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How Underwear Can Help Promote A Positive Body Image As We Age

28/06/2017 14:36 BST | Updated 28/06/2017 14:36 BST

Negative body image is something we read about regularly; catwalk models being too thin, airbrushed magazine photos presenting an unreal version of reality and the effects on girls and young women. But actually it can create a negative effect for anyone.

I know that it can also be a serious issue for men too - but I want to focus on women for this piece - particularly, mothers and older women because we are also not immune.

In fact, by the time we have become mothers, and got to our forties and beyond, the world at large thinks we should have our shit together, but body images issues can lie latent in our psyche for years, ready to cut us down at any time.

My post pregnancy stretch marks and loose skin are sometimes all I see. It's not as debilitating as it is for others, but certainly enough to effect my self esteem and dent my self-confidence.

My rational brain knows not pay any notice to external influences, but as I age, I do have moments, days or weeks when my emotional brain takes over. And the knock on effect can last a while.

I know I am not alone, a lot of my peers feel the same and we certainly long for the days when we were young and we didn't seem to worry so much about our flaws.

Enter lingerie. Don't laugh - I know it may seem trivial, but as I recently discovered, paying attention to what underwear you wear can make a real difference. It is the closest thing we wear to our skin, after all.

By picking the right foundation in terms of shape and support to suit and enhance our bodies - which is also vital as we get older - we can feel confident and even empowered - and that is what emanates from us and is what the world sees, and that has to be a good thing.

Underwear is a fine balance of art, design and science. Where a thong or a pair of briefs sits on your body and frames you, can transform the way you look. As for bras, we can look natural, lifted or have more "va va voom" than Eva Herzigová in the old "Hello Boys" Wonderbra ad.

I recently realised that lingerie can be a wonderful secret - no one has to know what I'm wearing - but I know. It is something for me. It can be simple, silk, lace, black or any colour under the sun. And it has an immediate effect on my mood - I can feel pretty, sexy or gorgeous.

Sadly though, I have discovered, as I asked around some of my mother mates, that some feel they don't deserve to look pretty or wear special things on a daily basis; maybe for a date night or special occasion - but they don't feel it should be the norm. I'm sorry, but I feel that's just wrong.

We certainly do seem to live in an age where reality is extremely contrived in many respects and the quest to look a certain way is everywhere and some of us feel we simply do not measure up.

This coupled with the ease with which people can change their bodies and the way they look with injections and plastic surgery adds fuel to the fire, in my opinion.

Though, of course plastic surgery is matter of choice, I am not a fan. I believe surgery should be reserved for necessary cases only and I know that there is a place for plastic surgery in this way.

And to be honest - I'm scared of having plastic surgery. There is always a risk associated with a general anaesthetic - and my father was hospitalised due to a negligent operation so, a tummy tuck is out of the question for me.

So I need other solutions. A way to create a positive feeling for me without taking drastic action.

Wearing lovely underwear is about making you feel good about yourself. Not hiding away or beating yourself up about what you perceive to be your negatives but accentuating your positives - and we all have positive parts of our bodies.

I love the fact that as we age we do gain confidence in many ways in general, but as I said at the beginning we are not immune to those moments of doubting how we look and that affecting how we feel.

As we know in so many areas of life - mind-set is everything. So if we enjoy the way we look in a lovely set of lingerie and it helps our self-esteem, then it feels like a good thing to take note of.