Younger women have more anxieties about their attractiveness and the ageing process than the over 40s, scientist says.
And this preoccupation with wrinkles and concern for age-related health problems is having an impact on their emotional wellbeing.
Conversely, middle-aged women – who have a lot more positive attitude about their looks and health – enhance their welfare by embracing this youthful approach.
The US research also claim that the ‘marginalisation of older women’ can have repercussions for women of all ages, which means it’s having an impact on our emotional wellbeing long before we reach old age.
The study found that it was the anticipation of getting older – and what this meant to the young women’s attractiveness – that had the biggest effect on how they felt.
The scientists suggest that increasing the number of older women in high profile jobs within the media and politics and so on – who would be seen as role models – could reverse this trend.
The research also suggested that women became more age discrepant the older they became – so, a 45-year-old woman might say she feels 40, when asked, and a 75-year-old would say 65.
More than 3,000 women aged between 25 and 74 were surveyed twice, first in 1995-1996 and then again 10 years later between 2004-2006
The researchers used women in their study, they say, because women face more age discrimination in the workplace and feel more pressure to hide the signs of ageing.
Interestingly, this report comes hot on the heels of news that an increasing number of women over 65 are embracing cosmetic treatments to reverse the physical effects of ageing.
Many cosmetic surgeons suggest that with baby boomer generation now turning 65, there are much more people in this age bracket with money in their pockets to spend.
This comes at a time when cosmetic procedures are becoming increasingly acceptable, thanks largely to TV makeover shows and the boom in social media posts by celebrities sharing photos of their cosmetic surgery results.
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