In the past year or so, the beauty company CoverGirl has shown it is determined to corner the market on diversity. Today, months after signing James Charles, its first cover boy, and Nura Afia, its first CoverGirl in a hijab, CoverGirl debuted its newest ambassador: Maye Musk, 69, who has been modeling for five decades. She is also a dietitian and nutritionist with two master’s degrees. The news came after recent announcements that CoverGirl would add Issa Rae and Ayesha Curry to its roster.
“Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.” ~Maya Angelou Wearing out, crumbling, declining, fading, waning, stale. These are just a few of the synonyms for aging on Thesaurus.com. On a slightly more positive note, though, the word-finder lists maturing, developing, mellowing and getting on.
This issue is the long-awaited, utterly necessary celebration of growing into your own skin — wrinkles and all. No one is suggesting giving up retinol. But changing the way we think about aging starts with changing the way we talk about aging. With that in mind, and starting with this issue, we are making a resolution to stop using the term “anti-aging.” Whether we know it or not, we’re subtly reinforcing the message that aging is a condition we need to battle — think antianxiety meds, antivirus software, or antifungal spray.
To celebrate his 100th birthday on July 5, George Alexander Jedenoff is going skiing. A resident of California’s Bay Area, Jedenoff has not missed a ski season since 1960, when he took his first turns at the age of 43 at Alta Ski Area in Utah. He skied three days this past winter and flys again to Utah on Saturday to acclimate from sea level to 7,000 feet before he turns 100 years old. On Wednesday, Snowbird is firing up the tram for Jedenoff to ski a birthday hot lap with his family and ski buddies he’s had for over 50 years.
What age do you consider to be old? We posed that question to millennials and asked them to show us what “old” looks like. Then we introduced them to some real “old” people. Watch what happens when folks let go of their outdated beliefs and embrace the idea that aging is not about decline – it’s about growth.
He is the oldest Marathon runner in the world. Meet 104-year-old Fauja Singh who on Sunday participated in the Mumbai Marathon. “I am very much delighted and happy to participate in the marathon. I want to congratulate the company which is organising this marathon. I am very happy to be a part of it,” Singh told the reporters here.
Today at 97-years-old, Tao Porchon-Lynch is the world’s oldest living yoga teacher, recognized by the Guinness World Records since 2012. The former actress/model is also a celebrated ballroom dancer, with a recent appearance on America’s Got Talentthat wowed the judges and led to a standing ovation. I’ve worked with Tao every spring and autumn since she was 93. And what amazes me most is that she grows more youthful each time we meet. This is the most inspiring phenomenon I have ever witnessed.
Deeply respecting Pope Francis, I was taken aback when a couple of months ago he criticized Europe as “a ‘grandmother,’ no longer fertile and vibrant.” By slipping into this prejudice despite his valiant condemnation of so many others, the pope reminds us just how pervasive biases about aging are. His comment crystallizes issues about ageism in particular and stereotypes in general that are hard to resolve. Why do so many people who would rightly oppose the egregious effects of racism or prejudices about social class unabashedly indulge in ageism?
You know what I don’t like? I don’t like the word “elderly.” I’m not a big fan of “senior citizen” or “person of a certain age,” either. There is no perfect option it seems. When you go to a store that offers a discount by age they call it a senior discount. I sometimes think I would like to hear “wisdom discount” instead. See, the words we use have meaning. For instance, “elderly” and “elder” have entirely different connotations. I don’t need to tell you which one is negative. Yet, our society doesn’t see much wrong with the use of these terms to describe individuals past middle age.
“Have you thought about changing the name of that blog you’re writing for?” Ann Fishman asked. “The boomers aren’t going to like it. They don’t ever want to get old.” I’d called Ms. Fishman, president of Generational Targeted Marketing, a market research firm in New York, with a simple question. What language should we use in talking about people age 65 and older?