It’s no secret that Hollywood has long disregarded women of a certain age. And while there are certainly exceptions (hello, Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey) and things are getting a little better, there aren’t nearly as many meaty roles for middle-aged or more mature women as there are for their male counterparts.
Because of this and the underlying idea that women’s bodies are gross — especially as we age — menopause and its predecessors, like premenopause or perimenopause, aren’t typically mentioned. However, because so many of us learn about basic reproductive health milestones — like periods, pregnancy and childbirth — through TV, it would make sense that much of our background on the subject also comes from episodes of our favorite shows.
This isn’t so much a case of TV shows that did a good or bad job at portraying menopause; the fact is so few have even acknowledged that it happens. It’s really a case of any mention being at least a small step in the right direction. Here are a few of some of the most notable menopause cameos on television.