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By October 11, 2016Culture, Longevity

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)

Click here to read this opinion piece in its entirety as it originally appeared in the September 2016 edition of AgeWatch, newsletter of the California Commission on Aging.


  • Ed says:

    Yes! As Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull fame wrote, “Living in the Past” It’s all about making today count.
    My wife’s mother at 79 has been living with her daughter and son in-law forever. She just got her own place.
    Starting over at 80, how cool is that.

  • Tracy Huddleson says:

    I so agree…I always wince at depictions of seniors doing goofy dancing, or rapping, or dressing too youthfully….etc. Just not necessary!

  • Gary says:

    I admit I enjoy those YouTubes, but I see and agree with your point.

  • Like your reframe: Longevity dividend

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