Yesterday, I was searching for an image of two mature women to represent my sister and I in old age. It was almost impossible to source an image that did not ridicule and marginalise older women.
Almost every image that I found of two women, represented the women as bizarrely dressed, smoking cigars, playing on children’s playground equipment , skateboarding, riding motorcycles or looking grumpy.
When are we going to stop this marginalisation of older women? Why do we allow, in fact, not only allow, but perpetuate the stereotype of the crazy old woman? Why does ageing mean that we either have to be grumpy and frumpy, or bizarre and childish?
I don’t want to act like a child when I am old. I’ve passed through that stage of life, why would I want to go back to it? I am an intelligent, independent women with all my faculties. I have worked hard to have the life I live, I am not going to stand by and allow the media to stereotype me as a weird or senile older person. If I don’t have respect for myself, why should others?
Repeat after me : I will not marginalise myself, or other women by allowing older people to be represented in such a manner as to cause disrespect or ridicule.