Here is a brief look at an Australian body image related radio broadcast (ABC Local Radio special).
Presented by Richard Stubbs and Richelle Hunt, the programme discussed with Professor Susan Paxton ( La Trobe University School of Psychological Science), the findings of her study into body image and disordered eating for women aged thirty and above.
One of Professor Paxton’s main findings is that body image pressures did not decrease and may increase as women get older.
"When you think about it we have a very young ideal”, she said continuing:
"Work that has been conducted in South Australia shows that there are almost the same amount of disordered eating symptoms in people in the 45 - 54 age group as there are in the 20 to 30 year old group.
"In fact people are growing older with their problems."
In response to Richelle Hunt’s comments that the issue was extremely challenging and difficult to ignore, despite an individuals better judgement, Professor Paxton replied:
"You have that rational part of your brain that doesn't want to think like that. What you get frustrated with is that you are thinking like that when you know when you shouldn't."
She added that the people, who were happiest with their body image, were those who had learnt to accept age related changes.
A women in the over 50 and over age group who the professor interviewed for the study, is a good example of an individual is this group:
"As I passed the 50 stage I thought there's no point in being conscious of it because that's the way you are. You're healthy and that's far more important than thinking about how you look compared to other people.
"It puts things in perspective when you have friends that are dying of cancer. Your body image goes out the window."
Facebook responses (many) to the show included:
Mary: "I'm 55. I look in the mirror some mornings and don't recognise the person looking back. I still feel 18 but the mirror tells me different.
"Age is a state of mind... when you feel good you look good... when feel down you look it. The mind is the most powerful beauty tool in your makeup bag."
Leah: Wants "to be a role model for them [her daughters], and teach them their worth is not based on their looks, and we are all perfectly ourselves.
Then commenting on her own journey to self acceptance Leah said:
"When I had a better body 20 years ago I was obsessed with its flaws, and what others thought. Now I have many many more "imperfections" and I can't say I embrace them but I do my best to accept them and rock whatever outfit I choose for the day."