A Changing Body Is Not A Ruined Body

It’s completely normal for our bodies to change as we age, grow and have various life experiences, good and bad. But we’ve got it into our heads that our bodies aren’t meant to change as society seems to demonise changed bodies and puts unrealistic pressure on us to remain young, wrinkle-free, void of grey hairs and slim for our whole lives, which is completely impossible and largely aimed at women.
Even at the age of just 20, I put ridiculous pressure on my body to look like it would if I was 13, which is ludicrous of me to expect my body to have not changed in that period of time, especially after going through puberty. A changed body is not “spoiled” or “unnatural.” For older women, the pressure is even more intense. I realised recently that I have never once seen an advertisement for an anti-ageing product for men yet, somehow, every time I switch on the TV, I see some form of advert for a women's anti-wrinkle cream, which can actually only do so much since ageing is inevitable, yet these companies are capitalising off women's fear of getting and looking older even though getting older is one of the most beautiful privileges we could have.

The thing is, a changed body is completely ACCEPTABLE and something to be EXPECTED, but we're forced to hate our changed bodies and look back at photos of our younger selves completely heartbroken that we don't look like that anymore, despite knowing that, regardless of any physical changes our bodies have undergone, we are still the same people on the inside and our skin is just a shell protecting us and carrying us through as we do things that truly matter.
Our bodies now do not look the same as they did 10 years ago and our bodies in 10 years will not look how they do now because our bodies grow, they change as we experience things and adapt as they become required for different things to survive.

We’re ageing every second and, over time, ageing results in lines, wrinkles, grey hair and saggy skin, but it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Ageing is MAGICAL. Ageing is a LUXURY. An older body has stories to tell and its physical signs of ageing are proof of the life it has lived. And not to mention that there are so many people who have not reached the age you are at now, whether you're 17 or 70, and there are people battling with terminal illnesses who will not get to age, so it seems really frivolous and conceited to fear or hate something that so many people would give anything to have. When we fear ageing, we have a tendency to forget that, once life ends, there's no getting it back. You wish you were 21 again? Fine, but you'd have to die at 21, and there'd be no rewind button. To hate your aged body so much that you essentially wish so much of your life didn't happen is, not only bizarre, but such a waste when ageing allows us to reach our full potential as we use all the lessons we've learnt over the years as tools to construct an armour that allow us to be our best and strongest selves.

And our bodies don’t just change when ageing, they change as we go through puberty, have children, get injured, encounter health problems, gain and lose weight, exercise, travel, eat... and the changes our bodies undergo don’t only happen over an extended period of time, but also right NOW. The body we wake up in of a morning will look different to the one we go to sleep in, for example, when humans eat, WE BLOAT! And that’s OKAY!

Bodies don’t change because they hate you and want to lower your self-esteem. They change because they HAVE to and because, if they didn’t, well, we literally wouldn’t be here. ALL the changes your body makes, big and small, are natural and you should thank it for changing because it is keeping you alive. No body is designed to stay the same forever, otherwise, we’d still be NEWBORN BABIES! Our bodies change to keep us safe and functioning and those changes are completely unpreventable so, since we can’t fight them, let’s EMBRACE THEM. Every time you notice a change in your body, it means you’re still here. It means you’ve lived long enough to witness another change, and that is SO precious. Ageing isn’t bad, neither is changing size, getting stretch marks or scars, getting flabby arms, a wrinkly face or saggy boobs... no body change is undesirable and society is wrong for making you believe so AND trying to profit off your fear of your body changing. 

Looking older, or fatter, or slightly more wrinkly or more grey is not the worst thing you can do as a human being, believe me, and anyone who tells you otherwise really needs to get a grip. You're not harming anyone by changing, you aren't burning down an orphanage, you're just existing! And I hope that, one day in the future, you'll be able to love all your lines, your wobbly bits and everything about you that looks different and just be thankful for the life your body as carried you through.

You are beautiful because you are changing and, if you ask me, it’s pretty incredible how no human stays the same for very long. Think of yourself as a butterfly. 

Love, Emily

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