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Accepted Paper:

Older women's beauty practices in two Flemish retirement homes  
Annemerel De Blaere Ladan Rahbari (University of Amsterdam)

Paper short abstract:

There is a general silence when it comes to embodied experiences of older women. Their perceptions are often perceived as irrelevant in studies concerning beauty and embodiment. This paper explores women's beauty practice in retirement homes. What is the value and significance of beauty for them?

Paper long abstract:

There is a general silence in research when it comes to embodied experiences of older women. Older women are specially excluded from studies on beauty and embodiment because their age is perceived as a factor that makes their experience irrelevant. Older women also seldom occupy the position of the agentic subjects. This study explores women’s beauty practice in retirement homes where they might experience limitations in space, stricter everyday routines, different social surroundings, and possible increase or decrease in independence. We employ a qualitative approach to explore the personal experiences, perceptions and narratives that reveal the (in)significance of beauty practices as well as time and effort invested in them. The main questions that we ask are, ‘how prevalent are beauty practices in Flemish retirement homes’ and ‘what are the perceptions of older women on beauty practices and their significance in the daily lives of female residents in retirement homes?’

Panel Speak13
The bodies of older adults: media imageries, (in)visibility and public discourses on older persons’ gendered embodiment and physicality
  Session 1 Monday 29 March, 2021, -