Charlie Fletcher wrote today’s post on the value of remaining body positive through aging. Enjoy, darlings!
As you age, you’re likely to face various challenges. One of the most common of these can be how you feel about your body as you transition into later life. After the age of 50, many women start to experience increased anxiety about elements such as their weight, hair color, and physical fitness.
There are certainly no easy solutions to this. Just as every person is unique, so is every solution to negative body image. Nevertheless, it is important to find ways to feel a sense of empowerment around your aging self rather than considering these aspects to be limiting or negative.
Now that more women are exploring body positivity to navigate this aging process, let’s take a closer look at the value of body positivity through aging and how you can practically incorporate it into your life.
Self-confidence is one of the most vital influencers of your psychological and emotional well-being. Yet, it’s also one of the common elements that wane as people age. This is often a result of the sense that the way our bodies change is at odds with our perceived self-image. Unfortunately, the drop in self-esteem can have various domino effects on the ability to socialize and mitigate isolation, as well as feel at ease in your skin.
As such, it’s important to understand how remaining body positive as you age can be a tool in boosting your self-confidence. Part of your approach here should include gaining a better understanding of how and why your body is changing. For instance, weight gain is a common experience for many women as they get older. An increase in appetite can be caused by a range of elements, including menopause and even anxiety. By recognizing the root of what is happening within your body, you can feel empowered to simply experience and appreciate the changes or make mindful adaptations where appropriate.
Indeed, one of the most important elements of body positivity in terms of self-esteem is accepting and celebrating some of the changes. Many of the ways your body develops are simply signs of this new stage in your life alongside the experiences of your journey. It’s not always easy to accept change. But, recognizing the inherent beauty of your aging body can be key to helping you navigate aging with the confidence you deserve.
Being more positive about your body as you age may influence your overall attitude toward your well-being. After all, when we feel down about ourselves, we can easily slip into negative behavioral patterns. Many people are familiar with the feeling of not caring for themselves when they aren’t feeling the most positive. But by finding ways to elevate your sense of self, you can bolster the self-care routines that have a vital impact on your ongoing wellness.
This begins with being mindful of how you treat yourself. Self-compassion is a scientifically-supported way to improve your health and it will help you gain vital resilience during challenging periods. At its most simple, this involves being genuinely kind and behaving toward yourself as you would any other close friend or family member. But it also includes recognizing difficult truths about your aging self without judgment and then analyzing what support you need.
Remaining body positive also relies on you adopting forms of self-care that empower you to feel physically, psychologically, and emotionally better. You could adopt nighttime routines that see you both pamper yourself and prepare for good quality sleep. Your nutritional approach might be to seek to incorporate a healthy balance alongside the occasional treats that give you a mood boost.
Overcoming Societal Expectations
One of the overlooked aspects of body positivity is how it helps you navigate society’s expectations about aging. Too often, contemporary life is geared toward celebrating and even fetishizing youth. We’re taught that signs of aging should be avoided, concealed, or altered. It’s no wonder, then, that it can be easy to experience depression, anxiety, and other forms of negativity as our bodies inevitably age.
It can, therefore, be wise to adopt body positivity methods that empower you to overcome these societal expectations. A good first step in this regard is recognizing that society’s definitions of beauty are rather limited. Indeed, they’re often driven by businesses to sell products and gain advertising engagement. Since the 1950s, beauty has been codified and commercialized. In this sense, they’re not rooted in an objective idea of what makes a person beautiful. Understanding this can make it easier to reject society’s definition of beauty and allow you to focus on what makes you inwardly and outwardly beautiful.
Another key component is making efforts to talk in a body-positive way surrounding aging. Build support networks with people around your age and commit to regularly discussing your experiences in a positive light. If you or others in your group choose to embrace gray hair, find ways to celebrate and appreciate this. Spend time together finding fashions that complement both your changing body and fit your personal style. It’s important not to ignore the challenges of aging, but it’s equally vital to remember that aging in itself is not negative. It’s a natural part of life and should be celebrated!
Body positivity plays a key role in maintaining your physical and mental wellness as you age. It can boost your self-confidence, which in turn can influence essential socialization and mood elevation. Your attitude can also impact your approach to the self-care routines that improve your quality of life. Not to mention that a commitment to body positivity empowers you to navigate the inaccurate and toxic societal definitions of beauty! It’s not an easy process, but your efforts can ensure you focus on embracing and celebrating yourself in later life.
How do you remain body positive through aging? What tips and tricks do you have? Tell us in the comments!
About the author:
Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer passionate about workplace equity, and whose published works cover sociology, politics, business, education, health, and more.
** Please note that items purchased through links on this site may result in a commission for Honey Good.