ABSTRACT

Embodiment, or the way we inhabit and experience our bodies as we move through the world, entails a complex interplay between our corporeality and our sociocultural context. In this chapter, I draw upon the extant literature to examine how dominant age, gender, and health norms in western society influence older women’s embodied experiences of weight. In particular, I explore how older women perceive and make sense of their weight in a social context in which aging female bodies are considered unattractive and health is simultaneously understood as a moral responsibility and the outcome of individual effort. I further consider the literature which has found that older women reevaluate the importance of appearance in later life. I conclude by discussing the overall implications of the sociocultural research and theorizing concerning older women’s embodiment of weight and suggest possible ways forward.