Body Image and Aging
The pressure society places on us to look younger than our years can be overwhelming… and discouraging. Don’t fall for the ruse. You don’t have to try to be something you’re not. We are older, and that’s the normal progression of life. It’s perfectly natural for our bodies to change as we age.
Yes, we may have crow’s feet and laugh lines. Yes, we may have some extra weight in places or our posture might not be quite what it once was. That’s okay. The signs of aging are not signs of imperfection. They are not flaws. They are part of living. They do not define us.
Remember, along with the physical changes of age come many wondrous gifts. Experience. Knowledge. Understanding. Growth. Love. Friendships. Appreciation. Concentrate on the positives in your life and the things you can do to care for and celebrate your aging body.
The following suggestions may help you genuinely appreciate and respect your body and accept the changes that come with age.
A Few Helpful Suggestions
- Let go of the need to look younger. Having a youthful attitude is great, but fighting to look 20 years younger can be defeating. It’s impossible to win. Refocus. Embrace the age you are today. Concentrate on looking and feeling the best and healthiest you can be right now.
- Don’t hold yourself up to standards set by the media. They are not realistic. Almost every image we see of an older celebrity or model has been airbrushed and manipulated to make the person look younger.
- Avoid comparisons. Whether it’s a celebrity, neighbor, or someone you see walking down the street, comparing your body to someone else’s has no merit. Nor does comparing your current body to a younger version of yourself.
- Take care of you. We look better when we feel better. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise your body and your mind. Talk with your doctor about nutrition, physical fitness, and emotional wellbeing.
- Be affirming. When you look in the mirror, never focus on the things you don’t like about your reflection or the less appealing changes that come with age. Look for something that makes you feel good about yourself. Maybe it’s your new haircut or the outfit you are wearing. Maybe it’s the rosy glow in your cheeks, your smile, or the twinkle in your eyes.