In the December issue of Café, women share what they learned after celebrating milestone birthdays: 25, 30, 42 and 60. Because women often hear negative messages from society and even at church about their age, (women are either too young or too old)—we thought we celebrate the very best parts of the aging process.
One of the best gifts that women can give to another woman, especially someone younger, is the belief that they are valuable because of the person they are, not because they fit into a category (a patriarchal-constructed one at that): pretty vs. ugly, old vs. young, etc.
A recent article in Vogue, “Why Women Should Stop Calling Themselves Old,” talks about the premature age anxiety that is especially prevalent among women in their 20s and 30s. “Here’s why we should stop [calling ourselves old]: When women refer to themselves as old, we’re cosigning the ageism. We’re feeding it, retweeting it with a “+1,” passing it on like a terrible email forward. We’re agreeing with the lie that we’re more desirable, both to advertisers and to potential partners, when we can check the 18-to-24 age bracket.”
Thankfully there are things that all women can do right now—to make a change that can impact women. It starts with women talking positively about their age.
Because in addition to advertising, where do you think young women hear these negative messages? Yep. You guessed it—other, older people. If you are positive about your own age, you automatically give younger woman the possibility that they too can be positive about their own.
As Sonia Solomonson writes in this month’s issue, “There are gifts embedded in the aging process”—so let’s get to celebrating—so young women can celebrate their ages too, and resist buying into to one more issue that only women have to deal with—because, honestly men do not have to in the same way. Isn’t this something a community of women should champion?