L.J. Rohan

L.J. Rohan

Certified Gerontologist

Myth: Anti-Aging is Possible

October 19, 2019

Let me lay my cards right on the table. I hate the term “anti-aging.” Why? First because there is no such thing, just like there are no such things as partial forgiveness or being a little pregnant. Secondly, this term goes to the heart of our cultural problem of ageism—that stereotype of negative attitudes toward older folks. Dr. Jill Chonody, author of Social Work Practices with Older Adults, writes, “Antiaging norms have become a regular part of American culture and as a result they are readily expressed through and reinforced by an ‘anti-aging movement’ which dictates that physical signs of aging should be hidden by ‘anti-aging products’ to cover age-related ‘flaws.’ ” Dr. Chondoy cites stats that show more than a 100% increase in the number of surgical and non-surgical procedures (from $80m to $114m), from 1997-2014. When we add in the last four years, that figure soars to over $120m. She goes on to say, “The marketing of these products goes without much notice much like greeting cards. No magazine or products are labeled anti-black or anti-woman, but anti-aging is a very common label for commercial products, including books. Why do we spend money on these products, why would we have unnecessary surgery to hide the physical signs of aging? Social messages repeatedly tell us that aging is unattractive and should be avoided at all costs and we believe it without question.”

So, as we all know, there is only one true way to avoid aging, and that isn’t really a great alternative!  😉

Until next time…Be Vibrant!