By Charlie Fletcher
Aging is a natural part of life. There’s nothing wrong with how it looks or feels to age, yet, we live in a society that perpetuates such high beauty standards that many women struggle to accept aging body changes.
Though our bodies change gradually over time, it’s often not until we reach middle age, that we typically start to notice significant differences that make us feel shame – and what’s that about? What began as a few fine lines have turned into deeper wrinkles that can’t be erased with a little extra hydration and moisturizer.
Still, the beauty industry makes billions of dollars off of products marketed towards women to prevent and reverse the signs of aging. The problem is no beauty product can ever change you from the inside out. It’s how we feel and think when we look at ourselves that can change our perception.
Thus, it is our confidence and self-esteem that need a makeover, not our face and bodies. Changing our minds to see ourselves differently is also important because aging doesn’t only affect our outward appearance; it can make us feel different internally as well.
As we age, we may find we have less energy and motivation, our strength and endurance may decrease, our hormones change, and we have reduced sex drives. All of this, combined with the outward changes in our appearance, can wreak havoc on our self-esteem. This is why it’s so important to change our perception and boost our confidence so we can love our bodies and age gracefully without the weight of judgment and shame weighing us down.
In this article, we’ll provide you with tips and tricks for staying confident as your body ages and how to change your perception around the way you look and feel to promote body positivity.
Focus On How You Feel, Not How You Look
With regards to our changing appearance, women should shift their focus to how they feel and what their body is capable of instead of obsessing over looks. Yes, you are getting fine lines and wrinkles, among other signs of aging like hair loss, but that’s perfectly normal and not something we should beat ourselves up about. Men get the same wrinkles we do and also lose their hair, but you don’t see society shaming them for it. So why should we feel shame over our bodies aging the same as theirs?
The issue is that we live in a world that perpetuates certain beauty standards that make us think we need to look young to be happy, particularly for women. Unfortunately, most of these ideas were initially manufactured and bolstered by the beauty industry as a way for companies to make money and stay in business.
If you want to stop obsessing over your looks and have more confidence, you have to stop buying into these false standards and focus on what makes you feel good, not what makes you look good. There are countless myths about hair loss and wrinkles, all that aim to make you worry about your appearance so you’ll spend money. But the first step to being happy in our skin is to expel these absurd, artificial notions that our looks are linked to our happiness and self-worth.
Understand That Change is Normal
One of the most significant factors that play a part in the changes that occur in our bodies is our hormones. Both men and women naturally have varying levels of estrogen and testosterone in their bodies. As we age, these levels fluctuate, and often we end up with an imbalance, which causes specific changes to occur.
Testosterone is essential for women to maintain healthy bones, brain function, mood regulation, fertility, libido, and more. While we can experience low testosterone levels for varying reasons, one of the most common causes is aging. Though this is normal, it can make us feel like we aren’t ourselves anymore, contributing to mood changes and lack of motivation.
Understanding how your body works and what is and is not normal is part of learning to accept what happens as you age. Knowing that these changes are natural can help you better learn to manage and navigate them with confidence.
Use Exercise to Boost Your Physical and Mental Health
Exercise also plays a crucial role in how we feel. Most people think of exercise in terms of losing weight to look better, but there are myriad other benefits that come with regular exercise. Primarily, physical fitness can help us regulate our mood, energy, and endurance levels. As these are all things that we struggle with as we age, exercise is essential to help combat these effects.
Menopause and hormone imbalances can also affect our weight, so exercise is essential to help regulate our bodies and keep them balanced. Just keep in mind that too much weight loss can have the opposite effect, resulting in even more imbalances that affect our physical and mental health. As with anything in life, it’s all about moderation. Exercise should be about making yourself feel good and maintaining a healthy weight, not about looking skinny.
Avoid Negative Thinking
Negativity can eat you alive. Growing up, we experience various situations that can produce negative thinking, but it can be even harder to dispel these thoughts when we get older. With our mood and energy levels out of balance, it’s much easier for negativity and depression to sink in. So it’s crucial to find ways to have a more positive outlook to boost your mood and build your confidence.
Positive affirmations might seem silly to some, but like any other daily habit, the more you practice them, the more they will sink in. A great way to implement them into your life is to start complimenting yourself and others more freely. When you wake up, remind yourself what you like about yourself and what is good in your life. Throughout your day, carry this positive energy with you by recognizing the good in others and giving them compliments as well.
Try not to focus your compliments too much on appearance, however. While it is nice to tell yourself and others that they look good, it’s important to compliment other attributes. For example, focus on positive traits and actions to help perpetuate the idea that we are more than just our looks.
Self-care is another excellent way to develop confidence in yourself and your body. The more we care for our bodies, the more we learn to appreciate them and all they do for us. Self-care rituals can help you realign your focus and learn to love your skin and who you are. And this doesn’t just mean taking a soothing bath now and then.
How you treat yourself and take care of your mind and body can vary from day to day. It can be done by practicing at-home spa rituals or by treating yourself to a day at the spa, but it can also look like buying yourself a treat, spending an entire day solo doing whatever you want, or finally taking that pottery or life-drawing class.
Ultimately, maintaining happiness and confidence as you age is all about doing what makes you feel good, learning to enjoy life and treat yourself, and breaking down negative thoughts and stereotypes surrounding your appearance. The key is to start developing new habits and behaviors that change your perspective. Our bodies are meant to change as we age, and that’s okay. Once we learn to understand and accept that, we can spend less time focusing on our appearance and more time enjoying our lives.
Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees”- Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and search for the truth. When not writing, she is a part-time wedding planner and spends time with her nephews.
Last Updated on February 2, 2023 by Editorial Staff