The link between menopause and body confidence may not be immediately obvious – largely because it’s often the result of a number of different symptoms coming together.
Anxiety, mood swings, low mood, brain fog, and issues with memory retention can all contribute to self-doubt about performance – both in the personal and professional sense. Even women who were previously confident and independent can sometimes find themselves feeling more fearful or experiencing a loss of control.
Add physical changes to the mix – such as weight gain, skin changes, and hair loss – and it soon becomes easier to see how menopause can affect confidence levels.
Plus, since many women gain confidence from having sex and feeling desired, falling estrogen levels and a loss of interest in sex caused by menopause can also affect how sexy or feminine you feel.
As a result, it’s not unusual for women going through menopause to feel stuck, confused, or overwhelmed by what to wear. And when mood and confidence are low, understandably, the easier option is to dress in ways that hide your figure, rather than flatter it.
Our sense of style can have a significant impact on how comfortable we feel interacting with others and putting ourselves out there in the world. And many believe that what you wear is an extension of your inner self; a way to demonstrate who you are and to express your personality. So, it makes sense that if we’re hiding our bodies, we may begin to hide other parts of ourselves too and shy away from new opportunities.
All of this can lead to self-criticism about how we look, feel, dress, and cope with life, which can further affect confidence over time.
For some people, menopause may also occur simultaneously with significant lifestyle changes such as retirement, starting a new job, becoming a widow, dating again, or getting used to an empty nest. These can affect your sense of identity and assurance too, not just about who you are, but about what your personal clothing style is.