Looking Good, Feeling Great - How 'Looking Good' changes with age




bonnnie
12-06-2010, 04:42 AM
Yesterday I saw an acquaintance of mine, who was always curvy and slender - always healthy looking , at a party. Now, she is stick thin, no butt, sunken in cheeks, and she thinks she looks great.

My boyfriend has always said to me: you don't need to lose anymore weight! I like your curves and I don't want you to be stick thin.

I always thought - well, he is just saying that - I will obviously look better if I am thinner!

But, last night, seeing the 'new and skinny' version of this girl - I finally saw women through my boyfriends eyes! Her weight loss did not make her look better, in fact, it had the opposite effect. I noticed that my aesthetic preferences for the perfect body are changing as I am growing older. Now I find beautiful, glowing skin, healthy hair, and rounded, proportionate curves are preferred over skinny legs that don't touch in the middle.

Btw, I am 28. Has anyone else been going through this? It sort of makes life easier....


Ciao
12-06-2010, 07:41 AM
http://i845.photobucket.com/albums/ab15/JeMappelleSierra/Photography/divider-2.jpg
I've been thinking about how I
see beauty as well. I like a little
curve, slender legs that don't
touch in the middle. I want a
petite frame.

Everyone perceives beauty differently.
Your acquaintance truly does see herself
as beautiful. And I'm sure she's gotten
much criticism on how thin she is.
http://i845.photobucket.com/albums/ab15/JeMappelleSierra/Photography/divider-2.jpg

JOLINA
12-06-2010, 07:56 AM
When I weighed 125 my friends said I was too thin.

So I am going with that.
My goal is to go down to 135.

People can overdo weight loss.


Pint Sized Terror
12-06-2010, 10:13 AM
I think people place too much importance on what others think "looks good."

What I think looks good, and what you think looks good are probably different in some aspects.

On some people, being very thin suits them. My neighbor is a runner. She runs a LOT every day. She also eats very well and eats a whole diet. Nothing processed, low-cal, sugar-free etc... She is also VERY thin. The first time I met her I had to stifle a cringe, that's how thin she appeared. I thought she HAD to have an eating disorder because there's NO WAY someone looked like that... Well, she doesn't have one. She eats around 2000-2200 calories per day, and runs. That's it.

My point is, try not to judge people so harshly. What they do with their bodies is their business. Would you want someone coming up to you and saying, "Hey! You're clearly overweight. You should stop eating so much and work out!" Or would you want your friends talking about it behind your back? It's not ok to judge someone's weight whether you perceive them as too fat or too thin. It's not you, so let it be.

saef
12-06-2010, 11:07 AM
This is an aesthetic question; as such, it's like debating whether the Santa Fe style or the American Arts & Crafts style of decorating is inherently better than the English country house style of decorating, or whether plum is inherently a better color than turquoise.

You're using a particular criteria to judge beauty, which you hadn't applied before. As you put it: "I finally saw women through my boyfriends eyes!"

That is, whether the woman is sexually appealing to your boyfriend's taste, or perhaps, appealing in general to men.

Some women don't put that as their No. 1 priority in thinking out their appearance. They may, for example, decide on elegance, or maybe a sporty look, or an athletic look, or a gamine look. Or they might take their inspiration from a particular fashion of the past, or even images of women projected by a particular artist or a famous woman whom they admire & feel they resemble. For example, what if your ideal was to look like a Vermeer? Or a Renoir? Or a Vargas girl? What if your inspiration was Audrey Hepburn? Or Marlene Dietrich? These are all beauty ideals that don't prioritize projecting contemporary sexual attractiveness, or if they do, it may not be in a way that your average guy finds instantly visually compelling.

Weight and body shape play a big part in our image of ourselves that we're trying to project. With so many personae to choose from, we're all going to be very different from each other. Which is great. I wouldn't have wanted Jayne Mansfield to try to look like Audrey Hepburn, or Christina Hendricks of "Madmen" to look like Kate Moss. But I also wouldn't have wanted the reverse, either.

timkerbelle
12-06-2010, 11:28 AM
Now I could be reading things wrong, but I never go the impression that the OP was intending to criticise the other girl as such. Just to say that her tastes have changed.

I personally really love that there are so many different shapes and sizes and TASTES out there. My ideal for myself is probably way skinnier than most would like, but I know I would feel pretty and that's what matters.

As for the question the OP asks - no, I actually haven't had my ideal change much, other than perhaps wanting a slightly more "toned" body than I wanted previously. Skinny fat is out! :)

sisypheanme
12-06-2010, 12:59 PM
I do think tastes change as we age...but I also think that we all share different tastes. I personally feel better being "stick" thin. I like being able to put on small jeans and not have a muffin top hanging over. I love the fact that my thighs have a space between them. Your friend probably does think she looks great--and if she is within a healthy range and feels good, then that is what is best for her. Some men prefer curves and others prefer very tiny "stick" thin women.

Eliana
12-06-2010, 01:13 PM
No, my ideal has not changed and I wish it would!

mkendrick
12-06-2010, 01:47 PM
No, my ideal has not changed and I wish it would!

I just commented on this in your other thread, haha! And I'll say it again...

Quite frankly, I have been brainwashed by the media enough to have skinny = beautiful firmly planted in my head. I don't want to look like a skeleton, and I can absolutely recognize when somebody is too thin. But 99% of the time, I think a willowy delicate lithe look is more aesthetically pleasing than pleasantly plump. I wanted to be willowy waif, even at the risk of no longer being "curvy."

That said, I think it's important to point out that most guys' deifnition of "curvy" isn't the same as most women's. Most guys will say they like a curvy woman. But look at what they consider "curvy." Still a flat skinny stomach, slender legs, and overall a thin person. Just a thin person with proportionately large breasts and a booty. Women tend to think of "curvy" more along the lines of overall rounded and plumped and shapely.

Well, unless one has won the genetic jackpot or has the moolah for implants, not many women are going to fit the ideal "curvy," slim body with boobs and a butt. I certainly didn't. I got willowy, but I've never been a naturally curvy woman. My boobs were proportionately larger when I was larger, but they shrunk proportionately also. I've always had a hopelessly flat butt.

Ultimately, I agree that beauty should be determined by personal preference and radiance. My skin is healthy, my hair is shiny and thick, I have energy and confidence, and I feel good about myself. There is no single body type that will please everyone. All we can do is strive to please ourselves and be healthy.

LiannaKole
12-06-2010, 02:57 PM
I think for me it depends on if I'm talking about myself or another person. If it's someone else, it varies WILDLY. Like, I think Christina Hendricks is gorgeous and Ann Ward is oddly beautiful (at first I thought she was weird-looking, but it's natural and so I got over that).

For me, it's about how I feel and how I want to feel. Even if I could, I don't want to be as thin as Ann Ward - no way. But even if I could, I also don't want to be as curvy as Christina Hendricks. For myself, my ideal is to be very slender and narrow. Not bag of bones, just as small as I can healthily be.

And I agree with Eliana - I wish my ideal would change to something more average, but alas it has not. So, I'm going to try for my ideal.

krampus
12-06-2010, 09:54 PM
Hasn't changed for me but I have still yet to get a laugh line, crow's foot, or grey hair.

Different people look great with different bodies, just like saef said.

From a different perspective..."Real men like curves/real women have curves" seems to be the tagline in America these days. Whether people actually believe that or are just trying to justify the country's weight problem is a mystery to me but I sort of cringe every time I hear that. Especially as a foreign woman living in Japan I hear a LOT of body-bashing of the locals going on by jealous/insecure Western women. Stuff like "they look like little boys," trash-talking the fact that the best-selling bra size here is 32A, and "men who like Asian girls are pedos" pops up again and again.

How about "real men like all types/real women come in all shapes?" I like that one better.

To the OP - let your friend be happy and keep your opinions to yourself. Even if you think she looks bad, she thinks she looks great and probably feels more confident and sexy than ever.

Pint Sized Terror
12-06-2010, 10:19 PM
krampus, I actually think the Asian body type is very cute!:o

krampus
12-06-2010, 10:34 PM
I do too. Too bad my body thinks I've got DDs and a gigantic a$$ to offset my midsection pudge XD

katy trail
12-06-2010, 10:35 PM
I do think tastes change as we age...but I also think that we all share different tastes. I personally feel better being "stick" thin. I like being able to put on small jeans and not have a muffin top hanging over. I love the fact that my thighs have a space between them. Your friend probably does think she looks great--and if she is within a healthy range and feels good, then that is what is best for her. Some men prefer curves and others prefer very tiny "stick" thin women.

ok, i don't think the difference between being curvy and having a muffin top have anything to do with eachother...i don't get where that's coming from? of course all of us know that muffin top look doesn't work on anyone. when i think either curvy or stick thin i think healthy fairly flat middle. the difference is in many other ways. some of us really are meant to be very slender.

this is really completely 2 different body types. ectomorph and mesomorph, i think. ecto is the ballerina, model types. small bust, lean and long. difficult to gain muscle and fat. meso gains muscle and fat easily, and in my case, curvy. these people have potential to be body builders.

bonnnie
12-07-2010, 01:37 AM
Krampus: I certainly would never say anything to her about my opinion, that she looked better before. That is why this website is a good outlet!

And Saef: I feel like I could also put "my Mother" in place of "my Boyfriend". I really agree with the point you brought out about Christina Hendricks looks best as she is, and Kate Moss looks best as she is.

Quite personally, I don't think curvy means plump at all. And, I also don't think saying "Curvy is good" is a way to justify a weight problem.

I think I have always been brainwashed in a bad way by media images - ever since I was young and overweight I thought the only way to be pretty was to be very thin. Well, that is really hard to get to. I did it once or twice and my mom would say: Actually, I think you looked better ten pounds ago. But, I never believed her, I couldn't see it.

But over the last year, I notice that my preferences for myself and how I see others is somewhat changing. And, I find that change to be quite liberating.

Yes, I will still monitor my food intake and jog regularly - but, I'm actually seeing, at my height and weight, that I am not stick thin - but am also certainly not pleasantly plump - I look fine.

When I saw this girl - who always looked great before - look not as radiant and a bit sunken in after weight loss - something clicked inside me. It was like I was my Mother and I was looking at myself 2 years ago.

After posting this - I think I realized I don't express my thoughts in friendly-enough female writing style. I seem to come off a bit mean. I think I will just stick to writing threads about calories, that is safer! regardless- thank you for your input, it gave me a lot to think about.

katy trail
12-07-2010, 02:40 AM
i thought it was just fine!

krampus
12-07-2010, 11:25 PM
Yeah, it's not hostile or mean at all - sorry if anything other people said made you think otherwise.

The ability to be able to feel confident and healthy in your own skin at a middling weight is something I think most people wish they could achieve - elsewise we wouldn't be posting on 3FC ;)

AR4life
12-07-2010, 11:35 PM
I think your post was fine too, I understood what you were saying. :)

We sometimes get in our head a number that we'd like to be and don't notice how we may look when we get there. Sunken cheeks doesn't sound like a healthy look to me.

We battle our vision of ourself whether we are large or small, our brains can trick us.

losermom
12-08-2010, 09:02 AM
I thought your post sounded fine too. I know that when I was 15 lbs heavier everyone kept telling me to stop losing. Admittedly, my face was gaunt at that time, but I continued to slowly lose to this point--about 6 months. Over that time my face filled out again and the comments stopped too. I don't think my experience is unusual at all. We are all different. My mom still thinks I'm too thin and was surprised when I told her what I weigh. She felt that I probably weighed 15 lbs less than I do (probably the weight training).

mkendrick
12-08-2010, 10:35 AM
I also thought your post was fine :) It's no secret that most of us our ladies with weight issues...insecurities about body image and the ideal weight thing are definitely "hot topics." I absolutely understood what you meant. I don't think any of us can deny that it's possible to lose weight past the point of being healthy, and that is not attractive. I know where I personally get frustrated when thinking about this topic is the statement of "real women have curves" or the blanket statement that "men prefer women with some meat." That's as damaging as saying things like "only skinny women are beautiful" and "men prefer skinny chicks." Because as it has been said over and over, real women AND beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and the men of the world have vastly wide preferences in female body types.

Aaaanyways. Losermom, your anecdote of your mother reminded me of a situation I have with my fiance's aunt. She's this tiny 4'10 Japanese lady (his uncle was a soldier and met/married her in Japan) who never fails to speak her mind. Before I lost weight, she once asked if my entire family was obese like me...in front of everyone. And she'd always poke my chub and call me "too soft." She honestly didn't mean it as an insult, just observations. Well now that I'm thin, it's just the opposite. She's always ranting and ragging on me for looking like I'm starved. She asked how much I weighed, and I told her 125lbs. She said "that's too fat!!!" She didn't make the connection that 125lbs looks a lot different on somebody who is 5'7 than it would on her itty bitty self. If I weighed 90lbs like her, you wouldn't be able to see me from the side, lol, I'd disappear.

Nola Celeste
12-08-2010, 05:49 PM
I wish I could go back in time and give my tweenish self a hug and show her some pictures of Katy Perry. I'm in my forties, so the ideal body shape of my formative years was a fair bit more restrictive than it is today. Now we see women with a lot of different body types showcased as beautiful, but there was a lot more uniformity then. If your cheekbones weren't visible, you just weren't trying hard enough.

Thin was in--and that meant everything else was out. Madonna was actually a shock to me in the early '80s because she looked...well, she looked pudgy compared to the Farrah Fawcett/Cheryl Tiegs body types that were everywhere just a few years earlier. (She wasn't pudgy, of course; she just had a compact, athletic body instead of the thin, willowy type of the late '70s.)

The single best thing anyone can do for herself (or himself, for that matter) to improve body image is taking an art appreciation class. The apple-breasted, wide-hipped medieval nudes had convex bellies and hairlines plucked back to their ears. Titian's and Rubens' women had legs like tree-trunks and back fat. Henry VIII was proud of his massive calves and made sure they were featured prominently in his portraiture. Degas' dancers were taut, elegant, and athletic. Modigliani's women were as slender as knives and Egon Schiele's were downright bony. And all of them are art.

No matter what you look like, someone somewhere from some time considered your body type the hottest shape on the planet. We're actually pretty lucky that right now, there are a lot of "in" looks to emulate; there is no one ideal right now.

krampus
12-09-2010, 12:47 AM
Nola, I can't even imagine the issues I'd have if I grew up during the underw-eighties (HAR HAR, wow that was possibly the least funny pun I've ever made, apologies). I love love love that now it's possible for many body types to be viewed as beautiful.

I will say overall probably almost 75% of American women idealize the approx. size 4 "slim but toned" shape we are taught via mass media is healthy and good looking. If you read lists of female celebrity measurements they're almost all within a couple inches of each other. Just like how in Asia every single female celebrity's weight is listed as between 88 and 105 lbs. *eye roll*

katy trail
12-09-2010, 01:04 AM
well i guess i'm unusual lol. i idolize my former self! ha! well in my dream thats with an athletic 150 ish bod. (my freshman hs wt) but i'm already there as in where i used to be. i'm practically at my highschool weight now lol! well..maybe 10-15 to go. oh well. my first thought when i read that post, i'm it now! as much as i complain, its so much better to be at this size than going up, with more muscle this time ;D

Nola Celeste
12-09-2010, 03:20 AM
Krampus, I love nothing more than a good ****ty pun, so I am totally delighted with underw-eighties. :D

It's fantastic that there's so much more latitude now, that people don't automatically look at a rounder body and say "ew, fat!" or at a narrower body and say "ew, skinny!" There are a lot more kinds of pretty in the world today, which is awesome.

I wish people could...I don't know, switch places with each other or magically shape-change or something. It'd be fascinating to know what it felt like to be 88 pounds or to be 6'4" and 300 pounds of muscle holding down the offensive line or to be an Olympic swimmer.

Guess I'll have to settle for subtler transformations in the real world. :)

Petite Powerhouse
12-21-2010, 09:29 PM
I'm one who has never found thighs touching to be especially attractive. When mine stopped touching I was elated. I'd still choose not to have my thighs touch even if my BF, whom I adore, preferred that they did. But, that said, it can be taken too far. There's a middle ground for me.

That's what I like. And that's really all that matters to me.

As far as curves go, I appreciate many different body types, and I find that thin women and fuller women both can have great curves. I've also seen tall, thin women with a minimum of curve that looked regal. They rocked their body type. Me, I'm into muscle, but I can still appreciate certain willowy women, tall or short. I think Asians are lovely, for example.

As for ideals changing, I'm 37 and have always liked the same kinds of body types.

Shmead
12-21-2010, 10:33 PM
It's fantastic that there's so much more latitude now, that people don't automatically look at a rounder body and say "ew, fat!" or at a narrower body and say "ew, skinny!" There are a lot more kinds of pretty in the world today, which is awesome.

I don't think there is more latitude now. I think that THIS is what changes as we age--we become more accepting of a wider range of beauty. I teach high school and my girls there still all want the exact same body type--as thin as they can get.

I think this broadening of tastes as we age is fairly normal. When I look back at myself in high school, there was one type of guy I found cute. Anything different than that ideal was "meh". Now, there are all kinds of men I find attractive, and many of them look very different from each other.

Children assume that something has to be "the best" and that makes everything else inferior. It takes the perspective of adulthood to appreciate how things can be different as cheese and chalk but still both pleasing.

Nola Celeste
12-21-2010, 11:35 PM
Hmm...yeah, you're right, maybe it's MY perspective that has broadened (along with my hips ;) ) rather than a general expansion of ideals of beauty.

On the other hand, I can't think of any '70s and '80s sex symbols who were analogous to Katy Perry, Dita von Teese, or Christina Hendricks--that more voluptuous or hourglass-like body type seemed to disappear altogether. Maybe that's part of my own skewed view, though, and maybe I looked around and only saw the reed-thin bodies because that was what I wished I could be.

You're absolutely right about having only one ideal. I remember having that perspective. I think I lost that outlook in my mid-20s, more in self-defense than anything else.

4xcharm
12-22-2010, 11:21 AM
Hot topics are fun! But to me, sometimes "curvy" is actually describing "lumpy". However, nothing is more beautiful than vibrant, good health....no matter what the shape.

Petite Powerhouse
12-22-2010, 12:10 PM
Hot topics are fun! But to me, sometimes "curvy" is actually describing "lumpy".

LOL! And, um, yeah: I couldn't agree with this more.

Shmead
12-22-2010, 05:12 PM
LOL! And, um, yeah: I couldn't agree with this more.

Yes, but at 34 I can understand that lumpy can be pretty good in bed, and that a man can enjoy a shapely butt and rack and just . . .not pay attention . . .to the lower stomach roll. At 16, I though, literally, that no man would ever want me if I wasn't perfect, with perfect being "can't pinch an inch anywhere except the boobs--and they better be standing tall". Like, I thought a guy would vomit if he saw me naked because I had a non-flat stomach. And I don't mean a big, saggy stomach--just one that was a little convex.

Now I can see a woman (or a man) with a few areas that could be better, and still think the overall person is hot as ****. As a teen, that was unthinkable: if you weren't perfect, you were an object of pity at best and scorn at worst.

ringmaster
12-22-2010, 08:30 PM
I'm on the edge of turning 30 and it hasn't changed much. I've never really had the big boobs and booty that are needed to be considered curvy and since I put more weight in my middle and I have a small/medium frame I know I need to get down to a lower weight. I agree that when men say they like curves it tends to mean big boobs and butt/hips/thighs

My ideal weight is still the same as I wanted in my teens :o only thing that has changed is I want to be more toned and strong looking now because I realized being skinny fat and untoned doesn't look good, especially as I get older.

Mudpie
01-17-2011, 08:54 AM
Anyone watch "Lost Girl"? The primary actress (sexist I know, I know) Anna Silk is my definition of curvy. Her sidekick (character's name is Kenzie) is my definition of stick thin.

I prefer curvy/athletic. For me that has been the norm for my body all my life and I like it. I am 5'4" and I weigh 135 lbs. I will never be 5'8" and weigh 120 lbs. and I don't want to. I would be happy to lose another 5 lbs. but I won't obsess about it if I don't.

I'm almost 54 now and I started forgiving all sorts of small flaws in my 40's. I have a small pot belly - no big deal. My thighs are a little big - ditto.

I am very healthy and quite muscular and that's just fine with me.

Dagmar :cb:

Magrat
01-17-2011, 09:56 AM
I wish I could go back in time and give my tweenish self a hug and show her some pictures of Katy Perry. I'm in my forties, so the ideal body shape of my formative years was a fair bit more restrictive than it is today. Now we see women with a lot of different body types showcased as beautiful, but there was a lot more uniformity then. If your cheekbones weren't visible, you just weren't trying hard enough.

Thin was in--and that meant everything else was out. Madonna was actually a shock to me in the early '80s because she looked...well, she looked pudgy compared to the Farrah Fawcett/Cheryl Tiegs body types that were everywhere just a few years earlier. (She wasn't pudgy, of course; she just had a compact, athletic body instead of the thin, willowy type of the late '70s.)

I remember thinking Madonna was a bit chunky when she started out and I wasn't surprised at all when she got thinner a few years later.

Even though I'm older ( just turned 50, gah!) the body type I aspire to hasn't changed since I was a teenager. I want to be slim-hipped, small-busted and narrow legged, with minimal body fat and a flat stomach.

rosababe
01-20-2011, 02:34 AM
People will be more beautiful when she is confident.
Health is the most important thing. Forget about fat or thin.

Petite Powerhouse
01-22-2011, 06:14 PM
Anyone watch "Lost Girl"? The primary actress (sexist I know, I know) Anna Silk is my definition of curvy. Her sidekick (character's name is Kenzie) is my definition of stick thin.

I prefer curvy/athletic. For me that has been the norm for my body all my life and I like it. I am 5'4" and I weigh 135 lbs. I will never be 5'8" and weigh 120 lbs. and I don't want to. I would be happy to lose another 5 lbs. but I won't obsess about it if I don't.

I'm almost 54 now and I started forgiving all sorts of small flaws in my 40's. I have a small pot belly - no big deal. My thighs are a little big - ditto.

I am very healthy and quite muscular and that's just fine with me.

Dagmar :cb:

Anna Silk was born in 1974. She's just shy of 37: she's a woman grown. Ksiena Solo was born in 1987. Solo is just 23 years old. Women are still growing into their bodies at 23. We tend to keep growing until we are about 25.

Michou
01-23-2011, 09:33 PM
i am 53, I cannot have the body of a 12 years old and would not want one either. I had 2 children so the hips went a little wider but in general it goes with the rest. I weight now 134 measure 5,1. My measurement are 35, 25, 37 which following my weight loss and body building make me feel quite good. Now focussing on loosing another 10 pounds.