By Andrea Bazoin
You may recognize their names, but what they’re up to may surprise you. Meet three extraordinary superstars who are breaking new ground in health and wellness. In Part 1, we look at Halle Berry.
Cross-cultural, mixed-race actor Halle Berry has been wowing moviegoers for over 30 years. In the early 90s, Berry co-starred in blockbuster hits alongside Spike Lee in "Jungle Fever" and Eddie Murphy in "Boomerang." Her groundbreaking 2001 performance in "Monster's Ball" made her the first African-American to win Best Actress at the Academy Awards.
Berry’s 2000 role as Storm in "X-Men" ushered in an era of superhero superstardom, with subsequent roles in action films like "Die Another Day," "Catwoman," three additional "X-Men" sequels and more. Berry continues to take on challenging and provocative roles that highlight the beauty of being a badass and the fierce strength of being a woman.
Yet, Hollywood has never been known to celebrate the aging actress. As Berry entered her mid-50s, she and her team launched a health and wellness company in 2018 that put a new spin on the narrative of aging — Rē-Spin. Today, Rē-Spin is focused on the challenges and opportunities of menopause. In a panel interview at the 2023 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Berry speaks about how women can start to reclaim their own narrative around aging.
FOCUSING ON MENOPAUSE
“We start with conversation. We start with community. We start with deciding that no subject is off-limits,” Berry says. “I am solidly, clearly, 100% in the middle of menopause. Yet, there was a time when women would be ashamed to say that because [that would mean] you’re no longer valuable to society, considered attractive, or valued in the workplace. We wanted to pretend like that wasn’t happening.
“As a result, we had no one to talk to,” she continues. “We had to go through this very normal part of life alone. Now that we’re talking about it, it’s becoming easier. We’re finding resources. We can share our stories. We can talk to doctors. There are products on the market now that can ease us through this time and help us be our best selves.”
Although Rē-Spin started as a general health and wellness brand, Berry has recently decided to focus on perimenopause and menopause.
BRINGING MEN INTO THE CONVERSATION
Although menopause is a woman’s experience, Berry wants to ensure men are invited into the conversation.
“Men get older and become silver foxes — we believe men get better with age,” Berry elaborates. “But, as women, we become disposable and have a harder time keeping our jobs. And, when we have these menopausal symptoms, we can’t take off work. We don’t have compassion and support.”
“Historically, men have been in charge of our marketing,” she continues. “And men don’t have vaginas. Caring about [women’s] bodies was less important to them, so it became less important to us. So, this movement is also about educating men about the part they have to play.”
As Berry continues to wow us on the big screen, she’s determined to expand her impact through Rē-Spin.
“I’m committed to changing what you think menopause looks like,” she says. “This is what it looks like. And we have to rearrange how we think about it. When you are working for a cause that is greater than yourself, business will follow. But the best business starts with passion and in [uplifting] something that is true to you.”
Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll look at Tiffany Haddish and her company Diaspora Groceries.