Do you ever wonder why websites, brochures and advertisements that speak to older people look as if they’re really talking to someone totally not you? Why is everyone so white? Why does everyone have such perfect teeth? And why are these older people so… goofy looking?
The answer is stock photography, those libraries of images mined by advertisers and publishers (including Senior Planet). The pics are created by photographers who work with senior models to create the types of images that they think represent “older.”
When it comes to the wonderful world of stock photography and seniors, many of the results make for LOL-worthy (and cringe inducing) moments.
Case in point: That popular category “Active Senior.” It’s great to see that we’re recognized as capable of getting around without walkers, but what does the term mean ? We conducted a search for the term in the stock library Thinkstock and here’s what we found. In case you weren’t sure how to stay active, pay attention to these essentials!
1. To be an active senior, you must invest in a hula hoop, since you will be using it to shimmy — almost —across this stage of your life. (Oh, and be sure to dress “advanced circus style.”)
2. Yes, older gentlemen can hula as well as the ladies!
3. The great thing about hula? You can do it anywhere and everywhere.
4. Between hoops, active senior couples like to take time out to joke.
5. Synchronized exercise keeps many couples together.
6. Especially when they wear just the right matching workout gear to complement the silver.
7. Senior couples – even active ones – believe there’s still fun to be had by clinging to gender roles of yore. Wheelbarrows are a must.
8. Another must: A wooden photo frame, which should be carried at all times – since you never know when the perfect active-senior picture opportunity will present itself.
9. You don’t even have to go to the gym to be an active senior. You can exercise anywhere you want. Even on an apparent stage.
10. Your active senior status automatically turns you into a superhero.
11. One who is ready to knock out any trouble that comes along – with a smile.
12. Active seniors should take regular vacations to recover from their strenuous activities. When preparing for your trip, pack all the props that you acquired during your last vacation. Don’t forget the vodka for your cocktail (you’ll find it in the keepsake bottle).
13. Active seniors never stop with those leg workouts. Watch them flip around in the sand.
14. Exercising in size order is mandatory for active senior heroes.
15. So is eating your vegetables (but you knew that).
16. Look, they’re almost flying! Peter Pan syndrome? It’s all good, just as long as you’re having fun…
Yay for active seniors!
Check back as we continue to tackle seniors according to stock photography!
Question: Which stock photo do you find the funniest – or the most insulting!
Very Amusing. The comments were a little sharper than I expected.
My personal favorite is the first one, hula hooping.There are some ladies of a certain age stuck in a gym-wardrobe time machine. I’d like the world to believe we’re physically capable of so much more! I’m a 68 year old active senior who does Crossfit, cycling, masters swimming, all kinds of heavy weight lifting, and am also a personal trainer, Even people who see me at the gym make assumptions, since they don’t see me working out, as evidenced by a member seeing me jumping rope (fast) at the gym the other day. She was so astounded to see the “older trainer” working so hard that she mentioned it to her trainer. fitforrestofyourlife.com.
I feel older people are underestimated in tech, fitness, and in so many other ways. Others seem amazed that we can do anything.