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Anti-Ageism Battle Gear for the War on Ageism
#AGEISMSUCKS T-shirts broadcast frank message
A new line of merchandise emblazoned with an all-caps #AGEISMSUCKS is dropping the refreshingly frank hashtag into the conversation about age discrimination championed by celebrities like Paulina Porizkova, Sarah Jessica-Parker and Madonna. Read the press release here.
10.27.22: #AGEISUMSUCKS Makes the 2022 Out100 List!
09.27.22: Battle Gear for the War on Ageism: #AGEISMSUCKS T-shirts broadcast frank message
Download press release PDF | Word
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AGEISM RESOURCES & QUOTES
Ageism is rampant and because of that there are loads of resources and articles in the media about ageism. Below are a few links to a few resources, articles and quotes which may be of interest, but it is by no means meant to be a definitive list.
AARP American Association of Retired Persons (plenty of resources here for people who are not retired)
SAGE A national advocacy and services organization that’s been looking out for LGBTQ+ elders since 1978.
Ageism, Inc A nonprofit founded in 2019 with the purpose of combating ageism in society and within the workplace.
Old School Anti-Ageism Clearing House: A clearinghouse of free & carefully vetted resources to educate folks about ageism & help dismantle it. Includes links to many anti-ageism organizations.
New York City Department for the Aging Ageless New York Campaign
WHO World Health Organization’s Global Campaign to Combat Ageism
Download the WHO’s Global Report on Ageism
AGE Platform Europe’s Ageing Equal Campaign
Every Age Counts Campaign (Australia)
Caddis “We’re here to call out the whole fountain of youth illusion, industries that profit from the fear of getting older and the concept of “aging gracefully.” And yes, we sell reading glasses.”
A FEW ARTICLES
IBM Accused Of Ageism: Older Workers Are ‘Dinobabies’ Who Should Be Made An ‘Extinct Species’
When Ageism And Racism Collide: What A F**King Conundrum
Let’s Talk About Ageism (“I didn’t know ageism was happening to me at first … “)
For Black workers, age discrimination strikes twice
52% of Older Workers Forced into Involuntary Retirement
Workplace Age Discrimination Still Flourishes in America
Who You Calling ‘Young Lady’? And other ageist language that needs to change — now
Millennials face yet another workplace challenge—ageism
The ugly truth about ageism: it’s a prejudice targeting our future selves
To keep up on “ageism” in the media, create a Google Alert. Lots out there, and increasingly more so, about ageism.
& LOTS OF RANDOM QUOTES ABOUT AGEISM
“I’m 55 and did everything right. But because of the fact that I’m 55, I can’t get arrested by a brand to brand myself or become a paid influencer. School, married, 2 kids–who are turning 17 Friday!–work, and I can’t get anyone to say anything other “tell me what your secret sauce is” and “you need to be more aggressive and hustle harder.” Well, fuck you. I’m exhausted. YOU hustle. YOU do it and while you’re at it–do it for me. I wish I did have the energy, but not for acceptance from the groups that simply don’t get, honor or applaud age, and what we’ve done. Who we are. I’m tired of all the rules and all of the “no’s.” And all of the ho’s. The fact is, I don’t have a tight ass to smack quarters off or wear denim cut offs, my tits sag, I hate pastel cupcakes, I loathe making hearts with my hands, I have a fucking furrowed brow, jazzy jowls and my stomach is plump and bumpy. (P.S. All of these things are merchandisable, btw) AND I LOVE IT ALL! I wear a 12-14-16-18 TABOO-right? It’s your loss, suckas! Read this! (referring to this New York Times) – Sasha Charnin Morrison, Style Director, CBS Watch Magazine, author, “Secrets of Stylist: An Insider’s Guide to Styling the Stars”, Instagram post
“I believe that ageism is one of the last isms that’s acceptable. At this point, most of us are at least aware that racism, homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny aren’t publicly acceptable, but it is still kind of acceptable to make fun of older people. You see it in jokes, you see it in birthday cards, you see it in little everyday qualifiers like “you look great for your age.” – Steven Petrow, Author, “Stupid Things I Won’t Do When I Get Old,” to Katie Couric, “Author Steven Petrow’s Hilarious Advice on Embracing Aging“
“We are not dying at 50. What are we gonna do with this next 40 years? Boo-hoo about not being 25?” said Stacy London, CEO, State of Menopause, and former host of “What Not to Wear. “I don’t need to be who I was at 32, I need to be who I am. … I’m the person who used to be like that’s not age appropriate, and now I’m like fuck those rules!” – Stacy London
“I hired a person over 50. You can’t imagine the resistance I had to overcome. The HR manager was not impressed. She said he “won’t fit into our culture,” “he is overqualified.” etc. I had to put my foot down to get him hired. He was one of the best hires I ever made. He made a huge difference for the company. You can’t Google Experience. Employers if you want good talent you need to be considering the ‘Overqualified’ candidates,.” – Friba A, HR Manager, LinkedIn (9600+ likes, 640+ comments, 340+ shares.)
“It almost feels as if people don’t want us to be perfectly okay with where we are, as if they almost enjoy us being pained by who we are today, whether we choose to age naturally and not look perfect, or whether you do something if that makes you feel better,” she continued. “I know what I look like. I have no choice. What am I going to do about it? Stop aging? Disappear?” – “Sarah Jessica Parker is not here for your ‘misogynist’ ageism,” Marianne Garvey, CNN, @garveyshuffle
“It’s frightening. It’s an ugly thing. Sadly, I have to admit there’s been times when I’m guilty of it. It’s part of a survival mechanism I guess. I’ve become smarter as I’ve gotten older. I’m a big egomaniac but not in the same way. I have a broader perspective.” – Debbie Harry, 76 and currently touring, “‘We’re not cars, we’re people’: Cyndi Lauper, 63, bemoans ageism in the media… as fellow iconic singer Debbie Harry, 71, admits – ‘I’m guilty of it’,” Daily Mail
“People have always been trying to silence me for one reason or another, whether it’s that I’m not pretty enough, I don’t sing well enough, I’m not talented enough, I’m not married enough, and now it’s that I’m not young enough,” she tells Aitkenhead. “So they just keep trying to find a hook to hang their beef about me being alive on. Now I’m fighting ageism, now I’m being punished for turning 60.” – Madonna, “Madonna On Motherhood And Fighting Ageism: “I’m Being Punished For Turning 60” (Vogue UK)
“What are you just supposed to die when you’re 40?” – “Madonna eerily predicted the relentless ageism she’s spent most of her career fighting more than 25 years ago,” – Madonna, Billboard Magazine via Pink News UK
“’And finally, do not age,’ she added, twisting the knife. ‘Because to age is a sin. You will be criticized, you will be vilified, and you will definitely not be played on the radio.’” – Madonna, from her speech at the 2016 Billboard Women in Music Awards, “Madonna turns 60: The painful lessons she taught us about aging while female,” USA Today
“I felt ashamed to be aging, and then on the other hand you go, ‘But, I’m smarter, I’m better, I’m funnier, I’m more patient!’ ” she continues. “Overall as a person, I’m the best I’ve ever been. So I’m not ready to be dismissed.” “You don’t get to dismiss me because I have some wrinkles and sags and gray hair now, when I’m kind of fabulous, the most fabulous I’ve ever been,” she adds. “In fact, I’m going to just put it out there and go, you know what, this is me at my best. Deal with it!” – Paulina Porizkova, “Paulina Porizkova Expresses Feelings on Ageism in the Modeling Industry: ‘You Don’t Get to Dismiss Me’,” People Magazine
“I get comments like these every time I post a photo of my body. This is the ageist shaming that sets my teeth on edge. Older men are distinguished, older women are ugly. People who believe prettiness equals beauty do not understand beauty. Pretty is easy on the eyes, partly because it’s a little bland, inoffensive. It’s easy to take in and easy to forget. … To perceive beauty, you have to be able to SEE. This is why I believe we get more beautiful with age. We have earned our beauty, we understand what it is, and we can see it so much better. There is no such thing as ugly and old. Only shortsighted and ignorant.” – Paulina Porizkova, Instagram (below)
“I am now completely invisible,” the former model said last month in Britain’s The Times. “I walk into a party, I try to flirt with guys, and they will just walk away from me mid-sentence to pursue someone 20 years younger.” – Paulina Porizkova, Yahoo News
“Mostly, I have a sense that I still just don’t get it. At my friend’s cottage in the country, I climb naked on an outcrop of rock that’s dressed in spongy sea-green moss and I feel variegated. Decorated. Complicated. Back at home in the city, I look down at exposed forearms and feel disconcerted to see ink blots of age spots.” – “Don’t Tell Me How to Age,” Rose Cullis
“Mocking someone for being older than you is like feeling superior because you were born on a Sunday, and they were born on a Tuesday. (Charlie Hides)” – “Drag Race star Charlie Hides claps back at meme mocking her age,” Gay Star News
“Older consumers, who hold trillions of dollars in spending power and make up a growing portion of the global population, would seem to be a prime target for advertisers. Instead, the demographic is shunned and caricatured in marketing images, perpetuating unrealistic stereotypes and contributing to age discrimination, according to a new report.” – “Older People Are Ignored and Distorted in Ageist Marketing, Report Finds,” The New York Times
“I hate the way we strip older folks of their humanity by asserting that they can’t do something not on the basis of their ability or competence but the date on their birth certificate. As though they just need to accept their lot past 50.” – Charlotte Clymer, Writer, Activist, @cmclymer https://twitter.com/cmclymer
“I’ve been reluctant to reveal my age on social media. I work in an industry where ageism is coded in its DNA and jobs become harder to find when those who do the hiring determine that you’ve circled the sun a few too many times. And so, I didn’t want my age out there. But here’s the truth: My age is my power. My age represents my experience. My wisdom. All the learning through the years, courtesy of my many mistakes and my hard-earned triumphs. It represents heartache and healing. Personal growth and spiritual growth. A depth of character. All things that actually REQUIRE dozens of trips around the sun to take root and to blossom. Life experience. For a writer — hell, for any job — it should be a requirement. Today is my birthday. I am 59 years old. – Rich Burns, 60, writer and producer of “The Disappointments,” the hit YouTube comedy/drama series (and winner of the 2022 Humanities Prize) about three friends in their 50s, Instagram, February 26, 2021 @heyrichray
“I’m faced with the feeling of what it’s like to be edged out … It’s really heartbreaking. – Vivian Lee, NY1 News Anchor, “Five NY1 Anchorwomen Sue Cable Channel for Age and Gender Discrimination,” The New York Times
“Being brutally personal and honest, I have noticed an inexplicable embarrassment come over me about being older while I’m out and about. It’s almost as if I’m trying to act more “straight” so as not to be perceived as an aged gay.” – John Casey, Editor-at-Large, Advocate.com, “Is the Fear Factor at 55 a Real Phenomenon for Gay Men?,”
“To me, the great upside of aging is caring a bit less in general, across many fronts, of what people think and caring more about being happy. So, the ‘we’ you refer to in terms of ‘becoming embarrassed’ does not include me. I can’t speak for other gay men our age, but I suspect many, like me, remain quite comfortable in our gay skins.” – Frank Bruni of The New York Times, quoted in the same article above.
(After I wrote a column with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni about gay men and aging last year, I heard from many older gay men who felt the same insecurities as I did, that being an older gay male makes us obsolete in a community dominated by youth and beauty.” – “Is Being an Older LGBTQ+ Person as Terrifying as It Sounds?,” – John Casey, Editor-at-Large, Advocate.com
“This is what our society thinks we should worry about, but what if we just didn’t? The worst part of aging is other people’s judgment about it. (Tara Well, associate professor of psychology at Barnard College of Columbia University) )” – “Pop culture says life ends at 50. These New Jersey women would beg to differ,” Mary Chao, Yahoo News
In an episode featuring the seventy-two-year-old illustrator Maira Kalman … Linsky suggests that aging is like being moved from the dance floor of life to the balcony. Kalman agrees: “You can be so out of it. You can feel so excluded. . . . You’re not just on the balcony, you’re on the roof. You’re in a different building completely.” – “Does Wisdom Really Come from Experience? (In “70 Over 70,” we learn what binds—and separates—the old and the young.)”, The New Yorker
In reaction to a BuzzFeed* idiotic post titled, “32 Celebrities Who Are Over 50 And Absolutely Prove That, Yes, Being Older Is Attractive,” Christie Brinkley said in an Instagram post that society’s default setting to judge a woman’s value by her age “gnaws away at one’s confidence,” pointing out the same is hardly done to men:
But age discrimination can harm those workers. “There’s a negative impact on physical health, a negative impact on mental health and emotional trauma … It’s linked with earlier death, and there’s a negative impact on economic and financial security of individuals who lose a job or are passed over for promotions.” (Greg Olsen, Acting Director, New York State Office for the Aging)” – “Third Age Discrimination Roundtable Brings Together State Lawmakers, Experts To Combat Stereotypes And Bias,” Harlem World Magazine
“… there is nothing shocking about being over 50, or being any age really, since one has necessarily already passed through all the preceding ages. Aging is just another word for “living,” after all — and we all do it in tiny increments, day by day.” – “Middle Age Doesn’t Happen ‘Just Like That,” Rhonda Garelick, The New York Times
“Advertising that stereotypes older adults and reinforces negative biases is not harmless. Imagine … portraying women, people of color or LGBTQ individuals in the same way. The response would be angry, and rightly so. It’s high time to call out ageism in advertising. (Paul Irving, chairman of the Milken in Institute Center for the Future of Aging) – Ken Dychtwald, “Ageism Is Alive and Well in Advertising,” AARP
“When internalized by older adults themselves, ageist views can lead to poorer mental and physical health.” – Paula Span, “Ageism: A ‘Prevalent and Insidious’ Health Threat,” The New York Times @paula_span
“Each time we see an older person, we need to imagine them as our future self, and rather than recoil from their wrinkles or infirmities, applaud their resilience. We need to re-humanize older people. (Anny Karpf)” – Caroline Baum, “The Ugly truth about ageism: it’s a prejudice targeting our future selves,” The Guardian
“The anti-aging industry is another topic I focus on to ask people to think about how they define success and beauty. People need to ask themselves if they are letting an industry or somebody else define it for them. If you want to use anti-aging products, be my guest. If you want to dye your hair, be my guest. If you want to have a procedure, be my guest. But are you doing it in shame? Are you doing it because marketers have told you that that’s what is beautiful? What I’m trying to do in the book is empower people to make their own choices and be led by their own vision of what is successful for them.” – Tracey Gendron, Ph.D., author of “Ageism Unmasked: Exploring Age Bias and How to End It” and director of the Virginia Center on Aging at Virginia Commonwealth University,