Do any of the older people in websites, brochures and advertisements look like or act like any older person you know? Why is everyone so white? Why does everyone have such perfect teeth? Why do they all look so…dopey?
Ask the stock photography houses, those libraries of images used by advertisers and publishers (including Senior Planet). The photographers who supply these photos work with senior models and create the types of images they think represent “older.” It makes for a funny but cringe inducing collection.
Take that popular category “Active Senior.” It’s nice that they realize most of us can get around without walkers, but their choices of activities and situations range from “overly cute” to ‘deranged.” Here’s a cross section of images from the stock library Thinkstock. If you’re an active senior, or if you want to be, take a look and see how closely your experience matches the assumptions about active older people.
1. Active seniors love hula hoops and will take any occasion to use one, even to shimmy — almost —across a stage. And fail at it.
2. Yes, older men love to hula in the park. (You can leave your hat on.)
3. There’s nothing like a hula on the beach.
4. Active senior couples love to crack jokes during a spirited game of hoops.
5. Active senior couples enjoy synchronized exercise and wardrobes; they wear grey to match their hair!
6. Senior couples – even active ones – enjoy outdated gender roles. Wheelbarrows are a must.
7. An active senior couple out for a walk is so seldom seen ‘in the wild” that they should carry a wooden photo frame in case a photographer is strolling by. Snap snap!
Yay for active seniors!
Question: Which stock photo do you find the funniest – or the most insulting!