How do you see yourself? Do you accept your body changes?
Nowadays, it is increasingly difficult for a woman to accept the body, in Western culture, the cult of standard beauty reigns. According to this culture, we must follow the imposed “beauty” model, which is not always possible as long as we have specific and very different physical characteristics between us.
The fear of ageing is totally physiological; the first wrinkles are perceived as the fear of physical change.
The non-acceptance of the body is not just a feminine peculiarity; it affects both men and women.
But why is it difficult to accept the ageing of the body? How to learn to accept changes in the body and yourself? Keep reading, and you will find out. 🤷
How the woman’s body changes after the ’40s.
After the ’40s, the woman’s body transforms. The body prepares to enter menopause and complete the fertile period. This phase is known as the climacteric; in this period, the first signs of the ageing begin to be evident. The skin is dry and flabby, the hair is more fragile, and the metabolism is slower and you may fattening for nothing.
Why is it difficult to accept the body in middle age?
American actress Sharon Stone confessed that “There was a point in my forties when I went into the bathroom with a bottle of wine, locked the door and said, I will not leave until I can accept my body completely.”
Women who value too much physical characteristics as young people find it more difficult to accept the body as they age.
But there are also other reasons such as:
All the changes that occur in middle age cause social insecurity. Some women avoid going to parties, meetings and the beach because they are ashamed of their bodies.
Fear of divorce.
The fear of losing a husband or partner is widespread. This feeling may be related to the non-acceptance of the body and the physical and emotional symptoms of menopause.
In general, these symptoms can lead to constant disputes, misunderstandings and differences. After years of living together, it may be necessary to separate.
The quality of sexual life decreases due to the callus of the libido, vaginal dryness and other symptoms of menopause. However, the feeling of shame of undressing beside your husband or boyfriend for not accepting your body is a real problem for some women.
More competition at work.
Unfortunately, many women who work in middle age feel pressured by young, attractive colleagues.
Young candidates have the advantage of being recently graduated and looking good. In addition, inexperienced employees are willing to accept less advantageous conditions to get the job and gain the necessary experience to advance their career.
3 beliefs that prevent you from accepting the body you have.
According to psychotherapist Christine Wilding, it isn’t easy to accept the body because we have false beliefs that we have built since childhood. “The negative body image is based on negative beliefs and not on reality”.
For example, we think that a beautiful woman is more likely to succeed in life.
The author lists several reasons why we build a negative image of our body. Here are some of them:
I) Perhaps in childhood a sister or cousin received more praise and you, then unconsciously incorporated the idea of not being beautiful.
II) Another reason is the pressure that friends put on peers, especially in adolescence.
III) Or maybe you were raised by critical parents.
We internalize all this bullshit and can’t accept the body itself. But now, in middle age, we have no more time to waste.
Here are tips for learning to accept your body and improve self-esteem.
1) Change your beliefs.
Look for evidence that your beliefs are false.
Look around; How many normal women do you know who are successful, loved and happy? Probably almost all of your friends and co-workers.
What proof do you have that “beautiful” women successful?
If being beautiful is synonymous with success, why are so many beautiful women unhappy, separated or addicted?
2) Start practising gratitude.
Gratitude is a powerful feeling that helps you recognize what is right in your life; in this case, it will help accept the parts of the body that you don’t like.
Write a journal and write three parts of your body you are grateful for. For example,
- Thankful for my skinny legs because they allow me to run, walk, up and downstairs, dance and feel freedom.
- I am grateful for my flabby breasts because they feed my children.
- I thank the flabby with their arms for carrying my children, hugging so many people that I love and allowing me to do hundreds of activities every day.
This exercise makes us understand that our body is a perfect machine. Also teaches us to accept the body and to love ourselves.
3) Try to know yourself better.
Self-knowledge is essential to change anything in our life.
The non-acceptance of the body might have deep roots. Knowing the causes and an effective way to solve the problem.
4) Discover your values.
When you know your values , it becomes easier to identify what is really important to you in the second half of your life.
You may be surprised to find that you no longer care about following these absurd patterns, but live well with yourself.
What you can do
In any case, I would like to say that accepting yourself does not mean give up. Middle age is a delicate period of transition, and health, physique and spirituality must be taken care of.
It is possible to slow down the body’s ageing process through exercise, adequate nutrition, and emotional balance.
We learn to divide the human being into mind and body; however, as the philosopher, Frances René Descartes recognized, mind and body “mix”, there is an interaction between body and mind. Therefore, many health problems are caused by diseases of the soul and vice versa.
- Independent Olivia Petter, available at https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/women/sharon-stone-body-positivity-lock-bathroom-wine-vogue-germany-a9466001.html (acceded 15 April 2020).
- “How to deal with low Self-Esteem” Christine Wilding, 2015, USA, Quercus.