We’ve all seen the television commercials, read the articles, or watched the movies in which society tries to tell us that people our age only have two options: become pathetic, useless individuals living in a shell of our former selves OR we must cover our wrinkles, refuse to retire, and become motorcycle-riding thrill seekers. Neither extreme scenario is necessary for us to get the most from life after 60.
Living a long life is the goal of every young person, yet it seems society and the media have improper views of what this looks like in real life. As older adults, we can fight back against aging stereotypes.
In this video, Margaret Manning interviews author and ageism activist Ashton Applewhite and discusses ways women in this stage of life can push back against ageism. Enjoy the show!
Women are not new on the scene of protesting and advocating. Throughout history women have fought against social and political oppression to achieve everything from the right to own property to the right to vote to the right to equal pay. Yet, few women have taken up the fight to push back the negative stereotypes and discrimination that paints aging in such a dim light.
Hopefully, every woman reading this article and watching this video, regardless of age, will come to a better understanding of ageism and how this mindset produces discrimination not only of others but of a future version of oneself.
We often recognize negative messages about aging when we hear them, but do we reject them or have we been accepting of them? A woman’s mindset makes such a huge impact on her, down to the very cellular core of who she is and how she physically carries herself.
Acceptance of aging is important but the act of embracing this stage of life can actually add years to our lives. A healthy, happy attitude can change the quality of our lives in a very impactful way.
With so much talk these days of being “over the hill” and life going “downhill” as we increase in age, it’s important to know the many perks that make up the “upside” of ageing. There is a great deal to look forward to when we have successfully made our way through our midlife years and reached the other side.
Ashton Applewhite argues that there is power and growth in ageing and that we should enjoy it, not fear it. Ageing can bring inner peace, a secure sense of truly knowing oneself, and the ability to find purpose and meaning in oneself and in one’s life.
Those are not things to take lightly. They’re certainly worth the price of a few wrinkles!
How do you think older people are portrayed by the media? Can you think of a situation where you felt depressed by the negative messages about ageing? What is one step you can take today toward thinking positively about your age? Which area of public life for older people needs improvement in your part of the world? Please join the conversation!