Human identity is one of the key issues of a successful existence. It is not possible to avoid answering such questions as: Who am I? How do I understand myself? What do I identify myself with? Those questions demand answers, which are being continuously verified because of the changing individual, social and cultural conditions. Nowadays, one of the main features of reality is a very strong concentration on human body, its appearance, physical attractiveness, and compatibility with socially promoted ideals. The socially popularized model is a young, beautiful, charming and fit body. This is especially true for the body of a woman – a representative of the fair sex. Meeting those social expectations is not an easy task. It requires a lot of effort and sacrifice. While it is not a problem for younger women, it is very difficult and problematic for elderly women.
In this article, the selected identity dilemmas experienced by nowadays elderly women will be discussed based on the available research described in Polish and foreign literature. As a result of the aging process of the body, the elderly woman’s body is far from the socially promoted ideal of the female body. This situation affects the self-esteem of elderly women and forces them to redefine themselves and their identity. The studies conducted so far have shown that the elderly women adopt various strategies in order to deal with these dilemmas. This article, inter alia, will discuss those strategies.