The lookism of a senior citizen’s ageing body – utopia or reality? The perspective of Polish elderly women and elderly men 

40 | 2019

Emilia Kramkowska

Department of Sociology of Knowledge and Education, Institute of Sociology, University of Białystok, Poland

Widespread worship of the human body as well as new opportunities to preserve its attractiveness, shape social expectations about human corporality regardless of age. Individuals whose appearance meets these socially promoted expectations gain social approval unlike those whose body is far from the ideal. These second group might experience discrimination on the grounds of their looks (lookism). Seniors might be an example of such people. Based on a research project conducted in Poland among elderly people it might be said that, in the opinion of the respondents, lookism of an ageing body is not a utopia. Seniors notice the risk of the worse treatment of elderly people only because their body is different from the socially promoted model.


attractiveness, discrimination, body image, ageing body, elderly people

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Direitos de autor: Creative Commons – CC BY NC