Body love over 60. Some of us have struggled with loving our physical selves in our early lives, only to come into blessed acceptance in our 40’s, 50’s, or even later (never too late!). One of the most often-cited advantages of aging is the acceptance that comes along with it. We understand that we are not and never will be perfect, and that our lives are worth living no matter what shape or age we are.
Being 60-something brings physical changes that challenge our body-love. The timing is good though – if these transformations happened when I was an insecure 17 year old, I might have taken to my bed and never left. I try to stave off some of the changes, with healthy diet and exercise, stretching, moisturizing and modern medicine. Fashion and style help a lot. Some changes I/we must learn to love if we want to be happy.
- Facial changes – probably the most obvious, and for me, the most challenging to learn to love. I don’t have many sun-wrinkles but I have smile lines and “crow’s feet” and “age spots”. I tell myself that a lifetime of laughing and adventure has bestowed these on me.
- Changing skin texture, e.g., on my upper arms and upper thighs. All the aerobics and weight training help keep me fit but the texture of the skin changes. It’s thinner and crepey. I baby it with lots of lotion and tell myself I ‘m happy to still have good muscles underneath.
- Feet that hurt. Angie from YouLookFab calls them “fussy feet.” These have let me know that the days of heels are over. Luckily, there are hundreds of fabulous low-heeled shoes and flats now that suit my needs. There are even websites devoted to fussy feet. Grandma had to resort to Orthopedic Shoes but I can have my Clarks!
- Thinning hair. This one’s been hard for me to love, as my hair’s been fine and rather thin all my life. I don’t want to lose any more. But by loosely following the Curly Girl method of natural hair care, I can have the illusion of fuller hair. I rarely shampoo, I don’t use heat for styling, and I let the curls go free.
- Changing body shape. I am still slim at 66, and likely to remain this way. But things have moved around and my middle is thicker than it was in my youth. Certain parts are moving south (I’m talking to you, breasts). But it’s still my body, it gets me around, and it’s pretty strong and healthy. So thanks, body.
“I stand in awe of my body.”–Henry David Thoreau
For me, the secret to body love in my 60’s is to respond to changes with “how interesting!” rather than “how terrible!” We all have been changing since birth. It’s been a natural progression, and if we’re really lucky it will keep happening for a few more decades.
What are your thoughts about loving your body? Is it a challenge, or do you come by it naturally?
“You define beauty yourself. Society doesn’t define your beauty.”–Lady Gaga
Stay fab, xo
Wear what you love, always. Here are some goodies to browse: