Ageism seems to be trending again this week, and I for one embrace it. Whilst beating the prejudice that is ageism is something we absolutely need to focus on, it should not be a trend, it should be a way of life. However, amongst all the seriousness there have been quite a few points raised that have made me smile, and some that I have found hilarious (side parting anyone?) So I thought this would be an excellent topic for today’s weekly round-up.
I posted something on Instagram yesterday talking about what it is to be an aging woman. It was a light-hearted caption referencing the joys of aging in a humorous way. There were mentions of wild hormones, mental breakdowns, losing your boobs to your armpits, and even a bit about bum clapping. There was however an underlying message in there somewhere about the fact that as women, we do a good enough job of tearing ourselves down, so let’s not do it to each other. Let’s support each other and navigate this minefield together.
The comments I received were just so heartwarming. We are all feeling it, we are all struggling with it, and whilst I understand that men are absolutely too, the topic of conversation for yesterday was more focused on the particular aspects of aging that we deal with as women.
This caption came to be, due to a lot of focus in the media lately on a serious topic, ageism, which highlighted the fact that it is well and truly still happening in the world today.
I get it, nobody wants to get older. We want to be youthful forever. We want to have smooth and bright complexions. We do not want gravity to take a hold of our dangly bits. We don’t want to be tired and cranky all the time.
So many of us fear the prospect of getting old, I too have a love-hate relationship with my aging appearance, and it is somewhat normal to feel this way.
Society favours the youth. 20 year old models are used to advertise anti-aging skincare products. The term ‘anti-aging’ in itself is enough to put the fear of God into you.
However, I am starting to get to the point where I no longer care. I am 40 years old. So what? I don’t look too bad, I am fairing ok, all things considered. Do I find ageist remarks offensive? Absolutely. Do I wish Ageism wasn’t a problem? Damn right. Yet, I am tired of fearing it. I am tired of worrying about it, and I am tired of pulling myself down about it.
In fact, this new mindset appeared only recently. It was when I turned 40. Prior to being 40, I was petrified of getting old. I would analyse my skin with a magnifying mirror, looking for any new signs of aging. That’s just ridiculous, isn’t it! Then I turned 40 and I just started to care less. It’s been quite liberating if I am being honest.
Now I am not about to burn my bras, whilst swinging my droopy boobs about, and throwing my retinol away. I am all for embracing getting older, but I am still going to try and do it the best I can, looking the best I can, obviously.
Out of all the really great articles I read this week around aging, one particular topic was my favourite though …………..
The Gen Z opinion.
Whilst scrolling through Instagram, I came across quite a few articles referencing the latest Gen Z (The Generation Z) opinion, on what it means to be ‘old’.
Now I have found the whole topic highly entertaining for reasons I will detail shortly, but before I do, in case you missed the topic, below is basically the latest:
“If you wear skinny jeans, wear your hair in a side parting AND use the laughing emoji, then you are old”.
Therefore, in order to be ‘young’ you should wear baggy/straight cut/ boot cut jeans, your hair should be worn in a middle parting, and you absolutely cannot use the laughing emoji.
Now it seems that this statement has offended many Millenials, with them immediately setting fire to their skinny jeans and styling their hair in a centre parting, quick sharp.
In amongst my hilarious fits of laughing, I came up with a few questions I would like to ask the Z Generation:
- I wear skinny jeans 6 days a week. However, on a Tuesday, I wear a dress. Does this mean I am not old on a Tuesday?
- I wore boot cut jeans in the ’90s. You (Gen Z) claim that you are fashion-forward, but is that not fashion backwards?
- If a 12-year-old has a major calf lick in the centre of her head, which means she can only style her hair in a side parting, is she old?
- If a 90-year-old man wore baggy jeans and his hair in a centre parting, then a 20-year-old man wore skinny jeans and a side parting, which one is the oldest?
- If I wore skinny jeans in the morning, then baggy jeans in the afternoon, would I go from being young to old in just 24 hours? (If the answer to this is yes, I reckon I could be in the Guinness world book of records.)
- Finally, and this one is the most important question, what exactly is wrong with being old?
Ageism sucks. Getting old sucks. Society sucks. Yet we can choose how we deal with it all. We can choose to accept who we are. Accept the lines and wrinkles, our aging bodies, and appearance. We can choose to embrace it and celebrate our advanced years.
In fact, if we all stopped fearing it, there would no longer be a need for all this Ageism fear-mongering. They have a voice because we listen. So just stop listening.
That’s my thoughts for this week anyway. I hope you all made it through with your sanity and that you have a wonderful weekend rocking those skinny jeans with pride!
See you next time x