View Your Body As If You Were 80

Irene Sinclair models for the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty
Irene Sinclair models for the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

By Sharon Haywood, Co-Editor

“What would your 80-year-old self say if she saw you right now?” I love this question. I thank Julie M. Green for posing it in her piece at Real Zest. Do you believe when you reach 80 that you’ll look back of photos of yourself at 20, 30, 40 or even 50 and think:

“Look at that paunch! I really should have done more sit-ups.”

“Why didn’t I get a breast lift?”

“What was I thinking? I should have never gone out in public wearing a bikini!”

Or do you think your inner dialogue at 80 would probably sound something more like:

“Why did I obsess so much over my belly? I could have eaten more chocolate.”

“I didn’t realize I looked so good.”

“I really should have gone to the beach more.”

Today at 40-something, when I look at pictures of myself in my teens and twenties I can’t help but be saddened. My self-image was so distorted. I looked in the mirror and saw a young woman who was obese, when in fact I was nowhere near it. And even when I was at my highest weight, I can now look at my plus-size photos and see beauty. When I find myself reverting back to hating on my body, I call on what Green refers to as my “inner octogenarian” to shake me back to reality. In 40 years when I’m in my 80s, I have little doubt I will care how wide my backside is or how much my underarms jiggle.

How about you?

Read Green’s thoughtful post, What Would Your 80-Year-Old Self Say? at Real Zest.

Related content:

The Lowdown on Aging

Seeing Beauty in All: Over-40 Nudes

Face It! – What Women Really Feel as Their Looks Change, The Book

Huff Post Highlights Beautiful Older Women

Cougars: Unfortunately Coming to a Town Near You

The Old and Tired

Older Leading Ladies and the Evolution of Hollywood

4 thoughts on “View Your Body As If You Were 80

  1. As a brand new 70-year old who has been doing yoga three or four times a week for the past seven months, I am extraordinarily proud of the my newly strong, flexible, and shapely body. I do, however, forgive myself for years of neglecting conscientious care of my body. As a driven professional woman, so little time and energy were left to devote to a regular exercise routine. I did what was needed and required of me then, so I readily accept my chubbier self then. But now that I am retired, I plan never to shirk good care of my physical self. At 80, 90, 100 and beyond, I plan to be my very best active self. Look out world, here Carol comes! Briskly!

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