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Body Image Issues of Women Over 50

  • Joan C. Chrisler

Abstract

In her poem I Met a Woman Who Wasn’t There, Marge Piercy (2006) described a common sensation experienced by midlife women: the transition from visibility to invisibility. In cultures in which notions of beauty and femininity are closely tied to youth, there comes a point when women, no matter how healthy, well groomed, and nicely attired they are, can pass by without attracting the attention of men or younger women. The point at which this happens no doubt differs for different women, but anecdotal evidence suggests that it is around age 50 when women, particularlywomen who had previously been praised as beautiful, suddenly realize that no one is looking at them anymore. This realization is a shock, but then what happens? Some women seem to react with relief—there is no longer any need to dress up and make up in order to impress; they can relax and simply be themselves. Other women panic—those who can afford it seek out cosmetic surgeons, personal trainers, and others who earn a living that derives in large part from the fear of aging. Is there any way to predict which women will react which way? How do women feel about the changes that accompany aging? How well or poorly do they adjust to those changes? These are some of the topics this chapter will address.

Keywords

Body Image Eating Disorder Body Dissatisfaction Body Image Concern Body Esteem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • Joan C. Chrisler

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