Perspective: Ageism

Aug 8, 2019


Growing older is a fact of life that most people dread. We’re embarrassed to be called old. 

Ageism is embedded in our culture, perhaps even more insidiously than racism, sexism, or homophobia. We’ve all internalized the message that getting old is bad. And many of us conspire in this thinking. For instance, everyone forgets things, but older people laugh and call it a senior moment. When we can’t read the fine print or open a jar, we blame ourselves. 


Wrinkles are ugly, say the skin care companies. Grey hair -- horrid, according to the beauty product industry. All too often, we agree, buying into this thinking and making these companies very rich. We keep trying to become a younger version of ourselves. But aging isn’t a problem to be fixed. It’s a life stage, as natural as all the other stages of life. 

This brings me to Joe Biden, the current Democratic front runner. He is 76 years old and many people feel he’s too old to be president. Sure, he’s not as spritely as he once was and he has more wrinkles. But he has a great memory and jogs every day. 

Joe Biden takes a centrist position on many issues. His current beliefs, as well as his past political acts and views should all be considered when we determine whether he would be a good president. We should judge Biden on his words and deeds, not his age. Just as we do the current 73-year-old president. 

I’m Deborah Booth and that’s my perspective.