Our Society is Being “Youth-anized”

surgeon with headlamp

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.

7 Comments

  1. The public has been taught to fear aging, and remains mostly ignorant of the processes, pscyho/social/physical/spiritual that accompany and enhance aging. These fears perpetuate through the generations. We must be corrective and supportive to dispel these fears and encourage healthy aging.

    • Molly, As human beings, I too, believe we are truly enhanced by aging. We must live as fully and freely as possible until we die. Regards, Kathy

  2. I have always love my elders…and now that I am 59 going on 60, I am ready to take on the aging process with grace….I give Compassionate Touch massage to elders, seniors, people who are sick, people in end stages of life…it is so rewarding to me….Let us all go PRO-AGE!!

    • Dawn, What a wonderful service you provide! It is a fact that we receive less touch as we grow older; unlike infants who are held, cuddled and touched for a large part of every day. As adults, we may need the comforting touch of another and oftentimes don’t think to ask for it. It can be so healing. I believe the human touch is essential to being well. I have heard of failure to thrive in both infants and the aged and believe a lot of that is due to the lack of touch which imparts a deep connection with another and a healing power beyond what words can bring. Bless you for what you are doing. I hope more people will become compassionate about touching our older adults as you are doing. Blessings, Kathy

  3. The assumptions and stereotypes do get tedious. What’s worse they have a bad effect on those of us who have to deal them them nearly every day. If one more clerk or customer service person asks me if I have access to a computer, I’ll think I’ll lose it. The last time that happened to me–when I called to schedule a medical procedure–I said, “Yes, for over 25 years.” She replied that the hospital had to ask that “because of age.” What nonsense!

    • Madeline, A parody to a song by Tina Turner just ran through my mind after reading your comment. It’s a parody to, “What’s love got to do with?” The parody asks, “What’s age got to do with it?” I’d like to see some parodies to get the message across that ageism won’t be tolerated. Gaea Yudron is standing up to ageism through music as director at “Sage’s Play.” Let’s take that ageism nonsense and create something compelling and unforgettable out of it. Music can deliver a message that becomes memorable. We just have to get it to go viral. Until then, keep fighting the good fight. Kathy

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  1. How Does Ageism Influence You? / Viv's Blog

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