Another great article by TSM contributor, James Queale.
Ageism: prejudice or discrimination against a particular age-group and especially the elderly. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Does age define you or is age just a number? This question came to my mind recently because of the artist Madonna. She has been advertising her new album for some time and it was released the other day. What does this have to do with ageism? A lot! I’ve noticed there has been a good amount of criticism of her lately, not because she has done something controversial or because people are not into her music. The big issue people seem to have is that she is fifty-three and still performing. I’ve seen many comments for example like, “I don’t want to see GRANDMA dancing around!” or “Why doesn’t she just stop, she’s so old? That is not sexy.”
Madonna is not the only person of course that has faced ageism. Ever since I was a child there has been a stigma that if you are thirty or older, that’s it, you’re done, you can never be successful or find a career after that point. Really?
How many times has someone older been let go from a job because the company would prefer a “younger perspective”? Even though the older person may have vast amounts of knowledge compared to the new guy.
Sometimes ageism can be gender specific. For example, a man can date a younger woman, but an older woman dating a younger man is looked at as a taboo. These woman are even given a predatory name known as “cougar.”
Where age can get muddled is in politics. There are numerous times that I think we need a new and fresh perspective and society tells us that that means someone younger. But, I’ve seen younger politicians have outdated views just like some older government members.
One industry that continually sees growth is plastic surgery. As a person gets older wrinkles appear. One solution to that is getting botox injections. Some take it to the extreme and their face can end up more distorted then if they had of kept their wrinkles.
This topic hits a nerve because my partner is older than I by a good amount of years and I don’t see him as useless or unable to be sexy. I see him as being just as vibrant as us young folk. What I want to convey today is that we need to change our perspective on what age means. Because of modern medicine and so on, people live longer and they should be able to enjoy their older age and not feel like another outcast of society.