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A Woman's Ageing Body

“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”

Eleanor Roosevelt 



I’ve never believed that skinny is more attractive than fat. Like my view on the word old, I do not consider the word fat as negative but more as describing a particular body type.


I was the skinny girl at school with the 'fat' best friend who I thought was the most pretty girl when we met at the age of 12. This girl grew up to be one of the most sexy and confident women I know. Her body filled out as the decades passed.


At the age of 16, my father brought a suitor to our house to meet me. He took one look at me and turned his nose up saying these words that stayed with me until now, "She's not pretty, she's too skinny".


I was the skinny one until my 40s. I recall being my skinniest those months after my hysterectomy with size 8 jeans dropping off me. 12 months later, in full-blown menopause, I was struggling to fit into an Australian size 12.


Over the past 10 years, the distress I would experience about my changing body would surprise even me. I had never weighed myself from the age of 15 and 48, suddenly my weight occupied a large amount of my thinking. What was going on?


I do not consider being larger to be less attractive but I mourn my previous body and struggle with its changing form.


Many women have concerns or frustrations about changes in their bodies as they age. Not every woman will be impacted by weight gain though many are.


Here are some common aspects that women may dislike or struggle with when it comes to their ageing bodies:

1. Wrinkles and Fine Lines: The appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on the face and skin is a common concern for many women as they age. These visible signs of ageing can affect self-esteem and confidence.

2. Sagging Skin: Loss of skin elasticity can lead to sagging skin, particularly around areas like the neck, arms, and abdomen. This change can be a source of frustration for women.

3. Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormonal levels during menopause can lead to symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and changes in weight distribution. These changes can impact a woman's physical and emotional well-being.

4. Weight Gain: Metabolism slows down with age, making it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it. Women may struggle with weight fluctuations and changes in body composition as they age.

5. Hair Changes: Hair may become thinner, greyer, or more brittle with age. Women may dislike these changes in hair texture and colour.

6. Changes in Breast Shape: The breasts may lose firmness and volume over time, leading to changes in shape and size. Women may feel self-conscious about these changes.

7. Changes in Muscle Mass and Bone Density: As women age, they may experience a decrease in muscle mass and bone density, leading to issues like osteoporosis and muscle weakness.


8. Varicose Veins and Spider Veins: The appearance of varicose veins and spider veins on the legs can be a cosmetic concern for many women.


We can accept that ageing is a natural process and that each of our bodies will go through changes unique to us but we may not like it.


Weight gain and loss of muscle mass are my two areas of concern. How about you?


Embracing the idea that beauty is skin deep, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and getting support from nutritionists, physical therapists, and other professionals can help us navigate the challenges and changes that come with ageing.


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