ACT YOUR AGE?
Ageism..what exactly is it? It’s discriminating, stereotyping and being prejudiced against a person based on his/her age!
How often have we heard or said? “Oh my God! He is so active, EVEN AT THIS AGE?” “She wears bright colours despite being 60?” “That old man should now concentrate on pooja path rather than watching English movies.”
This stereotyping is more in our country where people after a certain age are “supposed” to behave in a certain manner. Why? One does age and gather experience that’s it. The desires don’t age. Why is it that an elderly person has to go for pilgrimage and cannot for a beach holiday? Why is it that women after 50 are not supposed to have sexual desires (grandmoms don’t have it!)
Ageism has a great impact on work and jobs too. I have seen that organizations shy away from hiring a 40+ woman believing that she might not be as efficient or as productive as a younger person. Sometimes younger people feel that it’s time that the older people make way for them.
When the elderly people are done with their duties and want to relax and enjoy, they are again subjected to stereotyping. Haven’t we people comment, “Uncle is so romantic with aunty even at this age.” Now what has romance got to do with age? Many seniors want to learn new things but sometimes are hesitant because of the fear of being shamed. In metro cities, still its better but in small towns an elderly still has to maintain an “image.”
Many memes and jokes are made on the body shape of the elderly people, fun made of their sexual desires. Also, the society keeps on reiterating the fact that “they are closer to death” which makes them feel more depressed and unwanted.
Look around you, ads, movies, everything is centred around the youth. Every industry kind of neglects the senior citizens, which forms a large chunk of the society. With the increased longevity, good healthcare facilities, and better resources (though limited), the elderly want to explore stuff that they haven’t explored before. They want to travel, eat, be adventurous, but somewhere the deep cultural taboos ingrained stop them from doing so.
Still there are elderly who are now breaking these stereotypes, of course not without being mocked or judged sometimes. I have seen couples getting annoyed when their parents/in-laws have refused to babysit and wanted to have a free life of their own. Unlike the West, our country still is not elderly-friendly when it comes to traveling or old age care. It’s high time we stop ageism and become more age-friendly.
I am 40+ now but that hasn’t bogged me down. I have a bucket list of things that I would want to do in the next 20 years! I want to try out so many things that I haven’t till now. I always believe “Its never too old to reinvent oneself”.
For all those people who support ageism, remember one day you will be old too and then you will realize that age has got nothing to do with the mind. The body might age, the mind will mature, but then again, “Age is just a state of mind.”
Ritwika Mutsuddi is a social media expert by profession and a blogger by passion. In her words, “Parenting and women are my favorite genres and I write about them avidly. I am the wife of an awesome husband and mom of a 15-year-old strapping son and a 10-year-old vivacious daughter. I reside in the City of Dreams, Mumbai.”
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