The YouTube videos only slightly less cliché than those of cute cats are of “seniors” doing cute things. More power to the talented tap dancing seniors (about 8,250) and seniors singing rock songs (about 43,300). But here’s why I take issue with this viral display of vitality. In my opinion, this representation is inherently, if inadvertently, condescending and perpetuates ageism. Why should it be so impressive that older people still do things; and that to be relevant they must do “youthful” things?
Being old is not a novelty act to applaud. It is an accomplishment, for sure; offering real challenges and new opportunities, not simply memories and comparisons to younger times. (… continued)