Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Rules of Aging

More magazine, appeals to an audience of older women, and many of the headlines on the cover of their magazines are sending some disturbing messages. Their website states that they are a magazine "for women of style and substance", but do these restricting rules of aging really have any "substance"? These kinds of rules aren't unusual; the media creates many ways to make aging women feel terrible about this natural process:

In the top left photo, the statement that being over 40 was "never" so "fabulous", suggests that this age is normally miserable for women.

The top right photo tells the audience exactly what is their "best haircut", defining rules that women of different ages must follow in order to look their best.

The middle picture shows that Jennifer Beals is not expected to be enjoying her life, and its is a huge "reveal" as the surprise that she does actually love her life. To me, this suggests that older women are not expected to be loving their life, for age brings misery.

The bottom left seems to show that fulfilling your dreams is different after you turn 40 versus when you are younger. Does that much really change when you hit that certain age?

The bottom right suggests that there is a specific way to age well, which therefore means that they is a way to age badly. This is another example of a kind of rule that is put in place to make women feel restricted during the aging process. The media's construction of age as a frightening idea that should be avoided has created a fear of aging in women, which then leads women to try to defy the process:

Headlines that feature ways to combat aging are not uncommon, but us there actually a healthy way to stop aging? Why do women feel the need to stop this process? Why is it necessary to create definite rules to follow based on exact age?

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