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Naomi Watts re-creates tampon ad she was in at 15 to raise awareness about taboo menopause symptom

The actor is getting real about menopause — including dryness and lubrication.
Today - Season 71
TODAY -- Pictured: Naomi Watts on Thursday March 24, 2022 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)Nathan Congleton / NBC
/ Source: TODAY

Naomi Watts is not feeling “skittish” talking about menopause.

At 54, the actor has said that she rejects the notion that menopause marks the end of one’s life. So as a result, she’s raising awareness on the realities of taboo menopausal symptoms by getting candid about dryness and lubrication.

To show just that, she captured a “woman’s hormonal bookends” by recreating a tampon ad she did when she was 15 and giving it a modern twist.

In her Instagram post, a young Watts is seen with her hand under her chin with the question, “When can I start using tampons?” above her head. In the updated version, Watts is in the same pose, this time the question reads, “When can I start using lube?”

“What kind of Dry January have you had… Dry AF… am I right?

Why is it that we can talk about periods and puberty with ease, but when it comes to menopause, and yes, drrrryness… we all get a little skittish…,” she began, adding a cactus and camel emoji.

She then recalled shooting the Johnson & Johnson tampon ad when she was 15, “face forward… confident… curious…”

“The other one is a take on what it could look like if we tackled midlife hormonal challenges with the same kind of boldness,” Watts explained, adding. That when it comes to the “adult version” of hormonal change, people get thrust into the shadows of secrecy and shame, with a total lack of information or misinformation.

“Who knew we’d have to sneak a pump of the good stuff before some hanky panky?” she wrote. Watts then shared some insight from OB/GYN Dr. Jen Gunter about the benefits of using a lubricant, whether it be an addition for sex or because “people may need it because they have dryness or other symptoms of menopause.”

“Unfortunately, there is a lot of stigma about lube. Some people are even made to feel as if there is something wrong with them for liking and/or needing lube,” Dr. Gunter’s message continued. “It seems you’re either too wet or too dry for the patriarchy. To that I say, bollocks. And, lube for all my friends, should they so desire.”

Watts — who is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of menopause beauty and wellness brand Stripes — encouraged people to get real and vocal about menopause and the very real life that is having, as she wrote, “dry va-jay-jay’s.”

Watts previously told about how her experience with perimenopause, which began in her mid-30s, made her want to create more resources and products for people going through the same thing.

“Just because it’s the end of one’s reproductive life doesn’t mean to say you’re invisible or irrelevant. In fact, I wanted to have it be reminded that this is the beginning of a new point,” she said. “Every woman will experience this at some point in their life — and obviously, they will be hit with it in different ways — but why not make it the best it can be? Even the better half?”