Myth: There Are No Myths Regarding Aging
November 9, 2019
I somehow think I should have started these posts with this
myth, but sometimes I am a little late to the party—that way you don’t have to
stay there as long! 😉
Dr. James Thornton, now professor emeritus at the University
of British Colombia, researched the universal practice of creating stories,
which over time become “myths” or legends– as in the Loch Ness Monster, King
Arthur, Robin Hood, or Paul Bunyan. Traditional myths and folklore defined
personal experience. They shaped social life, and offered hope, and meaning to the
unexplainable in times when there was little scientific advancement.
However in today’s world, with science influencing every
aspect of our lives, current myths of aging strongly influence our present culture.
But, like all myths, these anti-aging mythologies are based on half-truths and false
knowledge. Unfortunately they are usually stated as culturally accepted
stereotypes, in our case, ageist
stereotypes. Current misconceptions of
aging often reinforced in the media and the literature of aging are not merely folklore.
They are intentionally misrepresented
statements pretending to inform, often in order to sell products and services.
But in reality these proclamations only reinforce misunderstandings, and give wrong
information about aging as experienced by the vast majority of older people.
The good news? As I love to say, there is a sea-changing coming! So many good people and so many different sources from the media (Think “Grace and Frankie,” Sophia Loren’s new movie, and those silver-haired beauties in print and TV ads) are changing the way us older adults are portrayed. All of these create a more realistic picture of what it looks like to have some experience under our belts.
Until next time…Be Vibrant!