Psychology of Body Image
- research shows that:
- women do not become comfortable with their changed post-pubertal body
until the early 20's
- men and women are most happy with their body image at 30yrs of age but
by 35yrs of age, the realisation that their body is now aging has a
significant impact on their body image perception, particularly with
women, while men tend to believe that with a bit of exercise and laying
off the beer, they can still regain their youthful appearance.
- men tend to hit a brick wall with their body image at age 55yrs when
aging changes speed up dramatically coinciding with often loss of
employment and other opportunities resulting in depression.
- extracted from a newspaper article by Stephanie Dowrick
- as one grows older, beauty and attractiveness depends on character,
conversation, insights and experience rather than sex. It's less about
the need for someone else to make you feel special and more about
appreciating them - and this can be powerful and liberating.
- this new attraction does not preclude sexual attraction, but simply
puts it in its place.
- it may be a biologically driven new attraction phenomenon that as we
are older we are primed to value other older people and even to find
their signs of ageing (much like our own) touching rather than
frightening. This runs counter to all the rampant fear-mongering of
ageing promoted by the cosmetics industries.
- some poor people spend their years fruitlessly fighting the effects of
ageing instead of accepting it and what it means:
- the wrinkles etched into the face years of thoughtfulness,
resilience, laughter & just plain living.
- being able to be in the company of people who have been around the
block more times than they can recall & have learned to slough
off much of what is trivial.
- to value people who are no longer striving to make their mark, or
who have settled into a far less competitive frame of mind as they
realise how brief life is and how precious.
- the majority of older people have faced suffering and survived -
they have outlived some of the friends, colleagues and family, they
know that despite all limitations that come with old age, it's a
real privilege simply to have the chance of growing old.
- life itself is a blessing, something less to be manipulated &
challenged than savoured.
- as we age, we have choices, & depending on these choices, which
include how we perceive the simple reality of getting older, we can
contract psychologically & intellectually, or we can expand - the
choice is ours to make.