Fit vs. Fiction's Blog

But I used to be HOT!

It’s not surprising to hear that young girls are feeling pressured to live up to the unrealistic expectations thrown at them by the media and society concerning how they look. They are struggling to be prettier, sexier and certainly thinner. What is surprising, however, is the increasing number of women over 40, who are struggling with the same issue. Intelligent, capable, beautiful women, who are raising children, running households and/or businesses who, for some reason, just aren’t feeling like they measure up; not to other women and not to the women they themselves used to be. Why is that? Some say it’s a basic fear of aging; of not turning as many heads when they walk down the street. No matter how much they’ve accomplished, if they can’t fit into their wedding dresses from 15 years ago, or squeeze into those favorite pair of jeans from a few summers back, they somehow feel like failures. Believe me; I know exactly how that feels. I have found myself near panic at the thought of family vacations where a bathing suit would be required and I’ve held on to clothes that were several sizes too small, “just in case” I ever lost the extra few pounds I put on over the last few years. It took me until I turned 40 to realize that the only thing wrong with me was that I thought there was something wrong with me.

Luckily, it finally dawned on me. I’m not the fabulous woman I am despite my age; I’m fabulous because of it. My body has become a little softer and a little rounder, but so has my life. As we get older, we have lived and learned so much, why we would we ever want to go backwards? I’m not the same person emotionally or psychologically that I was 20 years ago, so why should I expect to be the same person physcally. I don’t feel, think or act the way I did when I was younger so why would I look the same? Do I miss my super toned tummy and killer biceps? Maybe once in a very long while, But it doesn’t last long. I know that I have earned every curve and laugh line and I’m a better friend, partner and mother because of it. We need to embrace our older, wiser selves and realize that our beauty isn’t fading, it’s just getting deeper embedded into who we are.

In case you think this is just a “chick thing”, rest assured, men our age are starting to feel the weight of society’s obsession with youth and beauty as well. Research shows that in the last 2 decades, the number of men openly admitting to feeling dissatisfied with their physical appearance has tripled! Plastic surgery for men is at an all time high. One theory claims that it’s due in part to equality of the sexes. Now that women can do everything that men can, the one area where they can still excel in is strength. If they aren’t the strongest and most powerful specimens they can be, they feel their masculinity is threatened.

We tell our kids from the time that they’re born not to judge a book by its cover and that the most important beauty comes from who we are not what we look like, and we believe it, for them. Now is the time to reclaim that power for ourselves. Believe in ourselves again, stop looking back and be proud of who we are right now, no excuses, no apologies. We deserve it.


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