Ageing is a horrifying prospect. At least that is what we are told practically our entire lives. Companies try to sell us anything they can make us believe prevents wrinkles, looking ‘old’ is an insult, and if the rest of society’s shaming does not do the trick, your own mother just might. Of course, she is a victim of the same system, but ageism has crept into many parts of our lives.
Shockingly, WHO reports that one in two people is ageist. Half of the people who, barring any misfortune, should naturally age and become old discriminate those who already have. This has a great impact on society, so beware of those wrinkles.
Feeling opposed to the natural process of ageing is as futile as simply asking a river to reverse; time flows in the same direction for everyone. Nevertheless, there is a severe lack of positive representation, as if even showing the concept of ageing is bad.
Still got it
Just like any other body type that is not considered the ‘standard,’ older people do successfully model from time to time, such as Martha Stewart, who at the age 81 is the oldest person to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated to date. Although this sounds like a positive thing, some argue it might just be another case of a magazine looking to earn some diversity points.
Does this mean we have finally defeated the anti-ageing movement? It may be a promise of change to come, but the multi-billion pound beauty industry seems unlikely to back down and reevaluate its values because of an 81-year-old in a swimsuit. Sporadic sprinkling of positive representation of older people in the media is hardly going to drive social change enough for anti-ageing creams to stop flying off the shelves any time soon. Because if you must age, better do so gracefully or, in other words, as little as possible.
I was twenty when my mom first mentioned it might be time for me to start using one of those anti-ageing creams, because my laugh lines were showing. The compliment she gave my smile moments earlier kind of withered after that comment. Luckily for my laugh lines, I responded to this by laughing, so they do not have to worry about disappearing any time soon.
None of this is tragic, but it made me realise I should not have to worry about getting older. My mother should not have to worry about getting older. I cannot convince her to ditch the creams, but I can keep scrunching up my nose and laugh in the face of ageing until I learn to embrace it, and maybe then my mother can too.