Women Shouldn't Wait Until They're in Their 50s to Love Their Bodies

21

woman with measuring tapeThe other day at in the women's locker room of the gym, two likely young 20-somethings were having a dramatic conversation in front of my locker, so I really had no choice but to overhear everything they were saying. One of them -- who, I must note is tiny all over but blessed in the bust -- was freaking out that she gained two pounds. Her friend was consoling her that sometimes that just happens, and "like, the other day she totally only ate salad and still gained weight!" Upon hearing this, I wanted ... to ... cry.

Really, ladies? This is what we spend our time, money, and mental anguish on. Going crazy over two pounds here, one pound there. Our breasts, our noses, our hair, our eyelashes! We fail to truly see what we look like. We often exert so much energy hating how we look. It's no surprise a new poll of 3,000 adult women by myspecialk.co.uk found women don't really feel confident about their bodies, inside and out, until they're 52 YEARS OLD!

Congrats to the Baby Boomers who get to enjoy that mid-life self-esteem boost, but I think it's absolutely ABSURD that we are spending half a century generally being uncomfortable in our own skin. This is not good news for younger women.

Who wants to waste precious time, over 50 years (or, maybe it's more like 45, since we don't begin the lifetime of picking apart our physical appearance until we're about 5) not enjoying their body, not being proud of how they look, not feeling beautiful? We should be able to enjoy the kind of self-esteem reportedly experienced by the Meryl Streeps and Helen Mirrens out there -- but we shouldn't have to wait until we're over 50 to! We should be able to feel that good about ourselves in our 20s, 30s, 40s ...

Of course, self-esteem and positive body image is definitely not something we can turn on and off like a light switch. For many of us, it's a constant battle to be happy or even okay with what we see in the mirror. But hearing this news should serve as a serious wake-up call that we've got to do better and we deserve better. It seems like doing whatever it takes to love ourselves more sooner -- be that a bit more self-compassion, a little less freaking out on the scale -- could save us years of unnecessary discomfort and unhappiness.

Do you agree that most women don't feel comfortable with their bodies until they're in their 50s? Are you happy with how you feel about yours?

 

Image via BrightStarPhoto21/Flickr

aging, self esteem, body image

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lovey... loveyoualready

Thank you Maressa. When I was in my early teens I started to become 100 percent consumed with my appearance. Usually not my weight because I didn't have a weight problem but I thought I was hideous. If I didn't get my hair to be symmetrical I would lose it. I spent hours in the mirror. Between classes I would run to the bathroom to check myself over. I would cry a lot about the way I looked. I had known for years that I struggled with OCD. It runs in my family and my earliest memories in life I struggled with it and the all consuming rituals and thoughts. However, the problem that I was experiencing had a name. It was only after I dropped out of school because I couldn't bear to be seen by anyone beyond immediate family and started years of counseling that I discovered what I suffered from was BDD. 

lovey... loveyoualready

Which stands for Body DysmorphicDisorder. I didn't walk into a store, walk down the street, sit on my porch, socialize with friends or anything for over a year. I kept to myself in my house. If I did leave I would wear wigs, plaster myself in makeup or covermy head in hats and hoodies. I still struggle today but I have improved. It is very much still a struggle though and I try to love myself and remind myself that my looks do not define me. My OCD is my main problem in life and it doesnt help living in a shallow world where the media influence is everywhere and unfortunately many young women and men are being brainwashed into thinking we are nothing if we are not cover girl/boy material. It's a damn shame. 

ashja ashja

Kind of odd that the survey was done be Special K, which preys on this body hatred to sell their cereal and other foods to women, but, whatever makes a buck, I guess.

nonmember avatar Mme. Garlic

I am 55 and here to tell you that this is true. Never would have guessed this would ever happened, at an age that seemed ancient, 20 or 30 years ago!

Kayla... KaylaMillar

Well all I know is I'm not happy with myself. I had a nice.body until kids and 2 c sections

elasmimi elasmimi

I thought I was overweight when I was younger, and I was, a little, but not obese. Actually I was very comfortable with my body back then. No I am not happy with it now, but at 64 and 100 pounds overweight, how could I be. But I have a husband who loves me no matter what, and I am working on my weight for health reasons now, not beauty. I do think young women now are more confident than most women of my generation were.

Bmat Bmat

No, I'm not.

lalas... lalasmama2007

I think it depends on the woman.  I know lots of women who love their bodies and they are all different ages and sizes.  At 37, I'm okay with my body, but I certainly don't love it.

momka... momkaribg

I am not happy with my body right now.

MamaB... MamaBear2cubs

I think it's a personal thing.I am not comfortable with my body but am working on it. 

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