This article by two University of Southern California Gerontology professors claim that the coronoavirus is helping to marginalize older Americans.
In their opinion, the virus has led to seniors being blamed for the shelter-in-place guidelines or even some people indicating that senior citizens should be offered up as a sacrifice for the good of the country.
They go on to present their belief that ageism is arguably the last widely accepted form of social prejudice and that it’s ingrained into American society.
Advertising bombards us with it: greeting cards and GIFs, some that we send to family and loved ones, use blatantly ageist images and language. Prime time and late night television seek cheap laughs with skits that emphasize frailty, confusion, and memory problems. Many theatrical movies do much the same (â€œBad Grandpaâ€ is one). The writers and performers, out to entertain young audiences, gain fame at the expense of â€œthose unappealing others.â€
The authors believe that ageist words shape attitudes toward older people. We don’t notice this when we’re younger, but as we age we start to notice the stereotypes.
The anti-aging market makes billions by encouraging these stereotypes. We are told to mask age-related changes: hair dye, implants, botox, topical creams, cosmetic surgery. When we buy these products and services, we feed a greedy business thriving on our insecurities.
They conclude by saying that “Aging is not an insult or fuel for laughter; itâ€™s an accomplishment worthy of words of praise. With lives and livelihoods at stake, letâ€™s stop the name calling.”
Please read the entire article by clicking here.
This article appears online in The Conversation. “The Conversationâ€™s editorial process is deliberate and collaborative. Editors pay close attention to the news environment to identify the issues citizens are concerned about. They reach out to leading scholars across academia and work with them to unlock their knowledge for the broad public.”