The more I look around, the more I am convinced that Western society is obsessed with youth. The shops, advertising, the media, fashion, everything points to total disregard towards the older generation and especially so towards the senior women.
Beginning first with the supermarket, here all the products that depict people in their products begin with children gradually increasing to attractive and alluring males and females. As I pick up a packet of homely ‘Lux’ soap flakes to do the mundane laundry, there is nothing homely about the young woman hugging her child in the soft white towel. She is young and attractive; nothing at all likes the majority of the middle aged women shopping around the supermarket.
One may argue that amongst the washing products there is ‘Martha Gardner’ wool wash. This brand depicts a kindly looking great-grandmother on the front of the bottle. But why is she made to look even older then what she probably is? She is wearing glasses and a shirt buttoned up to her neck to further emphasise her old appearance. Her gray and curly hair is almost a trade mark of old age; thanks to the antiquated perm. On the other hand the young ‘Lux’ woman is sporting the latest style; smooth and bobbed and next to her face the fluffy white towel creates a luminous halo around her face.
Unfortunately it does not end here. Every single magazine is geared towards the younger generation starting from clothes to entertainment and everything else in between. The most popular dress shops with reasonable prices only seem to cater mainly for the young with the latest skimpy fashions which at times even look ridiculous on young girls if they don’t have the correct body measurements. Does this mean that when women in my age bracket need a new dress we are forced to pay up four times the amount to the few exclusive shops?
Please, do not even mention shoes. With my feet that have been walking for more decades that I wish to mention, the only decent footwear that don’t feel like ‘torture instruments’ are priced from $300.00. Forget about reasonably priced comfortable shoes unless you want something that looks ‘orthopaedics’
Apparently, as far as journalism is concerned, older women are not interested in reading light material, such as what ‘older’ movie stars are wearing. What type of cosmetics they use, with whom they are going out, and all the other things that are plastered in the glossy pages targeting the younger audiences?
I am aware that this is not a new argument, but one that is debated in all Media and Sociology classes constantly. Advertising uses young beautiful people to make shoppers subconsciously think that by using the products, they too will look, are actually like the people depicted on the products.
Regardless of the fact that the older generation is increasing in number, nothing is being done to cater for them in a society which is obsessed with youth. We don’t want to be forced to wear clothes that look ridicules on us but on the other hand nor do we want to look like “Martha Gardener.’ Even though we wear glasses when we read, at times it would be refreshing to read regularly about people our own age. And what is wrong with older women being shown reading the news on television?
Or is there something that is evading me like for example, all famous people over 60 no longer exist in this ‘Brave new world?’