Our Society is Being “Youth-anized”
Our society is being “youth-anized!” If I were to only say this, it would be pretty easy for people to miss the play on words and become completely confused about what I am trying to communicate. I’m saying that our society is a youth-oriented one where aging is a process many people want to avoid – at great cost I may add.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery released 15 years of plastic surgery statistics through 2011. In order to retain a youthful appearance, doctors performed 2.1 million procedures in 1997 compared to 9.2 million in 2011. Despite the economic downturn, 60 percent of the over $10 billion total spent in 2011 was for surgeries, with a 356 percent increase in nonsurgical procedures. $1.7 billion was spent on injectable procedures, $1.6 billion was spent on skin rejuvenation procedures and $360 million was spent on other nonsurgical procedures.
Our society is being “youth-anized!”
The cornerstone of our country is freedom which created the diversity we enjoy: diversity in ethnicity, diversity in religion, diversity in race, diversity in sex (thank goodness or we would cease to exist), diversity in age (whether we like it or not), etc. Our country is known worldwide for embracing diversity – except when it comes to age. Our society spends billions to cover-up, slow down, reverse and deny the aging process.
We thrive on diversity as a country. Each piece of the puzzle brings something to our great table. By vocation, we can’t all do the same thing. We need the diversity of different occupations or our streets would be impassable, our planes wouldn’t fly, we’d have no cars to drive, our electricity would cease to flow and our drinking water would cause the greatest outbreak of diarrhea in history.
Is there a way we can resuscitate our “youth-anized” society? I believe there is. As long as we are alive, there is always hope. More and more people are speaking out about ageism and trying to help educate others about what it is, how it infects our society, and why it is so easily overlooked. In fact, it’s so easily overlooked that it’s the last form of discrimination accepted by society today.
People within society have mustered the courage, determination and strength to fight against injustices throughout our history and will continue to do so in the future. The freedoms we enjoy, which are the very cornerstone on which this country was built, will continue to spur us into cleaning out the dark corners of society. Discrimination against older people in our society is one of those dark corners. More and more people are shining a light on its hiding place.
The hope of many people is to live a long life, and it simply can’t be done without aging. To age in the best possible way, people must be able to do that as freely as they choose how to worship. A society that is being “youth-anized” does not permit its people to age and maintain equality with others. The perceptions and treatment of the aging in this country – in fact, around the world – must change to allow for the freedom to age without losing equality.
AGEISM: Prejudice or discrimination against a particular age-group and especially the elderly.