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aging with the wrong questions for old age

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay.


We’re busy. We have lots of things to worry about.

So why do we keep seeing these questions pop up over and over again? They just support the stereotypes. We need to move on.

1  – What do you call yourself?

So many writers agonize over terms like “seniors,” “elders,” or some other phrase. 

Why do you need to describe yourself by your age?

Aren’t you too busy living your life to need time to describe it? If not, find something to do…preferably something hard. 

I’m an accomplished, educated professional woman. At times I’m a standup comedian, a business owner, an owner of two temperamental cats, a homeowner, and a writer. What else matters?

2 – Should you dye your hair? Isn’t it more authentic to go gray?

Oh please. I’ve been coloring my hair since I was 25 years old.

Were you born a brunette but you look better as a blond? Do you feel like a red-headed personality and want to express yourself through your hair color?

If you’re not allergic to the chemicals and you can afford the cost, what’s stopping you?

If you feel comfortable with your natural hair, tell your hair stylist, “No thanks.”

Don’t worry what people think. They’ll find a way to criticize your skin, your clothes, your shoes and your aura. Wear the hair that makes you happy.

3 – How do you deal with sags, bags, back pain, and chin hair?

A registered nurse who lived in my building once said, “Everybody over sixty has back problems.” That’s ageist, typical of medical professionals, and just plain wrong.

If you’ve got problems with your back, knees, or other body part, find a doctor and a physical therapist. I’m always surprised how much can be fixed when you get referred to a competent professional.

Some problems can’t be fixed. it’s because of your body – your heredity, history, accidents, and maybe bad luck. It’s not because of your age.

I’m so over jokes about chin hair. If you’ve got time to focus on your chin, you need a challenge. See #1.

Olga Kotelko was running track and field events into her 90s. I suspect her back didn’t hurt and she didn’t waste her time worrying about chin hair.

Whatever you do, don’t identify yourself by your physical characteristics. There’s a Medium channel named “Crows Feet.”  It seems to have some good content, but I can’t understand why they chose that name. Why create a community based on a physical trait that doesn’t define you?

What’s wrong with these questions?

A lot, actually. They encourage others to define you by the most negative qualities of aging. They don’t

What happens to the self-esteem of someone who answers these questions? And what stereotypes are perpetuated among prospective clients, employers, colleagues, and friends?

Next time you’re tempted to ponder these questions, find something else to do…something more fun and more productive.