Supermodel Beverly Johnson Shares She Had ‘Full Blown Menopause’ At 47: It Was A Life Changing Moment

Supermodel Beverly Johnson Shares She Had ‘Full Blown Menopause’ At 47: It Was A Life Changing Moment

Beverly Johnson is getting candid about a common issue women face every day and are often ashamed to share.

During a recent interview, the iconic supermodel spoke about her own experience with menopause and how it affected her day-to-day life.

When Beverly Johnson, 70, was 47 years old, she had a hysterectomy and went into “full-blown menopause.” She had the procedure in 1999 after painful uterine fibroids were causing internal bleeding. Beverly Johnson explained,

“It was a life changing moment. I went from my swinging forties to full blown menopause and I was not prepared.”

Johnson was in her thirties when she was diagnosed with fibroids. After having a myomectomy and seeing no improvement, her doctor recommended a hysterectomy. Johnson said,

“It was a major operation. I didn’t fully understand what the procedure entailed. The doctor didn’t explain and I thought menopause would come on gradually.”

Beverly Johnson

Nearly two months after the procedure, she woke up one night with night sweats–a common side effect of menopause. She explained,

“My body changed. You start gaining weight in the middle. And I was still modeling. I felt tired. I remember talking to older women and when they’d break out in a sweat, I’d say ‘What’s wrong? Are you okay?’ And the response was always ‘You’ll know about it soon enough.’ I never connected the two. Well, I was that woman now. You’re in the middle of a conversation with an attractive guy — I was single — and all of a sudden, there’s a mustache of sweat, and he’s saying ‘Are you okay?'”

Her sex life was also affected.

“You don’t have the hormones that keep you nice and moist in the areas you want to be nice and moist in. Mentally, you still have a sex drive but physically, there were changes. You’re moist in all the wrong places and that was a big shocker for me. There are all these unexpected consequences.”

Unfortunately, menopause wasn’t something people talked openly about at the time so Beverly Johnson felt as though she had limited resources. She says with a laugh,

“There was no Google…My mom would say ‘It’s nothing. It will be over soon.’ She downplayed it but she downplays anything that is kind of uncomfortable.”

Johnson turned to older female friends for support.

“I got more helpful information from girlfriends than my own doctors. As soon as you mention it to someone going through it, it’s the topic of conversation.”

With times changing, more and more women are now sharing their menopause stories, something that Johnson finds to be “Empowering.”

“Why do we have to stay in the Dark Ages when it comes to this? It’s life changing but it also causes some health changes so it’s wonderful people are talking about it and we can read about it in places like PEOPLE and not just medical journals.”

Singer Erykah Badu recently opened up about her experience with menopause. Last month, the ‘Queen Of Neo Soul’ took to Instagram to share that she’s gracefully going through menopause. Alongside a video of her posing for pictures with her long trench coat and fancy rings on each of her fingers, Erykah Badu announced:

“Peace Peace I’m 51 . let’s talk about the flowering of menopause… Blessed with The time when A QUEEN truly TAKES HER THROWN.”

She continued,

“It can be a lonely place if we aren’t careful. Get your nutrients (mind , body & soul) Share your feelings and thoughts with people who love you. I miss the thought of having lil babies in my belly and periods and womb stuff like that . BUT I AM NOW ABLE TO SHARE MY WISDOM AND JOYFULLY GROW INTO THE GLITTER DRIPPING PHOENIX CREATED THRU THE FIRE.”

The mother of three added:

“In other words … b*tch it’s hot .don’t talk to me . lol. @hippiechiklifestyle on the camera and face … mood swings by badu #moodswingsbelike”

Reflecting on the difficult time she faced, Beverly Johnson says it was a chapter that marked “a whole new beginning.”

  “First of all, it made me value myself and my health in a new way. And that wasn’t something in the beauty and health books. Even the ones I wrote. So it’s great we are having this conversation.”

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!


Authored by: Monique Nicole