Many women today have grown up with constant pressures from society telling them to be beautiful, thin and perfect. These pressures can come from many different places, including family, friends, peers, and possibly the most influential and constant pressure of them all: the media. All of these pressures can add up to a lot of self-hate and negative body image. When a woman is constantly told from many different sources that she needs to be thinner, have bigger breasts, wear more or less makeup or even alter her face to prevent natural aging, she starts to believe these pressures and tries to conform to them. She may try dangerous dieting methods, such as pills, she may get breast implants, spend hundreds of dollars on makeup and she may try plastic surgery. Growing up in a society where looks are everything and women over 40 tend to be regarded as “old” and less worthy can create a hostile attitude toward the natural process of aging. Aging should be a beautiful thing but women often do everything in their power to prevent this process from happing, including dying the gray out of her hair or getting Botox.
The older women get the less valuable they may feel towards society because the media features mostly young women. According to beautyredefined.net, 62 percent of the female population in America is older than 40, but the media shows older men 10 times more than they show older women. Beauty Redefined also had a graph that showed Liam Neeson’s love interest’s ages in movies while he aged. As he aged, his love interests seemed to get younger, despite the fact that there are plenty of female actors over 40 that could play his age appropriate love interest.
photo source: Vulture.com
Women over 40 need to understand that aging is natural, they do not become invisible to society with age, and they are important without Botox and hair dye. Although it is easier said than done, changing one’s mentality about their body is possible. Companies like Dove are dedicated to showing women their worth and beauty despite the media’s narrow representation of beauty. While there are ways to change how women think about their bodies, it would be easier to teach positive body love to girls of a young age and prevent dissatisfaction from the start. It is so important that women love their bodies so they can teach the young girls in their life to do the same.