When you go through puberty, you’re told that your body is going to change. But puberty isn’t the only time our bodies change.
Nobody talks about how natural and healthy our life-long hormonal changes are — the ones that cause our skin to loosen and wrinkle; the ones that make the texture of our flesh lumpy and bumpy; the ones that alter our adipose tissue.
These changes to our bodies as we age are normal and they’re somewhat inevitable. And they’re nothing to be ashamed of.
Even more importantly, aging can be beautiful.
In order to see ourselves this way, we need to shed the societal messaging that aging is bad, and something we need to fight against. Our wrinkles are to be erased, our fat is to be hidden away or burned off.
Of course, you can partake in any aspects of beauty maintenance that feel right to you, but please know that you and your changing body are good enough.
To help prepare you and help you feel less alone, here’s a list of changes you may experience in your body as you age.
1. Your body shape may change.
This is totally normal. According to research, this is pretty typical, as a decrease in estrogen can cause women’s bodies to store more belly fat — even if we don’t gain weight.
2. Your hair and eyebrows may get thinner.
You can use products to lessen this effect, but if you notice it and your doctor thinks it’s just natural aging, please know this is very common and you can once again blame hormones!
This is so because the sex hormones that help stimulate follicle fibers are diminished and frequently there is a slight dominance of testosterone. Because of these aging and environmental changes, some hair follicles stop producing new hair altogether.
3. The skin and flesh under your arms may droop.
It’s physics and hormones. Things get loose. Yes, you can get ripped and try to lose weight, but your arms won’t look like they did when you were 22 and that is perfectly OK.
This will also likely happen to the skin on your back. It’s just life and is not a reflection of your health or well-being. It simply has to do with a loss of collagen in our bodies, as well as a decrease in overall muscle mass.
4. Your belly skin will likely change a lot.
This is especially true if your abdomen has grown a lot while pregnant.
But your skin may also lose tone, change texture, and become lumpy or uneven in ways you aren’t expecting even well after your kids are babies.
Again, it has to do with those pesky old hormones!
5. Your belly may fold or roll differently.
I don’t know why this happens, but it’s something more than just gaining weight or getting wrinkles. No doubt it has to do with collagen and muscle mass and hormones, like everything else.
Just know that it happens to almost everyone, and it’s perfectly fine!
6. Your boobs might droop or sag.
You can get them lifted or enhanced with plastic surgery, and if that’s meaningful to you, do it.
But your boobs are OK regardless. Just be sure you’re taking care of your breast health by seeing your doctor and following their advice as far as regular exams and mammograms.
7. It may be harder to maintain a lower BMI or lose weight.
If you’re interested in losing weight, it’ll be harder as you age. Again, it’s about hormones and metabolism and stuff.
Someone will try to lie to you and tell you that you’re just not putting in enough effort to be thin, but I say just flip them the bird (in your mind or in real life) and remember that people’s problems with your body are about them, not you.
8. You will get wrinkles.
The only way to avoid getting wrinkles is to die.
You can try to treat them with creams and chemical peels and that’s fine. You can even get major plastic surgery to make you look less wrinkled, but I personally don’t think it makes you look younger, just less wrinkly. Again, that’s your business.
Please know that your wrinkles are natural and you are still gorgeous.
No matter what you do, I guess my best advice is to try to love your skin and thank it for protecting your blood and guts for all these years.
9. Your lips may will get thinner.
Some people notice that their lips start looking less full as they age, and it’s probably true. That’s due to the loss of collagen and bone mass that support the look of full lips.
10. Your libido may be affected.
Dang hormones! Talk to your doctor; there may be ways to start feeling better, if this is an unwanted change. It can be particularly annoying if it’s caused by or exacerbated by vaginal issues, but doctors can often help and offer good ideas for how to recover.
Please note that each body is unique and will do its own thing. You may have all of these or none of these or even additional experiences that aren’t on this list. But no matter what, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone.