11/28/2022 | By Charlie Fletcher

The struggle with body image can haunt people young and old, but the aging process can make loving one’s body even more challenging. Writer Charlie Fletcher offers ideas on embracing body positivity as a senior.

Many of us dread aging. Besides concern about potential mental or physical decline, they are anxious about changing appearances due to the inevitable repercussions of the passing of time. A recent study found that “around one in five adults aged 55+ felt anxious (20%) or depressed (23%)” about their body image. As such, significant mental health consequences arise from our relationships with our aging bodies.

There is no easy answer to addressing this issue – possibly an issue that you have wrestled with since your youth. However, embracing body positivity can have a valuable impact on your attitude. Learning to appreciate, celebrate, and accept your older body may shift your outlook in mentally healthy ways.

So, let’s consider a few ideas for embracing body positivity as a senior.

Accept change

First, accept the reality of the aging process and of change. Change is a natural part of life, so one of your most body-positive activities is to find ways to accept and even appreciate some of these changes.

In essence, this is a matter of perspective. It’s about recognizing that the signs of aging are also signs of the life you’ve led. You’ve been fortunate enough to reach the point at which you have the privilege to see yourself in a more mature state.

Related: Older women, body image, and ‘Leo Grande’

This doesn’t mean you have to be unrealistic about the fact that there are some difficult aspects of aging. Rather, it’s about recognizing that not every aspect of getting older is negative. It’s learning to manage the transition so that you tackle the challenging parts while celebrating the life-affirming parts.

Understand your physical health

senior woman at home making a salad. Photo by Noriko Cooper. Body image issues are ageless but aging can make loving one’s body more challenging. These ideas aid achieving body positivity as a senior.

To embrace body positivity effectively, it’s helpful to understand your physical health. This helps you to make more informed decisions about your lifestyle, thus enhancing the positivity about your body by minimizing your risks and obstacles.

This may include being vigilant about what elements can influence your well-being as you age. For instance, 41% of women over the age of 50 experience varicose veins. Alongside aging itself, standing or sitting for long periods of time, obesity, and sun exposure can exacerbate this condition. By recognizing health influences like this, you’re better able to adjust to minimize issues.

Related: Healthy skin from the inside out

Empower yourself

Your body positivity can suffer if you feel powerless. Fortunately, there are ways you can embrace the aging process while also making mindful alterations. Body positivity isn’t necessarily about simply assuming changes are beyond your control. Rather, it can mean feeling empowered to respond to your body’s changes with actions that make you feel better about them. For example, you could get smaller hearing aids to give you a boost of confidence and make fashion choices that complement your changing body shape.

Body positivity can help you to maintain mentally healthy perspectives on your self-image as you age. Your first step is to learn to accept the changes you’re experiencing and even celebrate some of them. It’s also vital to recognize and address elements that negatively influence your physical health. You should also take opportunities to empower yourself by taking control of aspects you can affect. Rather than wishing you could turn back the clock, embracing what is positive about yourself can enhance your experience of aging.

Charlie Fletcher

Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees” – Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and search for the truth. You can find more of her writing at