What is Ageism?
Are you part of the problem?
Definition of Ageism
Ageism is stereotyping of, and discrimination against, individuals or groups on the basis of their age. Wikipedia
Examples of Ageism
- Negativity applied to the word “aging”
- Ageism in the workforce: Getting past over for advancement for a younger colleague with less qualifications and experience than you
- Social ageism: Being ignored by shop assistants
- Clothing: As we grow older our shape may change but not necessarily the style in clothing. Unfortunately the clothing buyers seem to see “mature” as another word for boring!
Ageism examples can be subtle or in your face. How you deal with it depends on you.
Personally, being ignored in a shop when I’m browsing is an ageism example I don’t mind at all. However, being spoken to as if I am deaf or some strangers “dear” requires a totally different response! I also enjoy cheaper admission to movies! Ageism in the workforce however, is a totally different beast. In the workforce the guiding principle for advancement should always be experience and performance.
Ageism In Our Word Choices
When the Baby Boomers started worrying about wrinkles in the 1980’s anti-aging products started appearing on the shop market shelves. However, with the increasing awareness of ageism in our society the advertising gurus of today have responded to the negativity of “aging” and prefer to keep it off their shiny labels .
The media gurus have worked hard to keep the meaning of anti-aging with out the actual words appearing anywhere! “Anti-aging” creams” have meta-morphed as “Age-defying” creams.
Aging, it seems, is OK if it applies to wine,cheese or brandy but not to women!
I checked out the shelves in my local supermarket and found the re-branding movement had produced, Pro Age, Age-Defying, Age Perfect and Slow Age! The differences may be subtle but it does show willing!
Counteracting ageism is also reflected in beauty magazines. The Allure beauty magazine announced (Aug.2017) that it would no longer use the term anti-ageing. According to the editor, Michelle Lee, the expression, “anti aging” was reinforcing the idea that ageing is a condition to be battled.
“Changing the way we think about ageing starts with changing the way we talk about ageing”
The Ageism Joke
I can’t help thinking the ageism is a weird joke that only the mature (elderly, aged, seniors etc) get to laugh at. I
came to this conclusion when I read some research by Todd Nelson, (2002) who regarded ageism as the most socially accepted form of prejudice in most societies today.
The ageism joke was his description,
Prejudice by those who will one day be the recipients of the very prejudice they use against those who they deem to be “old”!
Read my 7 Steps To Fighting Ageism and you will become part of the solution!