Bizarrely Overlooked Ageism

The desire to hide the signs of aging seems to be generally seen as understandable these days, and a very high proportion of people, especially women, seek actively to pursue this desire. If someone undergoes 20 operations in this pursuit, and/or spends literally a fortune on it such dedication may provoke a degree of wonder in many that learn of it, but it seems to attract extraordinarily little criticism. I have encountered very few public comments critical of the desire itself.

But think of the above facts from the point of view of an older person who IS showing (dare I say “normal”) signs of their age. How would it be possible for them to avoid noticing the lengths to which someone was prepared to go to avoid looking like them, and concluding that this person, at some level, despised them?

And, in fact, there is masses of evidence that would back up this impression of rejection. People who are young and attractive get employment more easily—get everything more easily. People who look older, but act as if they still feel they might be sexually attractive get “Yuck” responses from younger or fake-younger people.

In short, the preoccupation with preserving the illusion of youth is inevitably accompanied by ageist responses and behaviour, and it is past time for this to be acknowledged and responded to appropriately.

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