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Getting Older: 6 Ways to Feel Beautiful as You Age

Getting Older: 6 Ways to Feel Beautiful as You Age

The aging process: wrinkles, fine lines, grey hairs, that painful back and hip, and the dreaded menopause... all of these symptoms just solidify that getting old sucks, right?

Our youth-obsessed culture is programed to feel in a state of crisis over changing looks. Unless you are 25 years old and a size double-zero you are no longer considered to be beautiful. As a woman, it's hard not to feel as though looks are what you're valued for. It's your currency. In reality, however, beauty does transcend outward appearance.

The book, Face It, by two psychologists who were former models, goes underneath the surface to help women cope with the complicated feelings they have about their changing looks.

One of the authors, Dr. Vivian Diller, PhD, offers a unique perspective on how to address your aging looks, face on (no pun intended), while bidding adieu to an idealistic concept of beauty.

Dr. Diller says that if you can redefine what it means to be beautiful as you age, and be flexible and evolving with your self image, then you will feel secure and confident with your appearance.

But how do you get to that point? Dr. Diller offers six psychological steps on how to change how you see yourself as you age.

Step 1: "UH-OH" MOMENT: We all have our "uh-oh" moment –a first gray hair, a wrinkle or two or three -- when you notice for the first time something fundamental about yourself has changed and will never be the same. Step one requires recognizing that this ostensibly surface reaction is connected to a much more

Step 2: MASKS: We use masks to temporarily make the discomfort easier to tolerate. Step two involves recognizing and removing these masks, so you can use the underlying feelings for emotional exploration and growth.

Step 3: INTERNAL DIALOGUES: Shift from critical to more receptive, from passive to active.

Step 4: LOOKING BACK TO MOVE FORWARD: The key to changing your psychological experience of your appearance lies in returning to past and understanding how you came to feel the way you do.

Step 5: IS FIFTY THE NEW FIFTEEN?: It may not be groundbreaking news that at 50, many of us feel like we’re 15 again, but understanding the commonalities can be extremely helpful.

Step 6: YOU HAVE TO LET GO: Sometimes you are not even aware how much your looks matter to you until you start losing them. Your changing appearance requires mourning an aspect of yourself deeply embedded in your identity.

Featured Speaker:
Vivian Diller, PhD
Vivian DillerVivian Diller, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice in N.Y.C. Prior to receiving her doctorate, Dr. Diller studied classical ballet and performed professionally with the Cincinnati Ballet Company. When her dance career ended, she became a Wilhelmina model, appearing in fashion magazines, national print ads and TV commercials. She studied clinical psychology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, interned at St. Lukes/Roosevelt Hospital and completed Postdoctoral Training in Psychoanalysis at N.Y.U.