Ageism definition: prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age.
As a mature women this topic of ageism is something I have been aware of for many years but it actually affects men & women of ALL ages.
Why is age allowed to define someone?
One of the first questions a person is asked on almost any form is; Enter Your Birthday mth/day/year. Why do they have the right to ask you this? Most non medical/government forms do not ask for your weight so why is this “none of your business” birthday question permitted?
The minute you tell someone how old you are, their judgment is automatically internalizing. It may not be verbally discussed but it is definitely stirring within the thought process of the person asking.
Most of us are guilty of doing this to some degree as we have been programmed to base people on who they are; by how old they are. We need to base our critiquing on what we actually see & hear, not on how old someone is on their birth certificate!
If employers closed their eyes when they were interviewing a potential employee, they would get a completely different picture of who that person sitting in their office really was.
From a very young age I have always respected & appreciated people in their maturing years due to their enlightening non-stop wisdom. I liked to surround myself with their stories and life lessons that they have learned with each passing birthday.
One of my favorite celebrities is Betty White due to her humor & zest for life at the young tender age of 95! She greatly inspires me as did George Burns for many years. He died at age 100 in 1996 and people still talk about him! I rest my case…
People often become invisible when they reach a certain age. No one should be ignored or considered “too old” by anyone.
We also have to abolish the double standard aging female vs. aging man scenario. It is well documented in history and even today, that men are viewed as “distinguished” as they age, while women in the workforce feel as if they are viewed as “grazers out in the pasture” after 50. (Thankfully this is slowly starting to change as women are fighting back as we speak!)
Although certain professions may have age restrictions due to strenuous job requirements, I truly believe that each person should be considered on an individual non-prejudiced nature. After all; 50 is the new 35 and with that comes great life experience, better fitness levels & professional expertise. Why wouldn’t a company embrace that?
Successful businesses have a variety of age groups in the employee mix as they are intelligent enough to understand how well this works. If there was only “one hiring age,” everyone would think the same way which can lead to a narrow minded marketing strategy down the road.
“An innovative business is a successful business!” How many people out there wouldn’t hire Richard Branson at the age of 66? Am I making my point yet?
Ageism is also a difficult time for many people turning 30. There is much anxiety today for this age group due to the path their parents & grandparents led. There is pressure to have children, buy a house & have the perfect career, which is not happening as often for everyone these days.
Companies want experience but don’t want to pay for it, so many University grads are getting passed over! Many businesses advertise to hire interns with “no pay”to work for a year! How can students afford to do that when they have 5 years of loans to pay off after getting their degree???
There is so much competition for only a few jobs that it is discouraging millennials from even wanting to go to school anymore! They can make more money as a server in a high end restaurant without having any loans to pay back.
It doesn’t seem to matter what type of career choice you venture into, the competition is fierce. Whether it is the gaming or social media market, there is a waiting room full of hopeful young men and women vying for the same job.
One of my friends is an amazing singer/songwriter in her 30’s. In music land she is considered less & less for her incredible talent strictly due to her age and has actually been told that a few times! Basically, she is not as programmable or in my words (easily manipulated) as a 15 year old rising star tends to be.
This is very sad! Who said that talent stops at 25? There is a reason for shows like “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent” that do not have an age restriction for mature applicants. Finally someone gets it!
Speaking of shows…
As a mature woman on YouTube I have taken some verbal beatings with regards to my age. I started my talk show 8 years ago on the YouTube platform which initially had an audience primarily in the under 25 category. In the first year I was a called a wrinkled old bag, ugly & old, an aging bitch & a few other names that start with “F.”
Moving forward into 2017 with many age groups now visiting or uploading on YouTube & other social media sites, I am now very fortunate to have many wonderful comments written to me regularly with regards to my talk show videos.
The negative feedback occasionally still happens and it is still sadly apparent that ageism will probably always exist in social media with young adults. I guess it makes some people feel better to be able to vent their personal opinions as they can safely hide behind a computer while doing so.
So why did a mature woman decide to put herself out there on HD video & social media?
I started my online Lifestyle Talk Show to help men & women with dating, relationships, self esteem issues & to help them find love in their lives. So many people were complaining of how difficult it was to meet someone & how their self image & low self esteem was playing a big part in their loneliness.
I wanted to help make their lives easier by discussing numerous topics that I had dealt with during my long lived dating experiences, my divorce, being a single mother and my turbulent childhood. I am pleased to say that there are many wonderful people who truly appreciate my wisdom & life experience and I am happy to be able to help.
There will always be the few people who like to use bullying comments because of my advancing age & maturity, but I know in my heart they are lashing out due to their own unhappiness & insecurities. It makes some people feel powerful to put others down; another life lesson many of us learn much too late in life.
Regardless of what age you are now, it is time to think about where you want to be down the road with with each advancing birthday. It may not be affecting you at this particular moment but before you know it, you will be dealing with ageism in some form or another.
Surround yourself with mentors who have walked the walk of life as they will be the best guides you could ask for.
If we keep making age a factor in who we choose to have in our employment, our personal lives or our entertainment choices, we will be missing out on one Hell of a lot of talented & wise people we could learn from.
With many companies & establishments not hiring people after 50 these days, there are going to be many financially despondent people collecting welfare down the road. This could be one of your parents, yourself or even worse, one of your children.
It’s not too late to change your thinking and start to make a difference in this life. Everyone who crosses your path is there to teach you something or for you to teach them something. That is a good thing and an education all in itself. <3
Susan McCord @ The Dear Sybersue Talk Show