘Oh, mom is menopausing today.’ That’s not fair. For you, it’s a joke, but think about it for me, everything is going south.”

Shweta said that menopause is one of the “most significant things” that happens to women. As someone who is in that phase, Shweta said, “It is very frightening, because everything is basically out of your control. Menopause means a lot of things; you lose your hair, you start putting on weight, you have mood swings, and you have temperature control issues. A lot of women lose a lot of self-confidence and it leads to many mental health issues.”

Shweta said that even though conversations are being had about menstruation these days, people still do not talk about menopause. “No one helps you through it. You just have to grin and bear it. Especially, these days, when there is so much emphasis on the outward appearance, women want to look 20 till they’re 80. They want to have thick heads of hair. They want to fit into the jeans they wore in college. But because your hormones are all over the place, you can try what you like, unless you starve yourself, your body is out of control,” she added.

Disgusted with how women are ‘left on the shelf’ after the age of 40-50, Shweta continued, “Your (a woman’s) main purpose, supposedly, is to procreate, you cannot do that anymore. You serve no purpose. You now just have to fade into the background. You have to start behaving in a certain way and ultimately retire from life. It is disgusting and appalling, and why should women my age, who still have so much to give and live for, be forced to do this? This will never happen to men. They will never understand it. It actually angers me.”

Defying the general perception about star kids, Shweta Bachchan never joined Bollywood. Instead, she runs a fashion label and has also authored a book.


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