Boomers have never followed the rules. At every life stage, we have challenged the status-quo. Now as we reach our 60s, we are challenging aging stereotypes.
It’s always been fascinating to me how society has a tendency to treat one of its greatest assets, older people, as a liability. Why do we fear the aging process so much? Think about it for a second. We spend our entire lives acquiring skills, having experiences and, hopefully, finding wisdom.
Does life imitate art or does art imitate life? That’s the crux of the question raised by Antonio Banderas’ recent comments on ageism in Hollywood.
You might wonder why I am choosing to celebrate the 50th birthdays of celebrities on a website dedicated to finding happiness and making friends after 50. After all, don’t celebrities have all the money, friends and happiness they could wish for? Perhaps, but, their lives are worth celebrating for a different reason – they can help us to fight invisibility and change perceptions about aging.
Hollywood loves aging stereotypes. When it comes to films and TV shows, at best, older folks are portrayed as eccentric, forgetful and out of touch. At worst, they are grumpy, close-minded and just plain mean. Not much of a choice if you ask me!
Historically, Hollywood has done a pretty poor job of portraying the aging process in a fair and accurate way. Older people in the movies are usually grumpy, mean, forgetful and tired. They are seldom adventurous, energetic, funny and wise. Well, there are signs that Hollywood may finally be getting the message about aging. While aging stereotypes are still pervasive in the entertainment industry, studios are at least experimenting with more positive films about older people.
Here are 4 films that are coming in 2015 that will make you look at aging differently.
When I first read Madonna’s recent comments about ageism in Rolling Stone, I wasn’t sure what to think. On the one hand, I’ve seen first-hand how ageism can impact people over 60. I’ve heard heart-breaking stories of people being pushed out of their jobs, passed over for promotions and marginalized socially. Ageism is real and it should be addressed.
When you think about a 61-year-old being kicked out of the Army because of his age, it’s natural to assume that he was not able to meet the physical standards of the job. In the case of Kevin Fulthorpe, who was asked to retire from his Army post at age 61, this is most definitely not the case. As reported by Wales Online, Fulthorpe meets the Army’s own standards for a physical training instructor.
As many women in the Sixty and Me community have experienced, ageism is still alive and kicking in America. This is true in the workplace and in almost every other aspect of our lives. So, today, I was so happy to read about a 54-year-old man who is proving that age is just a number.
Are you turning 60 this year? Congratulations! You’re about to join an exclusive club, filled with people who are reinventing their lives and exploring their passions.
If there is one thing that I have learned from the Sixty and Me community, it’s this – life after 60 is whatever you make it. I know people in their 60s who are in the best shape of their lives. I also know men and women who struggle to get out of the house once a day. Older business owners are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs. At the same time, there are plenty of people who complain about not having any opportunities for professional growth after 60. Life after 60 is yours to define.
Here are a few tips for celebrating your 60th birthday and planning the next stage of your life.