How do women really feel about growing older?

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06th July 2017

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We’ve all heard about the alleged ‘horrors’ of ageing, from the sudden onset of aches & pains to having those ‘forgetful’ moments. With a plethora of myths surrounding the ageing debate, niix have set out to debunk those false pretences and determine how women really feel about growing older.

Surveying 2,000 women aged 40+ across the UK, the results are now in, and some of the outcomes may just surprise you.

Body confidence

Curious to know what age women felt their most body confident? This would be 35, and if the likes of Kristen Dunst, Kate Middleton & Jessica Biel are anything to go by, it’s not hard to see why.

Happiness

According to the survey, 38 is the age where women feel their happiest – just look at Kate Hudson, Kourtney Kardashian and Rachel McAdams for this one, all aged 38.

The benefits of ageing

When asked what are the two biggest perks of growing older, 55% of women answered that having more sex was a key advantage whilst 9% believe ageing has meant sex has improved.

40% of women say they’ve found it easier to speak their mind as they’ve grown older. 35% of women try less to impress others whilst 1 in 3 women think an increase in confidence is one of the main advantages of ageing. 1 in 4 women believe ageing has meant they care less about what other people think and 9% believe that you get taken more seriously with age.

In times of doubt

Everyone needs a confidence boost from time to time, so, who or where do women turn as they’ve gotten older for that pick-me-up?

It appears that 2 in 5 women turn to their friends in times of doubt (40%) whilst 1 in 3 women turn to their family (33%). Interestingly, 17% of women do a fitness workout to feel more confident, whilst 9% hit the shops for a spot of retail therapy.

The society built stereotype

Whilst growing older brings intelligence, experience, wisdom and grace, it would seem that society has created certain ‘stereotypical’ assumptions that women don’t appreciate. 41% of women feel that they should wear age-appropriate clothing, even though they may not want to. 39% of women think they’re made to feel passed their sell-by date after 40, and 35% of women feel as though they should have “made-it” career wise by this age.

Other society created bugbears include not feeling as valued (29%), being viewed as boring (18%), being perceived as unfit (16%), not feeling as respected (10%) and lastly the assumption that women are less productive as they get older (9%).

In a world of no rules 

If all rules went out the window for a limited time, we asked women to choose what two things they would love to get away with without being judged? 61% of women would love to go travelling around the world and 47% of women would quit work.

23% would love to date a far younger man, whilst 20% of women would love to get away with wearing more revealing clothing. Interestingly 17% would stay out all night partying and 15% would like to get a tattoo or body piercing.

If time were no issue

Whilst life can often feel like it’s only getting busier and busier, with spare time feeling more like a luxury, what do women really wish they had more time to do?

Well, 68% of women would like more time to travel, whilst 44% would like more time to spend with family & friends. 35% of women would like to learn a new skill, whilst 20% of women wish they had more time to meet new people. Interestingly 16% of women would like more time to spend at the gym.

Advice as a form of nostalgia

After all this, we wondered what advice women would tell their younger selves if given the chance?

The #1 piece of advice referred to feeling content with life and living in the here and now (20%). 16% of women wish they’d felt more confident, and 13% of women shared advice regarding relationships. These referred to both family or partners and how not to waste time on those that didn’t bring happiness.

12% of women would advise their younger self not to be so vain and 10% of women wish they’d travelled more as they were growing up. 9% of women wish they’d been wiser with their finances, whilst 8% would advise to eat healthier and do more fitness.

6% of women wish they’d taken their education more seriously, whilst 4% wish they’d climbed the career ladder sooner. Finally, 2% of women wish they’d been more mindful of personal values such as being less selfish.

Our favourite pieces of advice can be viewed below – happy scrolling.

*Full survey results can be viewed in our infographic available to download here.


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