In a perfect world, we’d never get wrinkles, and I’d still have my flat stomach from secondary school. But life is a bad belle, which means we can’t escape the body changes that come with ageing.
These changes are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for it. I spoke to some 30+ women on some of the changes they’ve noticed as they got older, and how they’re navigating it.
I think there are two phases to the body changes we experience as women: ageing and childbirth.
I started feeling self-conscious around 24 when I began putting on weight, then I got married at 25 and put on more “happy” weight. I had my first child when I was about to turn 28, and pregnancy and delivery took a toll on me. I only started to feel like myself three years after giving birth. It’s 2023, and I just had my second child. So, I’m just going through the motions, wondering if it’d also take me another three years to feel like myself again.
Sometimes, it feels like the entire female body system is against the woman and her mind; hormonal imbalances, menstrual cycle and the like. Right now, I’m just going through it. The internet keeps bringing these ads about injections that suppress the appetite to help lose weight my way.
Since I don’t have liposuction money, it’s looking like a cheaper alternative.
Maybe it’s because I just turned 30, but I haven’t really experienced any physical change. Mentally though, I feel more feminine. I was a very awkward young woman, but now I feel like I’ve “bloomed”. I just feel womanly and more in control of my emotions. I don’t have to pander to anyone or hide. To be honest, I wish I had turned 30 sooner.
For me, it’s ageing and menopause, and it’s a struggle. Physically, I’ve gained more weight that my several diets haven’t been able to shake. I’ve also developed loose skin and arthritis. Mentally, I’m usually tired all the time and more emotional than before. I’m glad to be rid of periods, but the body keeps bringing more struggles each day. It’s like women don’t rest.
I’ve always been really slim with an iron-board-flat stomach. I even used to joke about wanting to add weight so people would respect my age. My body must have a sense of humour because my flat stomach began to disappear when I turned 27. I wasn’t ready at all. I’ll admit I eat late-night snacks because I work late most days, but I’ve been doing that forever. It just seems to be catching up with me now.
I’ve had to be more conscious of how I eat. I’m also considering hitting the gym, but I’m mostly tired all the time now and never seem to be able to “psych” myself into putting in the work. I’m not sure if I’m just lazy or it’s age.
I’ve had sparse chin and chest hair since I entered puberty, but they’ve grown more since I turned 27. I’ve never been pregnant, but some weight gain a couple of years ago means I have some stretch marks on my breasts. For a while, I didn’t recognise who was staring back at me in the mirror and would wear clothes that stopped at my neck, but I’ve accepted that things can’t stay the same.
So, I’m trying to love my body afresh. I’m choosing my clothes now with the intention of flattering my new body and feeling confident when I step out of the house.
*Some names have been changed for the sake of anonymity.