Why Hot Flush Love Frances McDormand: 7 reasons Frances McDormand is our postmenopausal icon

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Frances McDormand, the Oscar-winning actor wife of director Joel Coen (of the Coen Brothers), has until now frequently performed a characterful female support, to a male leading role. Love or hate the films she’s performed in, you can’t help but love, love, love, Frances McDormand.

Fran, as she’s known to her family (and she’s ‘family’ to this sisterhood), first appeared in ‘Blood Simple’ before going on to work in many other Coen Brother films. For us, her most memorable role was playing Fargo’s pregnant policewoman, Marge, for which she took home the Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar in 1997, (ahhh hon!).

Her latest Oscar-nominated film, ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’, was directed by another Hot Flush favourite, Martin McDonagh. This pitch-black comedy had us laughing out loud at the portrayal of ‘un-pc’ and unpalatable characters within a tragic plot.

If you’ve not seen this film yet, you must! Fran plays Mildred, a feisty, determined, no-messing, grieving mother whom we guess is also menopausal. You never know whether she's been the perfect, wife or mother, she's a flawed character and certainly has a sharp tongue as demonstrated in a hormonal screaming match between two generations, resulting in an outburst she'll forever regret. Mildred’s a difficult yet exceedingly likeable character! Without giving the plot away, woe betide anyone who tries to mess with this menopausal mama in her determination to get justice!

On her own admission, she’s not in the film business for the glamour. She's proof that post-menopause you can reinvent your career. In the past ten years, she has kicked her career into gear, right at the point when most women would have believed quality roles were drying up, she’s moved on from lovable, quirky supporting roles, to full-blown first billing.

Frances McDormand is smart, confident in herself, and 100% real. We’ve listed 7 reasons we love her and why she’s a Hot Flush menopause icon.

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Expert in expressing women’s emotions

In her first foray into production, ‘Olive Kitteridge’, Fran took on the lead role of a larger-than-life, unforgettable, belching, postmenopausal school teacher, disappointed with all aspects of her life she spares no-one the truth. McDormand said, ‘I became interested in educating people in the variety of ways in which women can express their emotion’. Her portrayal of emotions won her eight Emmys in 2015, including, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie award. Something Hot Flushers might be in the running for when we go into a full-on menopausal meltdown, bring on the award for best Drama Queen!

Embraces her looks & age

100% natural, no nips, tucks or tweaks to her features, she embraces ageing and her ‘rubber face’, (her words, not ours). She doesn’t feel the need to dye her hair and has a genuine concern for women who feel the need to take surgical steps to enhance their looks.

She’s like no other

‘I was too old, too young, too fat, too thin, too tall, too short, too blond, too dark but at some point, they’re going to need the other… So, I’d get really good at being the other.’ She may have been rejected from roles for not conforming to the Hollywood stereotypical idea of beauty, yet she embraced her identity and made a very successful career as being ‘the other’.

She’s frank about her menopause

‘Around 46 years of age, I became concerned that I may slaughter my family. I was perimenopausal when Pedro’, her son, ‘was in the throes of adolescence and at the mercy of testosterone poisoning. I continue to have three hot flashes daily, one bout of cold sweats per night, and have revelled in my invisibility for 10 years. So there.’

So there! How many of us relate to that feeling about the family, at times?

Postmenopause companions

McDormand has been quoted as saying she intends to die onstage with her post-menopause, avant-garde theatre group, the Wooster Group, 'so it’s six postmenopausal women. And what you gain after menopause is the power of invisibility. You become sexually invisible to both men and women. You gain the power of not giving a ****!’.

Cheers, to not giving a ****!

She’s no postmenopause push-over

In her speech at the 2018 Golden Globe awards, where she won the Best Actress in A Drama, McDormand addressing the recent Hollywood #MeToo outrage and attitude to women, said, ‘So many of you know I keep my politics private but it was really great to be in this room tonight and to be part of the tectonic movement in our industry's power structure... Trust me. The women in this room tonight are not here for the food. We are here for the work. Thank you.’ Well said, Fran! 

A role model!

Her rational views on ageing are insightful. She acknowledges the difficulties and the inevitability of ageing but thinks that society exacerbates the problem for the individual. ‘Getting older and adjusting to all the things that biologically happen to you is not easy to do, and is a constant struggle and adjustment’.

'I want to be a role model for not only younger men and women and not just in my profession’. We can all do with a bit of her rational thinking.

Wouldn’t we all love to have a legacy like this? Frances McDormand is one powerful woman. At sixty and post menopause she's at the peak of her game and not looking like she’s stopping anytime soon. We wish her luck at this year’s Oscars, we’re gunning for you Fran.

She’s our postmenopausal icon, who’s yours?