At Hazel, we embrace everything that comes with being a woman. And by everything, we mean everything – from periods and perimenopause to leaks and low sex drive. Through this series, we share the stories of inspiring tastemakers and rule breakers living their truth at every age. We don’t shy away from taboos. We eyeroll at the word perfect – it’s all about celebrating the perfectly imperfect.
Stacy London wants to be the freakin’ Master of the Universe of Menopause.
And she’s well on her way.
She says that somewhat jokingly, of course, but as the CEO of State Of – a brand dedicated to menopausal education and products that address its symptoms – she’s determined to change the conversation (well, more like start it) around this natural transition.
She told us, “I had such a difficult time because no one had prepared me, and I struggled to connect the dots to the symptoms I was experiencing. My body ached. I couldn’t sleep. My skin (and nether regions) dried up like the Sahara. I was always itchy. I suddenly had cystic acne and gray chin hairs. I was anxious and grumpy. My jawline and waistline disappeared. I started getting really hot. I looked like I’d taken a shower, fully clothed, while talking to someone about something I’d forget mid-sentence!”
She was approached about being a beta tester for State Of in its early stages, and her super-opinionated feedback made it clear she was the person that should own this brand. So she acquired it in April of 2021 and officially became the face of menopause.
“If I’d been armed with information, it would have been a very different experience. We need to talk about it – and not sugarcoat it. I want State Of to be the place women go to have these discussions.”
Stacy got super-real with us about everything going on in her world right now – from her grief over losing her father three years ago to her relationship with Cat Yezbak to why she gives zero f*^ks what anyone thinks about her.
Let’s Do This
Middle age is not the Middle Ages. It’s like the middle of a book – plot twists happen, people pivot. I feel like I'm just getting started, launching a startup at 52 in the middle of menopause. Sure, it’s stressful, but I feel compelled to do this. I’m privileged and fortunate to have been able to acquire this company, but the needs of this community demand attention.
Different But Same
My career as a stylist wasn’t about the clothes, it was what the clothes could do – let people see themselves and accept themselves in a new way. While being a host on What Not To Wear seems drastically different from being CEO of State Of, I have the same goal, which is to build people up with self awareness and self confidence.
I totally lost my sense of identity during menopause, as did so many women that I’ve talked to. No matter how many common symptoms plague us, it’s a different experience for everyone – from how long it goes on to the severity of the issues and how they interfere with the quality of your daily life. And, no, there is no magic bullet to get you through. The needs of this community are so huge, and I want to build an ecosystem for this audience.
The Why (Part 2)
I don’t mind being the face of menopause – something icky, yucky, and dark for some people. But for me, it’s about taking on a subject that’s all about ageism and sexism, which are really one in the same, as we don’t allow women to age in our society. I don't believe I’m past my expiration date, but because of the stigma, we have a lot to break through. We are breadwinners, heads of households, and the idea that we are less attractive or commercially viable because we are no longer ovulating is one of the biggest mysteries I have encountered. We don’t let kids go through puberty without talking to them; why is this any different? It’s such a prehistoric mindset.
On Her Relationship
The reason I waited to announce I was dating Cat wasn't because I was hiding anything, it was because I was figuring out how it fit in the narrative of my life. Was it going to last? It felt too important for me to casually drop, so I waited about a year. When I found out there was chatter on Twitter that I had a girlfriend, I addressed it head on because it’s my narrative, and I decide when something as important as a relationship is worth sharing.
I fell in love with someone. I’m a white woman of privilege, so the stakes were very different for me. My family accepts me and Cat. There was no one to fire me or discriminate against me. Other people fought for this right to love anyone before me – to be whatever sexuality or gender they are. I will never forget or not acknowledge that. The systemic dismantling of age, race, gender, and sexuality certainly gave me confidence to be more transparent about my relationship. And the response was incredibly positive. It was nice to see my happiness embraced. It’s been 3 years, and that’s still a landmark moment.
I find the more transparent you are about painful things, the more relatable you are to people. I have found incredible comfort in the fact that speaking my truth has given people an outlet to express their own. Being able to express my grief over losing my dad has been my only way through it. The space to acknowledge and accept it gets bigger with time, but it never goes away. There are days when I can laugh and think about funny stories and they make me smile, but other days, it brings me to my knees. It’s been 3 years: The first year I was numb. The second was more painful because it felt so final. And this year has been both. The intensity of missing him is balanced out by being lucky enough to have a father that I would miss this much in the first place. That’s how I see it.
Warm & Fuzzy
The day after my father passed, a friend texted that she left something outside my door. I opened the bag, and it was a huge snuggie, fuzzy socks, and chocolate. The note said, ‘Put this on and don't take it off until you feel like it. Soft things matter now.’ I didn't take that snuggie off for two weeks. The softness and safety felt like I was being held in my grief. We forget how tactile things can affect us in a big way emotionally.
My gray streaks – which I’ve had since I was 11! – are becoming a full head of gray hair, and I couldn't be happier. I loved that they came in Cruella-style. Looking forward to what a full head of gray will look like!
The Thing That TRULY Gets Better With Age
You’re out of fucks to give. The reason people say youth is wasted on the young is because we are so concerned with public perception rather than focusing on what matters to us. Age gives you permission to start looking at what your needs really are. As you age, you find your people. The amount of friends I've made since turning 40 is astronomical because I know what I need in a friend. I used to spend oodles of time trying to make people like me that I didn't even care about. I’ve become transparent, softer, less judgmental, and I don’t put up walls around me. I've gotten so much better with age.
What Ever-Evolving Means To Her
We are never not evolving. Evolution is the guarantee of life. Ideally you’re participating in a proactive way, but like it or not, it’s going to happen. The idea that you can freeze time – looks, opinions, whatever – that's a disservice to the person you can become. Women are proactively dismantling the systems that no longer work, and we are at an incredible moment in history to watch it happen. We still need to do a lot of work, but it’s coming.
Fill In The Blank... Sex gets __________ as you get older because ___________ .
Sex gets different because intimacy changes. My definition of intimacy is something that absolutely evolves. Sex is sex – however it works or looks like for you, that’s hot. For younger people to think its gross to have sex over 60 is so annoying. It's a personal intimate act, and the way you express it doesn't have to be anyone else's version.