We cannot let others define aging for us.
….We must, as we have done before,
We rejected our parents conservative values to embrace the anti-establishment culture of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll although you may not have scored your full quota there. We did not stay-at-home like our mothers choosing to juggle child-rearing with work commitments without paid leave.
We’re educated or we stitched together an education as we went. We have married, divorced and married again. Many of us are single. We have wined, dined and travelled. We read and we have an interest in the arts, philosophy, history, more.
Now we have to fight yet another stereotype, this time of the aging woman. It is so insipid. Some government department will send you a brochure picturing grinning, grey-haired, polo-fleece wearing seniors on bicycles, whose duty it is, we guess, to quietly ride off grinning into the sunset. Or some patronising 30-something editor will suggest that you too can look like Christie Brinkley at 60. Great! We’re meant to be Bimbos 4Eva. Grimmer yet is the old age stereotype. You know the ‘little old lady’ package. She is a wrinkled, grey-headed, hairy-chinned, fragile, dithery, shuffling shell of a woman stripped of all individuality. Aging is no romp in the park. But it is not this hollow, characterless cartoon sketch either.
We cannot let others define aging for us. We must, as we have done before, redefine this stage for ourselves.
We must reinvent aging.