The trouble with age is that it is stringed along with a list of stereotypes and expectations. People are judged based on a number. Unfortunately, through only numbers, one’s existence is rendered as valuable or useless. Depending on the number. Its a shame that age has come to value men and women. Even if one grows in skills, as one ages, it is the number, which defines if a person’s contributions and labor are valid.
Growing old, and being older, has often come with negative connotations. The media does a lot of harm, regarding this. Women are deemed as less valuable, less beautiful, and less feminine, as they get older. Men are perceived as less masculine, and other demeaning characteristics, as they get oldr. Even if one has not reached the age of being “old,” in the sense of an “old man” or “old woman,” there is a cultural obsession of aging. So many fears, which are played upon. Furthermore, when it comes to being “old,” there are physical expectations. An elder man or woman is expected to look a certain way, dress a certain way, and carry themselves a certain way. And, should they step out of line with these expectations, people become shocked, and surprised, that such an image of the “old. . .” exist.
And then, the ponders start to happen. . .is being old really filled with the misery, that people expect it to be? Is it really filled with limitations, or is there another world of adventure and wonder, when it comes to aging. . .and getting old?
Ageism is a huge factor in the part of society. Yet, there are many, who defy these limitations. They defy them in the workplace, career wise, and in everyday life. You see older men and women competing in sports competitions. Elder men and women, who have thrown out the notion of retirement, and are going after their dreams and passions. There are men and women (in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and above), who are getting married, enjoying their sexuality, and can physically have bodies, which are not drastically different from their 20 and 30-yeard old counterparts. So, in a terse amount of words. . .
Mainstream media is riddled with unhealthy images and depictions of age. And, it doesn’t help when plastic surgery has become an obsession to stay young, rather than a simple anecdote to fix a few things, here or there. As we venture into the realm of mortality, age is consistently thrown in our faces, as a taunting fear. How saddened it must be that much of humanity spends time counting numbers, rather than enjoying them! Enjoying and celebrating every number that the human life cycle brings to everyone. That each number is aesthetically pleasing because it has illuminated the facet of life. That life is present in a human body. A number does not lose its beauty, simply because it has increased. The colorful glittering is always there.
When addressing the issue of age, we also have to utilize the gender factor. For women, age takes on a particular lens. The notion that a woman is less valuable, as she ages, is one which drives the competition among women. Pitting women against each other in career fields and office settings. Too often, the young maiden is positioned as a “rival,” who threatens the place of those dames from a classier era. Rather than the young maiden, being a reminder of every woman’s inner connection to the magical garden (of creative ideas and wonder), she is presented as the object of envy. Her younger self, the maiden who entered that garden ( and can continue to enter it), no matter how older she may be, is presented as. . . long gone. On the contrary, there are too many incidents of younger women entering into particular career fields, without respect or acknowledgement for the women that came before them. Playing into the ageism, which privileges her for that time and era. If only we changed the realms for how we see, and viewed, age. What is wrong in validating numbers in representing the different forms of womanhood? That one number doesn’t necessariliy make it superior, or more valuable than another. Part of the age factor is seeing how it presents the varied aesthetics of women. It is a fascinating wonder, when it it treated right. When numbers are viewed as an intriguing part of the entire mystery of life. Appreciating those numbers, and how they reflect the value in each woman. A value that is never de-valued, no matter her life increasing in. . .number.
There is grace and wisdom in aging. Beauty and charm continues to enrichen itself, through the windows of age. And a man and woman can still be just as witty, charming, dashing, fashionable, sexy, and cool in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and 100’s. It is a beautiful wonder! Filled with amazement, and a celebration of humanity, in the many numbers, that they occupy.
Numbers! Let’s dress the numbers. Play with numbers. Celebrate wtih numbers. Further allowing numbers to be a vigor and illumination within all human beings, and the age factor. At 80, we can still play in the playground, and enter that world, that we left behind when we. . .grew up! At 7, we can still have a mind of wisdom, often found in the elders. Numbers are intertwined within each other. They are not stagnant objects, which can be objectified into the rigidity, of human limitations and arrogance. Furthermore, numbers have a way of playing tricks on us. Challenging prevalent notions of what we expect of them, and demand for them to be. In a given sense, they have a sense of humor. Their own style, and unique way of seeing and continuing Universal knowledge, and life on Earth.
If we as humans, are to understand that life continues, at every age, then the limitations associated with age, must be dismantled. Recognizing age as beautiful, throughout every number of its presentation, is key to witnessing the mystery, as to truly how numbers work. Getting older doesn’t mean that you have to separate youthfulness from the heart. So, in a celebration of numbers. . .
Watch the numbers play, and you will see that life always. . .STAYS!