Dear World It’s me- Tilly
If getting older is a blessing and a privilege, why do we fight it? Why do we as a society spend millions of dollars to hide it?
When I was in my teens, I thought that people in their fifties were old. At this juncture in my life, a fifty-year-old seems relatively youthful. So aging is ambiguous. Bernard Nash describes aging as a paradox: “Does it not strike you that we all want to live longer but none of us want to grow old?”
We live in a society that has shown little understanding of growing old, and value it even less. Society has a negative and morbid view of aging. And the advertising industry contributes to this mood; after all when was the last time you saw a 50-something or older woman in an advertisement for perfume, jeans or even jewelry? They think once you hit your 40’s you aren’t viewed as sexy anymore.Only five percent of marketing dollars are spent on individuals over age 50. I find this absolutely ridiculous.
We mirror a society that has discouraged our youth to think of growing old as a beautiful process, instead it is to be looked at as a problem to be avoided at all costs. Hence, scientists now search for a solution to the “problem of old age.” Everywhere you turn you do not see that aging is a gift or a blessing; quite the opposite.
Do people believe being old is being sick, undesirable and stuck in the past, becoming a grumpy ‘old’ person? Does youth really believe that the older generations should just be stuck in the metaphorical rocking chair because they have nothing to add or contribute to society?
I call bullshit. Grumpy old people used to be grumpy young people. Aging doesn’t turn a cheerful person into a grouch. Scientists used to think that we lose a significant number of our brain cells as we age, but more sophisticated scans have debunked that theory. We now know that we hit our cognitive peak between the ages of 40 and 68. Through the years, our brains build up connections and recognize patterns—meaning we’re better problem-solvers and can more quickly get the gist of an argument.
California researchers reported in 2012 that despite any physical and mental challenges, people feel better as they age, not worse. Furthermore physical and mental challenges attack all ages not just the middle-aged or elderly. And guess what? Your sex life improves! Older people know how to enjoy hot passion; they know what turns them on and aren’t afraid of saying so. Why do you think cougars are so popular?
They also know how to enjoy sex for what it is, pleasure, not an acceptance tool, trying to fit in, or a way to feel loved/wanted.
Eatha Kitt said it best “Aging has a wonderful beauty and we should have respect for that.”
If we all do our part to eliminate the stereotypes of aging, and become confident in our own skin, no matter the age, I think we can relax a lot more and just enjoy this thing called…. life!