Looking in the Mirror
Looking in the mirror is hard for some of us, especially for a woman over the age of 40. A woman will not recognize the beauty of age. However, she will over analyze every wrinkle or blemish. A woman will stand in front of a mirror and hold in her tummy. Then she remembers what she looked liked when she was in her twenties or before having kids. It’s difficult for a woman to recognize her own beautiful self as she ages. Can you relate to this?
Images of Beauty
Every day and all day, images of beauty do not look like a woman over 40. Look through magazine ads, TV programs, and social media content. Mostly, it is directed towards millennials or consumers younger than 35. Therefore, the images shown do not represent women with wrinkles, gray hair, a few extra pounds or many life experiences. It almost forces women to think negatively about aging instead of recognizing the beauty of it. How do you feel about beauty and aging?
The negativity results in women disapproving of their body images. A report, Aging and the Body: A Review states that women become more concerned about their health and the physical functioning of their bodies as they age. They also engage in increasing efforts at appearance work in an effort to counteract the effects of physical aging. For example, some things to combat aging are: women dye their hair, get cosmetic surgery or try to lose weight. Overwhelmingly, most women do not accept the beauty of age. Also, they do not recognize the emotional impact caused by not accepting their looks or physical flaws.
Body Image Dissatisfaction
Women do not see their own beauty as they age. The website, www.eatingdisordershop.com wrote that a large study showed a very high prevalence of body image dissatisfaction amongst women aged 50 and over. Of the participants:
- 71% were currently trying to lose weight
- 79% felt that weight or shape played a “moderate” to “the most important” role in their self-concept
- 70% were dissatisfied with their weight and shape compared to when they were younger
- 84% were specifically dissatisfied with their stomachs
Your pudgy tummy, face wrinkles, or sagging breasts can be fixed by a cosmetic surgeon. Then the latest diet craze can help you lose weight. Following, hair dye can banish the gray strands of hair on your head. It seems there’s a physical fix for most of the blemishes of aging. Yet, you must realize that self-acceptance is key to recognizing your own individual beauty.
Recognize Your Beauty
Remember the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Each morning, there is only one person that you must look at in the mirror. Look at yourself with a new lens. Don’t look for the blemishes, scars or imperfections. Stop looking for a new gray hair. It’s there! So, leave it alone. Face the mirror and say, “ I am beautiful. I love me just the way I am.”
Beauty is Skin Deep
Next, take care of yourself. Self-care is important to self-acceptance. Another saying is “Beauty is only skin deep.” Be vigilant in taking care of your skin and body. Be conscious of what you eat. Are you eating healthy and exercising? You are what you eat, literally. If your meals include healthy and nutritious foods, then it will show. Your skin will glow. Also, consistent exercise results in a physically fit body.
Lastly, you want a fit mind. Here’s a way to age gracefully. Focus on what makes you happy on the inside. You can look good on the outside. However, you may be miserable on the inside. When you have beauty on the inside, it will flow on the outside, too. Take care of yourself!
The Beauty of Age
The beauty of age gives you wisdom, courage, and freedom to be exactly who you want to be. Then, cast aside all of the things you don’t like about your physical appearance. Therefore, accept the things you can and cannot change and live your life. Most importantly, love and accept your totally beautiful self.
Middle Aged Women and Body Image
Aging and the Body: A Review*
Can J Aging. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2014 Jun 26.