How 'empowered' bikini photos from Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Hurley helped combat ageism in 2020

Women 50 and over posted powerful bikini photos in 2020. (Photos: Instagram)
Despite the pandemic's attempt to cancel summer and tropical trips in 2020, our favorite female stars were still flooding Instagram feeds with photos in their best bikinis. And while some followers made jealous of warm quarantine weather, people felt empowered and inspired in an otherwise difficult time by women who hugged their bodies at all ages.
Jennifer Lopez recently admitted to Yahoo Life that "I have never struggled with my health and diet" than it was during the pandemic. Still, the 51-year-old didn't let herself be stopped from feeling comfortable and secure in her own skin when she showed off her figure in a range of swimwear.
And the singer, dancer and actress was not the only one.
Lopez was joined by a number of women 50 and over who posted their own photos with their supermodel poses in swimwear - including 54-year-old Paulina Porizkova and 55-year-old Elizabeth Hurley, both of whom received praise for doing so.
And while many followers comment on the photos to say the two "don't age," Carla Marie Manly, a clinical psychologist and author of Aging Joyfully, tells Yahoo Life that this is exactly what it's about showing aging bodies.
“These are women in their fifties, sixties, and seventies who say, 'I don't look like I did when I was 20 or when I was 30, and I'm not going to let that stop me from showing myself who I am I'm now I'm not going to devalue that either, ”explains Manly. “At the age of 50, 60 or 70 I will make it just as valuable and beautiful as I would at 20. I am no less. I am different."
Salma Hayek, 54, did just that when she posted photos of herself in a bathing suit in 1999, followed by similar photos in 2020.
By drawing attention to the 20 years in between, the actress is sending a message of empowerment not only to her followers, but to herself as well.
"The concept of ageism comes not only from others, but also from the self, the self-judgment:" I'm not pretty enough, I'm too wrinkled. That's me, too, "says Manly." When a woman says, "Hey, my body has changed and it's beautiful," we can say just that. She is empowered. She is proud. She is there as the embodiment of what I can do. "
These images, Manly explains, combat the culture of ageism often advocated by women who subscribe to the idea that their bodies should be hidden after a certain age. "We were used to women when they were mothers and when they were certainly in their forties. 'Cover up and act your age. Don't wear a bikini, wear a one-piece. Don't wear a one-piece, wear a muumuu, ”she recalls. "When women come out and stand firmly together, we create a different culture."
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