As we age, our bodies absorb the wear and tear of a lived life, with all its joys and challenges. Nevertheless, normal biological changes, like graying hair, sagging breasts, and wrinkles are considered unsightly, something to hide or fix. For women, our value is linked to our sexuality and ability to reproduce, and we are often held to impossible standards of youth. Physical markers of aging can become a pretext for discrimination for women and gender-expansive people. The fact of these changes isn’t the problem. It’s how older people–with our strengths and limitations–are perceived and treated. This section explores the challenges women and gender-expansive people face in relation to our bodies, how they are perceived within the broader society, and how we can resist stereotypes and honor our aging bodies.

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