Why Loving the Mojo Pills Is Not Loving Ourselves

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[Guest blogger, Michelle Young is the Research and Communications Director at 4Women.com. She has done extensive research on the emotional impacts of medical hair loss and women’s health issues.]

I need a name. Not a name for a puppy, a head scarf, or a blog post. I need a name for the deficit disorder of all deficit disorders.

I'm talking about this double X chromosome version human condition in which we prefer to experience life as an aesthetic vesicle, forever frozen in time and perpetually "made over" on the outside, regardless of the price paid on the inside. A deficit of self- love that penetrates the external straight to the essence. Our love is reserved for the hair, the boobs, the nail color, the clothes, the shape, the botox tight skin, and while the botox goes beneath the skin, too often, our love of self stops at the surface. Consider the below:

"If 50 really is the new 30, then some thanks must go to the drugs that help ease the transition into midlife. These medications can protect you from debilitating conditions like bone loss and heart disease and make life bearable for those with severe symptoms of menopause."

Wow, sounds great, right? Where can I get me some of them drugs that take 20 years off my life? Fix me please. Even if I'm not yet broken, I'm a tragedy waiting to happen, so fix me in advance. If you can't fix my insides, I'll settle for a fountain of youth makeover on the outside. And if you can do nothing else, please do not force me to EXPERIENCE the transitions and changes taking place in my maturing body.

Hold on though, that above quote came from a 2009 O Magazine article. There was also an entire paragraph about "drawbacks" to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – nothing notable – just increased risk of breast cancer, blood clots, heart disease, and stroke, among other unnotables.

As my son would say, "you're being sarcastic, mom."

I'm sorry, but I just do not know how else to express my frustration at the outlines and outcomes of these discussions. What prompted my latest deficit of expressive creativity?

I watched a Good Morning America story about a woman with advanced breast cancer, liver cancer and brain cancer who now attributes her condition to having taken HRT's. My heart very much goes out to that woman, but I was so frustrated at her words, words and sentiments that I fear are shared by so many women. She explained that at the time she began HRT's, they were "the buzz." She was told they would help make her look younger and she felt that once on HRT's, she looked young for her age and her body looked "better". What else matters?

She was interviewed because of the latest research findings – women who took hormone replacement pills had more advanced breast cancers and were more likely to die from them than women who took placebos, U.S. researchers said last week. These findings came from an 11 year follow up study on the Women's Health Initiative, the earlier study that first linked HRT's to breast cancer and heart disease.

As members of the same species, we are in so many ways, so different from one another. Thank goodness for that. I for one cannot comprehend how we would from the outset think that putting anything in our bodies intended to undo a transitory experience that our bodies have undergone as long as we have existed and lived beyond child-bearing could be anything other than dangerous. "Severe symptoms" aside. If the hormones levels were supposed to be maintained at the same levels at age 60 that they are at age 25, then that's where they'd be.

Calling all my global sisters – news flash – maybe we are not supposed to look, feel, think, bounce, move, sleep, BE the same at age 25 and 65. Maybe, just maybe we are SUPPOSED to change.

Michelle Young, Research and Communications Director



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