Body image, aging and the need for recognition (#reblog, #bloglove)

This week I turned 59. At another time in history I might find myself fretting over the fact that I’m nearly 60, hitting another decade, feeling the need to reassess or reconfirm my identity as still firmly connected to younger me.

This year, though, at this time in history, my feelings on turning 59 are different. They are gratitude that this body made it through an awful year of loss; hope, now that we have a vaccine (I got a J&J shot Friday!); and love for all the people and places that I’m connected to.

In this blog post from 2019, I wrote about some studies on self-image, bodies, and the experiences of aging. Take a look. I still believe what I wrote then. Two years and one pandemic later, though, I’m rethinking what it means to be seen as I age. I’m now including being seen as both vulnerable and valuable—yeah, I want people to see those things in me, too, as well as my contributions to the world.

I hope you all enjoy taking a moment to think about yourselves, your bodies, and what the past two years has meant for you in terms of what you want for yourselves.



Content warning: This post mentions studies on negative body image, suicidal ideation, self harm, and negative self-esteem.

Now to the post proper:

The Mental Health Foundation Scotland released a report recently about body image, which included a poll about how Scots feel about their bodies. It was covered in the news here.

The poll – which was published as part of a report “Body Image: How we think and feel about our bodies” – also found that just over on third of all adults said they have felt anxious because of their body image. 

And a quarter adults have felt “disgusted” because of their body image in the last year, while nearly a quarter said they had felt “shame”. 

The poll found that body image issues affected women more than men, with 11 per cent saying they have “deliberately hurt themselves” because of their body image, compared to 4…

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