Madonna said it but I’ve been saying it for years. Why don’t we still not see it? Here’s her rant.
I was at a book fair yesterday and, for fun, I pointed to my sign and asked people what they thought it meant. (If you can’t see it, in the lower left corner of this photo, it says, “Fiction for People Who Weren’t Born Yesterday.”) Told ’em I was doing market research. To my delight, some laughed out loud. They loved the concept.
Others were way more reticent – they explained it every way they could without using the word “old.” A couple of old people even told me I should change it, because it “sounds old.” “I think it’ll turn people off,” said one old woman.
I’m jamming my fingers into my eyeballs. Trying not to type a string of profanity.
What the hell is so flipping wrong with being old, saying old, acting old, old, old, OLD? Why is it an insult?
But back to our regular programming: I was talking about ageism being okay. Of course, I’m being sarcastic. (Or as the word is now used, “ironic.”)
If you want to understand how egregious is ageism, read this article about discrimination in the electronic gaming industry and substitute “black” for “old.” Puts it into a rather sharp focus. (On the plus side, electronic games for seniors is a 99% neglected field with a 100% upside, if any of you are looking for a new gig.)
To end on a positive note, here’s an article on how the advertising industry plans to pitch Baby Boomers. They actually paint older people in a somewhat favorable light, even highlighting our positive attributes. Which, for your enjoyment, are:
- we value authenticity
- we don’t want to be young; we’re happy with who and what we are
- we have a sixth sense about being hustled
- we’re less self-centered than younger people
- we’re skeptical
- we’re highly individualistic, more so than at any other time of our lives
- we’re independent
- we’re not as materialistic; we’re more philanthropic as we age
Next time you feel you’re being dismissed, disrespected, or diminished based on your age, remember that the money boys know the real truth, and the word is starting to get out. At least, among those who want to get into your wallet.
LAST WORD ON GOING GRAY: Hey, look what I just found, from March 6: apparently, gray is the hot hair color now.