Both men and women are happier with their bodies after they reach the age of 60, according to a study.
Satisfaction with size, shape and appearance gradually increases as people age, with our recent years characterized by the highest levels of self-confidence, according to data from over 15,000 people .
While women aged 19 to 24 were prone to being unhappy with their bodies, they were much more satisfied with their appearance at age 60. Likewise, men suffered a drop in self-confidence between the ages of 29 and 34 and from the age of 44. to 49.
However, their self-esteem started to rise as they approached their 60th birthday and continued to rise.
Attitudes towards beauty ideals are central to our changing perceptions of our beauty over the course of our lives, the researchers found.
The pressure on both men and women to get the perfect body is believed to be the root cause of their loss of self-confidence.
This pressure and its impact on their self-esteem dissipates as they grow older, as they begin to view their health as more important than their appearance.
“These findings are also consistent with theoretical work suggesting that women place less importance on rating the appearance of their bodies as they age and that older people may value body function over body function. ‘bodily appearance,’ the study said.
“Like their female counterparts, aging men may prioritize bodily functionality over bodily appearance, which in turn may lessen dissatisfaction with appearance. “
Rapidly changing beauty ideals mean it’s hard for women to feel satisfied with their appearance when they’re younger, according to the study.
“The weight of contestants and winners of an American beauty pageant decreased persistently between 1958 and 1988,” he said. “And Playboy center-ply models got thinner and thinner between 1959 and 1988.
The researchers said that in recent years, both men and women have been exposed to the ‘fit’ ideal of a muscular, slender figure which can also damage self-confidence if it cannot be. hit.
Previous research on action figures has shown they got so big in recent years they “exceed the musculature of even the greatest human bodybuilders of the time,” according to the study.
Researchers from Australia and New Zealand asked 15,264 people aged 18 to 94 to rate how satisfied they were with their body image between 2010 and 2015.
Satisfaction was rated on a scale of one to seven. The average score for women was 4.052, while for men it was 4.413.
The increase in body confidence was more dramatic in women as they got older, while men tended to have a more positive overall attitude towards their body, which gradually improved over the years. years.
The researchers said this flies in the face of their prediction that “body dissatisfaction is relatively stable throughout women’s lives.”
The study was published in the journal Body image.