Body Image and Age

April 18, 2016

You will be irresistible forever because beauty does not depend on age. And neither does worth. It depends on ourselves, on the way we present our feelings. We have a very bad habit of judging the worth of other people, and ourselves, based on beauty.

Body image is a psychological construct, or a set of perceptions that constitute how we view and imagine our bodies. It’s not how we see ourselves, but rather how we feel when we look at ourselves, when we evaluate our bodily essence.

It’s pretty common to struggle with one’s body image, feel uncomfortable with one’s body, and harbor negative feelings towards one’s body.

We’re much more than just a container or a vessel, or the idealizations of beauty that are habitually imposed on us by the people and the media.

body and vine

The halo effect, or the charm of beauty

The idea of body image is often linked to the “halo effect.” As a result of this effect, we attribute positive personality traits to people who appear to us to be beautiful.

This type of mental shortcut works as a kind of psychological enchantment. We make generalizations that people who look beautiful to us are much more friendly, honorable, and respectable than those who do not seem beautiful.

This idea may push us to try even harder to meet the ideals of beauty that we construct. Because the further we go from those ideals, like aging for example, the more negative personality traits people will attribute to us. In other words, if society tells us that wrinkles are not beautiful, how are we going to think that old age is positive?

The halo effect is one of the issues that makes us feel stuck in our bodies when we age.

old woman looking in the mirror

The charm of mature beauty

Mature beauty has no reason to envy youthful beauty because if you’re beautiful, you are beautiful regardless of the stage of life you’re in. Feeling irresistibly beautiful is a very personal experience that depends on our own attitudes, thoughts, feelings, evaluations, and behaviors.

rainy window

How we perceive, imagine, feel, and act regarding our bodies determines how we’ll behave and how we’ll think about ourselves in relation to others. If we have a negative body image:

  • We will wrongfully evaluate our bodies; we won’t see our body parts as they are.
  • We’ll be convinced that only other people are attractive, and we’ll evaluate their appearance as a refection of success and personal worth, which will devalue our own positive qualities.
  • We’ll be embarrassed about our bodies.
  • We’ll feel anxiety over our bodies.
  • We won’t accept ourselves or feel emotionally balanced.

But when we have a positive body image, we’ll share the following characteristics:

  • We’ll have a clear and true perception of our bodies.
  • We’ll understand that one’s physical appearance says little about their character and personal worth.
  • We’ll feel secure in ourselves and have a healthy self-esteem.
catching confetti

The secret is to conquer your fear of your body image

If you think your body image is negative, there are a lot of things you can do to change that. Always remember that a negative body image does not reflect how we see ourselves, but rather how we feel about our bodies.

To turn this negativity into positivity, you can talk to someone you trust about how you feel towards your body, or you can ask for professional help from a therapist.

Remember that the world gives us very limited definitions of beauty, and that health and appearance are very different things. So the bottom line is to treat both your body and your mind well, because that’s the only way you’ll feel comfortable with yourself.