All my life, I faced sexism and racism and then, when I hit 40, ageism.
The Last “ism”
A colleague recently posted on a social media site a link to an article by the large digital online referral service company, HomeAdvisor. It was a *survey from their 2017 with this title: Homeowners’ Approach to Aging in Place Is No Longer About Aging — It’s About Holistic Living.
They self-Identify their corporate structure in this way:
HomeAdvisor® is a digital marketplace evolving the way homeowners connect with service professionals to complete home projects. With HomeAdvisor’s on-demand platform, homeowners can find and vet local, prescreened home service professionals; view average home project costs using True Cost Guide; and instantly book appointments online or through HomeAdvisor’s award-winning mobile app, which is compatible with all iOS, Android and virtual assistants, including Amazon Echo. HomeAdvisor is based in Golden, Colo., and is an operating business of ANGI Homeservices (NASDAQ: ANGI).
After reading the article on the survey report (validity and reliability aside) an obvious question came to mind:
Why are Aging and “Holistic Living” mutually exclusive?
Is this just another form of marketing ageism (Hint, I think it is)? Further, I continued to think about this article and what it was really conveying. It’s the sanitizing of the word/idea of aging; a word which will go unnamed in place of one more suited for the Upscale market WholeFoods. I felt compelled to respond with more substance.
This was my response:
Aging vs. “holistic living” — Why are these mutually exclusive? Therein lies the thin veil of ageism. I get it from their corporate marketing take, but this is exactly what we’re up against. It’s the last standing “ism” and this is a dog whistle for getting old doesn’t sell. I do get it, the stated reason is a change of focus, the unstated reason is Aging is not acceptable in our culture.
HERE’S THE RUB
This is a ubiquitous coast-to-coast media presence perpetuating negative stereotypes…
BTW the change we want to see: Combating Ageism + Profit $ = Not Mutually Exclusive. As we’re finding in our current cultural/political climate, ridding ourselves of “ism” takes vigilance and a willingness to call it out.
Thank goodness there are brave souls in this endeavor, one such is mover/shaker and activist, Ashton AppleWhite. Please visit her website OLD SCHOOL (see below) and support what she’s doing. In the long run (and this is a long-run) you will experience a better old age by being part of the solution.
Aging and Holistic Living should be a synergistic relationship–not an either/or.
Cheers! The Best is yet to be…
EST 2018 by Activist Ashton AppleWhite
On Aging: The Last “ism” Standing