It’s 2020, and we are more into youth than ever before. The youthful look became so desirable that this trend has left almost all our society members who are over 50 years old behind the line, where, sadly, there are no job proposals, possibilities, or even respect. In reality, this is when true happiness, wisdom, and knowledge kicks in, so how come ageism, especially for women, is still a thing?
Ageism – how does it look like?
First of all, if you have never heard of the term, World’s Health Organization puts it like this: ageism is the stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination against people based on their age. Ageism is widespread as an insidious practice that has harmful effects on the health of older adults.
In other words – the world is now excluding fifty-something or older (sometimes even younger) people from social activities or work environments because of not being, looking, or acting young enough.
How does it look like? Well, open up any magazine and look at the pictures there – be it the stories, interviews, or advertisements. Young people are everywhere. In contrast, older people appear only in medical ads. You can also try googling ‘people over 50’ and click to see the images. What do they look like? Grey hair and golden retrievers.
This is the picture I’ve found of ‘people over 40’. Scary, huh?
Why does it even exist?
Why does any other ‘-ism’ exist in the world? Like racism, sexism, and many more, ageism is a fictitious concept only existing in our minds because of some kind of denial, inability to understand, and fair.
Regarding ageism, we – you and me – and all the others around us are responsible for the existence of ageism. We are afraid of getting old, denying that our bodies are changing (when it’s a natural process of life), and freaking out about our minds changing (when it’s getting wiser, not getting into dementia).
So, as soon as we stop discriminating against older people and putting them into only one type of box that says it all: ‘OLD’, we will free them and ourselves to age happily.
Why do women suffer more?
The cult of youth is especially hard on women as they are pushed to fit the beauty standard from a very young age. Though, at that time, their age is on their side. However, it gets harder and harder with every additional year. The beauty industry creates an unrealistic image of what a woman should look like, and that image is chasing us in every step of our digital reality. Keeping your young, glowing, and skinny looks has become THE goal when you hit your 30s, 40s, or even later. For most women, the results are anxiety, low self-esteem, and low self-confidence.
The pressure is huge on aging women as their bodies’ shape is naturally changing, the skin is getting thinner, and wrinkles are coming in. All the products in the beauty industry are directed to fight these ‘problems’ as if they are the enemy. That’s how we start to feel that our body is betraying us.
What’s on the other side of ageism?
Happiness! Apparently, the happiest people are at the beginnings and the ends of their lives, which means childhood and seniorhood. It’s called the U curve of happiness. (If interested, read more researches).
Moreover, women over 50 are the real treasure with the wisdom of life in many areas: business, relationships, mindfulness, spirituality. They enjoy the sense of freedom that occurred by not caring about others’ opinions anymore and the confidence they have gained over the years. The witty and sharp sense of humor they’ve developed and the power of change they withhold.
It is not the age that makes people better or worse, but it is their attitude and personality. We need to stop judging people based on their age but appreciate their passion, works, and deeds.
List of badass women icons over 50 to look up to:
- Norma Kamali – not only a fashion designer for 50 years but a true wellness whisperer and mentor for all women.
- Michelle Obama. Do I need to say more? Also, she recently has started a podcast on Spotify – you are welcome.
- Jane Goodall – a chimpanzee expert, a conservationist, and an animal welfare protector. In short – the white knight in shining armor of our planet. You can watch a movie and get to know her better.
- Livia Firth – changing the game of worldwide fashion (think ending the days for fast fashion for good). You can read about her here or listen to her here. If you haven’t seen True cost yet, now is the time.
- Brene Brown. Vulnerability is her specialty. After listening to her speak or reading her book, you start to realize – vulnerability is actually a superpower that we all possess.
- Vivienne Westwood – the one and only fashion punk that the world was not ready for and at the same time needed her the most.