Borgen is back – the menopausal power surge and the glory
Borgen is back and 10 years down the line the main character Birgitte Nyborg (played brilliantly by Sidse Babette Knudsen) is 53. In the latest series, Nyborg who was Denmark’s first woman prime minister in the first three seasons, is now the foreign minister – responsible for environmental issues and the consequences of an oil discovery in Greenland. I’ve only watched a few episodes but it’s shaping up nicely; a successful woman in her 50s occupying a position of power, bring it on.
Nyborg is going through menopause – experiencing hot flushes, she’s constantly trying to cool herself down and is shown leaving a meeting to splash herself with cold water in the bathroom. Perhaps it’s hormone-related brain fog but I’m not sure I’ve seen menopause addressed in a serious TV drama before (?) Though we did have vaginal dryness on Grace & Frankie… During an appointment with her doctor, Nyborg runs through her menopausal symptoms, mood swings, hot flushes, difficulty sleeping, sudden irregular heartbeat, adding, ‘ I can’t keep changing my shirt three times a day, I’m the foreign minister.’
Thankfully, there are more women in power today than when Borgen first aired between 2010 and 2013 ( originally on the BBC, it’s now on Netflix). Knudsen is 53 and looks visibly older, in a good, realistic way. She has based the menopause storyline on her own experience, telling Time, ‘We talked about how to show that she has menopause because that’s what happens to women at a certain age and they live with it. I thought it was just another tool in the box of showing a whole person.’
At Hay Festival this weekend, Nicola Sturgeon joked that she could relate to the fictional character, ‘Now she’s a 50-something menopausal woman, angry at the world.’
Read the full Time magazine feature HERE.