Everywhere I look, particularly as it applies to aging, I see people, bloggers, writers, newscasters telling us what we will be experiencing. As if it were fact. And, it’s rarely upbeat, positive or age-affirming.
Do Not Believe Everything You Read, or See or Hear
- Don’t tell me I won’t enjoy sex once I turn 60. Sorry for you but don’t lay your lagging libido on the rest of us.
- Don’t tell me that menopause will cause my vagina to dry up and sex will be painful. It didn’t, it hasn’t.
- Older women need smaller/thinner sex toys because their vaginal openings are smaller. Really? I’ll refrain from saying more on this one.
- Men don’t want to date women with gray hair. Are you justifying dying your hair?
- Women with gray hair have a disadvantage in the work place. Sadly, that one’s probably true.
- Menopause is awful, painful, emotionally challenging and requires medication. You’ll have mood swings, hot flashes, lose your libido, etc… Some of us yes, not all of us.
- Eat these foods to reverse aging. Right. Yet another so-called expert pretending to have the cure–again.
- Aging sucks. Is that the best you can do? Give me an example.
- 60 is the new 40. What the F*#@ is that supposed to mean?
Are these scare tactics? Examples of insular thinking? Or a warped way for someone to turn their own bitter experiences into a money-making proposition?
Sure, each of these statements holds some truth for some women. But in each case the comment was made as a blanket statement, applying to all of us. Some of these comments came from everyday people, a few came from ‘experts’.
The result? Women talk about dreading menopause and its side effects without even waiting to see what actually happens to them. Women begin to anticipate all the negativity around aging with a sense of resignation, when in reality many of us are enjoying our advanced years with few problems.
This kind of talk makes aging look more like a disease than a natural state–to be treated with cosmetic surgery, expensive anti-aging regimes, denial and medications. It scares women. It puts us in a place of ‘frailty’. We handicap ourselves if we sit around waiting to be hit with the Aging Stick.
For every bad story you see or hear, there are at least three to six good ones that completely contradict the bad stuff. I made that up.
Stop saying all that crap!
And you–stop listening and reacting to this kind of garbage. Unless you really want to be miserable as you age. Then go right ahead.
To all you naysayers: Unless you’ve got definitive data to back up your words you’re doing everyone a disservice by spreading these scare tactics, ageist opinions and other BS.
As purveyors of material on the internet, the news, media, etc… we do not have to believe or buy-in to everything we hear. We have the ability to think for ourselves, seek out multiple sources and refuse to be scared or threatened by this kind of false advertising, short-sighted thinking.
As bloggers, public speakers, reporters and writers let’s be more mindful of the message we send. Use a few “I” statements to personalize your rhetoric so the reader understands that you’re talking about your personal experience.
For example, if you feel compelled to say that women experience a lessening of sexual desire after menopause–give a reason. State some statistics. Or admit that it’s been your own experience and that of the 3 women you surveyed at Starbucks. The rest of us may be doing just fine, thank you very much.
Yep, this is a personal rant. I’m tired of seeing other older women spouting off this crap about aging. I’m fed up with being warned about the negative things to expect in the upcoming years.
We need more positive voices embracing this wonderful period of change we’re experiencing as older women. Let’s embrace open conversation and affirmation. We need more role models who are exploring and expanding their lives–and inviting us to join them. This is a wonderful period in our lives, let’s spend more time enjoying life.
Repeat after me, “I can have all the fun I want in this life, the choice is mine.”