Video of the Week: A Remarkable Conversation about Aging

We talk a lot about the impact that society’s devaluing of age has on us as older people, but how does it affect young women in their 20s and 30s? If you haven’t been spending time with Gen Y lately, you might be surprised – not just by how significantly the subject of aging factors into the way the women in this video think about themselves, but also by how thoughtfully they – as well as the video’s older participants – approach the topic.

“I don’t have a fear of aging. But there is this fear of becoming invisible,” one young women says, “and I think these are becoming one and the same in our society. That terrifies me.”

The video is one of several in a series of conversations created by the site SoulPancake in partnership with Darling Magazine.

If you start tiring of hearing a bunch of smart and beautiful young white women discuss society’s “f***ed up” attitude to age, hang in there; a couple of older women speak about the plus sides of reaching an age where you no longer have to fear getting older – “I think I like being who I am,” one silver-haired woman says, “and being who I am right now has some wrinkles attached” – and the video ends with a powerful poem read by young African American poet Natalie Patterson, who leads us through a series of profiles of women of various ages with whom she has discussed present and future, and how to grab the moment you are in, “because it’s the only one you’ve got.”

“Mary Sue is 60. I’ve never met her but I know she’s stunning. Told me that most of her life is behind her, is supposed to have all the answers by now but is just figuring out the questions, says she doesn’t want to waste a moment, her body hurts some days and boobs – boobs really do head south…. She says sixty is great and awful and wonderful and big.”

What would you tell these young women about getting older? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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11 comments
  • stephanoitis
    REPLY

    How astute these young women are. How amazing this young Puerto Rican Poet is about aging. Yep, gotta agree, it’s scary at times, but heh, all if we have is now and all that’s to come is death at some point. SO get busy living…. I say, and I said that in High School after graduation, don’t waste time, go, do, be, love, laugh, cry, but please don’t feel sorry for yourself, it’s a big waste of energy which can be used to take yourself along the path and do more than you ever thought possible….aloha

  • Joy Lacey
    REPLY

    Acceptance of looks (wrinkles etc); never use age as an excuse for anything; learn to love yourself and love being alone; don’t use the ‘o’ word .. we are mature and experienced.

    When people ask me how I seem so young for my age, I say, “Attitude, attitude, attitude, and posture.”

    Once we pass the age of reproduction, the world is our oyster.

    .. and guys love it ….

  • Annamay
    REPLY

    OMG, I’ll be 88 in December — I don’t recall ever worrying about getting older the way people seem to today! I’ve got plenty of wrinkles and my energy isn’t what I’d like — but I’m so grateful to still be here — unlike the majority of my friends that I’ve known all my life. Friends and energy, that’s it — wish I still had them. I make the most of my looks, respecting my age — not trying to look like something I’m not. I try to eat healthfully and make the best I can out of every moment. I’ve got GREAT memories!.

  • Lenore Schmidt
    REPLY

    Aging is inevitable – if you’re fortunate to go through it!!!. What are the alternatives? Everything is life is perception and attitude!!! For me, my aging is about gratitude and attitude. It’s difficult for me to comprehend why many senior women – and men – hesitate in accepting their “age”. The reality is – you are that age. If you treasure yourself, those around you will feel the same way about you. Be honest, share your feelings, express love, hug, kiss – and all that good stuff. Focus on your own “being” – do things you enjoy – be with people of all ages – I love being by myself too. My life, as many others, was not simple or easy but in being an octogenarian, I am filled with gratitude for all of it.

  • bettedewing@aol.com
    REPLY

    excuse typos
    unfortunately even wtjh population “aging, agesm seemss more ingrained than ever and even the most affected don’t recognize their oppresssion. The young woman who said she feared being invisable in the future she iis so right, but the anti ageism movement begun by NOW with so much consciousness raising and also protest irnically got derailed iwth new generationof women and no doubt the eocnomy too whcy so depends on businessess which make you look younger.

    The most oppressed people are those really elder, for obviously so many reasons.and often deserted by their own families. And of course none of them were in the group meeting or writijng about age here
    .I’m one of the very few surviving NOW membersin
    that long ago movement which so lamentably got derailed Still banging the drum but for how long…

  • Hope Reiner
    REPLY

    How extraordinary to listen to these young woman who are talking about their attitudes about aging and the marginalization of older adults in our society.

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