This morning I Googled the word "ageism" and this photograph popped up several times attached to a variety of written materials. One was a featured article about how unfairly women are represented in the media. Another was an article about overall age discrimination, and another about the key principles of geriatric care.
I wondered who this poor woman was/is, and how she must feel about having her face splashed all over the Internet with an expiration date stamped across her brow. According to popular belief however, she's not supposed to be able to actually use the Internet. Too old and stupid. I could have spent an entire day reading similar dialogue on these topics, very popular these days. But think about it for a minute and you'll see that it's nothing new.
Since I was a little girl (long, long ago) I've been in love with "classic" movies. Today TCM is on my television almost constantly. If I'm not watching some old movie, I'm recording one to watch later. These films were made in the 30's, 40's, 50's and even 60's, and I can tell you that back then you rarely saw a woman over 30 in a leading role. Men, yes, women, not so much. Just like today.
Let's face it, older people are just no fun to look at, not even for us. Look at Myrna Loy, Greer Garson, Jeanne Arthur.... I could go on.... Not until Bette Davis got down and dirty playing older characters like Baby Jane (what ever happened to her?) did you see women of "an age" showing their older selves, and in not so flattering roles. Perhaps this is why they're seldom written in the first place. Once the bloom is off the rose, it's not coming back, but an expiration date? Really?