Anti-Wrinkle Ageism


Yesterday I went to buy some more anti-wrinkle day cream. The media bombard us with messages that we should “defend” ourselves against signs of growing old. But is this just the ugly face of ageism?

We have an increasingly ageing population, yet age discrimination is still a big 271333881_5342e17059_zproblem. I have written previously about how a 50-something former sales manager experienced ageism routinely at interviews. When I worked in the NHS an employee was harassed until she “retired” and she was not given the respect her experience should have demanded. I later saw her happily working somewhere where she was treated as an equal. When looking after an elderly lady I saw that she was often treated despicably by some nurses, who could be patronising and uncaring.

Indeed when I went into hospital for the first time (I suffered convulsions from stress after working seven days a week doing three jobs) I was moved ageism3onto the geriatric ward for the night. The experience was a shock. There were no call buttons for assistance. There was one nurse to cover the whole ward and he was never present. A doctor did an examination that I found too intimate without warning and without a witness. There was nothing to drink and no one to help me go to the toilet, so I had to hold it until morning. It’s easy to see how the elderly could be abused in these circumstances. One nurse even commented that it was nice to see a young face on the ward for a change. Inexplicably, the hospital later received a 5 star rating.

The horse-racing pundit John McCirick, 73 has this month launched legal JohnMcCririck1action against Channel 4, who he said sacked him for a younger replacement. On Radio 1, Chris Moyles, then 38, was an excellent presenter, always entertaining. He was replaced by Nick Grimshaw, then 27, who I find dull. A colleague had commented that Moyles was “too old”. Last year a 52 year old won an age discrimination case against his employers who replaced him with a 15 year old who they could hire for less. The year before that, a BBC Countryfile presenter won her case against being sacked because of her age.

HelpAge International has launched a petition which I have contributed to. It urges the government to press for a UN convention protecting the rights of  older people. So far over 8 000 people have signed it.

Faukja Singh, 101, the oldest person to complete a marathon!

Faukja Singh, 101, the oldest person to complete a marathon!

Lets stop thinking that the passing of the years is some sort of problem which we must “protect” ourselves against. Although having said that I admit, I still want to look younger through natural means by using cream to stop UV damage and dehydration and doing as much exercise as I can. According to research, exercising vigorously for more than 40 minutes results in a younger-looking appearance over time.

However, when I start to look older I believe I will embrace it. I would rather look old than scary. I will fight for the right to be seen as experienced rather than due for retirement, and I will defend myself against ageism, not wrinkles.+Jackie+Stallone++'The+Expendables+2'+film+premiere,+Los+Angeles,+America+-+15+Aug+2012+

1 Comment

Filed under Jobhunting, Life of Lydia, Work

One response to “Anti-Wrinkle Ageism

  1. Pingback: Plain Stupid Sexism | literarylydi

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