Angelina Jolie just started a conversation about something women don’t talk about enough

Angelina Jolie has gone through a lot in the past couple years. In 2013, she underwent a preventative double mastectomy. Then, in March of this year, she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed after doctors found signs in a blood test that could indicate very early stages of ovarian cancer.

“Regardless of the hormone replacements I’m taking, I am now in menopause. I will not be able to have any more children, and I expect some physical changes,” she wrote in an op ed for the New York Times. “But I feel at ease with whatever will come, not because I am strong but because this is a part of life. It is nothing to be feared.”

Now, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Angelina is opening up again about her experience with menopause—a hormonal change for women that’s long been swept under the rug, or wrongly considered shameful. Usually, this stage in life doesn’t start for women until age 51 — but her surgery has triggered it early. And Angelina is here to say that she actually thinks it’s a beautiful thing.

“I actually love being in menopause,” she told the Telegraph. “I haven’t had a terrible reaction to it, so I’m very fortunate. I feel older, and I feel settled being older. I feel happy that I’ve grown up. I don’t want to be young again.”

There are many topless scenes for her character in her film, By The Sea — which were written in before Angelina’s mastectomy, but she opted to keep them in. “. . . the scenes were in the original script and it did feel wrong to take them out because of the mastectomy,” she told the Telegraph. “I think it’s important to be seen as you are.”

Brad, through all of this, has seen her for exactly who she is — and he’s been a rock for her, she told the publication.  “[Brad] made it very, very clear to me that what he loved and what was a woman to him was somebody who was smart, and capable, and cared about her family, that it’s not about your physical body,” she said. “So I knew through the surgeries that this wasn’t going to be something that made me feel like less of a woman, because my husband wouldn’t let that happen.”

We love how upfront and real Angelina has been throughout her surgeries and her menopause, and it’s an incredibly important conversation to be having: That ovaries or breasts don’t define your gender identity, and the lack of them doesn’t make you any less of a woman.

(Image via Shutterstock.)

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