Fronting Primark Menopause Campaign with Anita Krishnan
In today's blog, we had the absolute pleasure of chatting to 'Real Model' Anita Krishnan, about a topic we're really passionate about breaking the taboo on so, together in our conversation, we hope to start a more positive conversation about menopause. Earlier this year our Stills Booker, Georgia, booked Anita for the Primark Menopause campaign, which we will later learn was perfectly timed in Anita's journey.
Diving straight in, we asked Anita "when did you start experiencing menopause symptoms and can you talk us through your experience so far?"
I’ve been lucky that my symptoms have been pretty mild over the last few years or perhaps even longer. When I look back I feel that I may well have had various mild symptoms going on from my early 40s but didn’t know it had anything to do with my menopause.
I have been experiencing mild hot flushes, fatigue, headaches, joint pains, bladder problems, bloating, and hair loss but I think for a while as these symptoms were mild I was in denial and refused to believe I was going through anything related to the menopause and also put some of my symptoms down to ageing, however, it was only this year that all of the above together with mood swings, brain fog and irregular sleep etc started effecting me a 100 times worse. It became a real concern and I knew I had to do something about it.
To anyone who thinks they may be suffering menopause symptoms, can you share where have you found the best menopause support / where would you recommend for anyone to start looking for information & support?
The best initial support I found, really came from meeting Cathy from the Primark shoot, who runs a page on Instagram on HRT. Cathy has really encouraged me to seek help, although, at the beginning of May, just a couple of weeks before the first AV check for this shoot came through, I had contacted my GP about all the symptoms I was experiencing this year and I was told that I was perimenopausal. So it was only at that point I found out about perimenopause which I hadn't even heard of before.
At this point, I had so many unanswered questions, felt alone and didn’t know what to do. I really struggled this year and I didn’t find GP's that helpful in this area so I was at a point of not knowing what to do, feeling unaware, worried, unsure, confused, etc which I'm sure lots of women can relate to. And then came along this shoot for Primark! This is where I met the wonderful Cathy who definitely gave me that encouragement and motivation to start looking into things and asking the right questions at doctor's appointments etc. She shared some pages on Instagram and told me about some apps to download, I then began to read up and research more about menopause, a great app I can recommend is “Balance” which has a wide range of information. As a result of this, I started HRT in July which has made some slight improvements to my general health although it is early days so I’m remaining optimistic.
So let's talk about the Primark Menopause shoot... talk to us about why being cast for this campaign was so important to you & close to your heart...
Just a couple of weeks after being told by my GP that I was perimenopausal, the availability check came through from Georgia and I could not believe the timing of it. Shortly after, I had the request to do a self-tape. I obviously didn’t have to prepare, I was able to be myself and be totally honest about how I was feeling and how this was affecting my health. Being part of this awesome Primark campaign meant so much to me, although it’s for a new loungewear range which will help women whilst they go through changes to their body it was so more than that. It’s about talking and sharing this topic to raise awareness, it’s about helping and supporting women now and for generations to come. It was so shocking that there was such a huge lack of information out there and more shocking to discover that GP's had no training in this area. I was left feeling so angry and upset that there is such a lack of support out there.
Why do you think it’s important to speak out and break the taboo around menopause?
Because it's such an important topic that affects half of the population and has done so for generations, it’s been an area where women’s support has been neglected. I find this SO frustrating. I am beyond happy now that, at last, there is change happening, women like Davina McCall are fighting for change in Parliament and that is such a huge step in the right direction. This is so encouraging to know that support, help, information will be available to millions of women.
What was your favourite moment on set for this campaign and how would you sum up the experience?
I can’t really say I had a specific favourite moment as I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. The whole team, Sam the producer and Kate, including the other models who were all so lovely to work with. Not only was I involved in a campaign that is introducing loungewear that would help 1000s of women whilst they go through so many changes to their bodies but I was shooting a campaign for my favourite store that I visit every week, so it meant so much to me from that side too. I’ve always dreamed of being on the boards in the store and here I was, making my dream a reality with such an important message behind it too.
From the moment I arrived on set and was greeted by the wonderful producer Sam, I had such a warm welcome from her and knew how exciting the day would go. It was wonderful meeting the other models, Cathy, Bea and Caroline and hearing their remarkable stories touched and inspired me.
To round off our chat, Anita told us....
I’m happy and hopeful to know that the taboo is shifting, change is happening and as women age, we can share and help support one another without being embarrassed or ashamed. The doorway from ‘young’ to ‘old’ doesn’t have to be dealt with alone! Let’s raise awareness and have our voices heard. Thank you again to Sandra Reynolds for this amazing campaign.
View Anita and other Real Women Here!