Ageism like any “-ism” is contemplation-worthy. For believers of ageism, I think it insidiously seeps into the psyche to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we feel we’re old, simply because we have crossed a certain age, we are likely to start changing certain aspects of how we do life. Maybe we start to believe that we must slow down our physical activity, when in fact bodies in motion stay in motion. Maybe we believe we’ve earned the 4pm happy hour cocktails, when in fact our metabolisms have slowed, so liquor hits faster. And about our metabolisms, maybe we believe we can’t ever feel lean again, because our metabolism has slowed because we’re older.
Maybe we believe we’re less valuable work-wise. While technology has replaced certain jobs, all the work statistics confirm that older workers are in demand. What if we believe it’s harder to make friends? I don’t think this is true if we’re open to putting ourselves in new & different situations. Do we believe we’re less attractive? Sure we have more wrinkles, scars, skin to grab and our hair may be gray or gone! But have we really lived a whole life just to conclude that a sexy, taut body is more alluring than a lifetime of experience along with a creative, clever mind, sense of humor & wit?
It’s easy to get swept up in ageism along with fears that accompany it. Yet–while it is possible that I live in “my own private (mental) Idaho”–as the B-52s sang…I don’t buy it! I refuse to accept it. AND, like most things I choose not to embrace, it doesn’t impact me.
Am I the prettiest girl in the room? No. Teen, twenty & thirty somethings usually are and they’re in their mating prime! We need the human race to go forth. To me, the sexuality of youth, the primping & priming is all basic nature as much as the peacock that spreads its tail or the praying mantis’ that dance to get all the attention to mate. I’m OK with all that. More than OK really. I love watching our children + my younger friends strut. It’s refreshing & fun. But for me? I’m don’t value looks like I once did when I wasn’t as sure of my hard-earned worth. Now, I seek beauty…and that’s an entirely different topic for a whole ’nother essay.