Sunday, October 27, 2013

when I grow up again

(background note - most of this post was published back in 2010. I updated it. It's an interesting topic.  One that can start an argument. We don't need more arguments in America but we should have more meaningful discussions. Here's a link to the first post I did on this topic - when I grow up. It is worth browsing back just for reading the comments generated from that post.)

Just because you are over the hill and rolling doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set some goals. As you roll, you might try leaning to one side or another to miss some of those boulders ahead. Also, take some time to enjoy the scenery.

My goal (one of few and not the most important one) -- When I grow up, I would like to be an absent-minded professor. Now I never received an advanced degree so the professor part might be tricky. With my interest in physics maybe I could fake it.

So I have my image of your typical absent-minded professor.

This one appears to be a bit more evil than absent-minded.

I love my gray hair and look forward to the day it’s completely white. I have a good start on a frazzled white hair look that is common with the absent-minded professor look.

Is there a double standard regarding aging? 

Maybe. But maybe it’s self imposed. I just left the shower (don’t worry I have dried off and dressed so wipe out any stupid image in your mind) and back there in the shower was a pump bottle of “age defying daily renewal cleanser”. I don’t touch the stuff. It belongs to my wife. Nothing wrong with cleansing but age defying would be an impossible trick. Should there be a recommended age limit on the label?  (after a certain age you need to buy the death defying strength

Consider these famous white-haired old men: 
  • Colonel Sanders 
  • Charles Darwin 
  • Mark Twain 
  • Santa Claus 
  • Albert Einstein

photoshop finds Einstein

I’m not saying any these well respected gentlemen were absent-minded. I don’t know. My point is when I think of them, I don’t picture some young guy but see an old gentleman.

Isn’t it interesting that their grand achievements came when they were young men (not sure about Santa)? These old guys became well respected and they didn't appear to overly concerned about their appearance.

The look of age doesn’t concern me and in fact it might improve my looks. Hell maybe I could get Sheryl Crow's attention.

Back on my first post regarding this aging double standard, Unknown Mami left a very good comment.  Here's part of it:
"...The media does not portray older women as an ideal to strive for. For the most part they are left out of the picture or relegated to being grandmothers. The media is still largely controlled by men, therefore those images are still mostly being put out by men and their outlooks. When women of all ages have more access and power to represent themselves I am willing to bet that you will see older women being represented in a more positive and attractive light. 

There is also much money to be made by making women strive for eternal youth. Some companies build their fortunes on it. Men are not as susceptible to it yet, but slowly that market is growing...."

I do believe our culture is too celebrity obsessed and that produces numerous problems.  One of which is the false belief that looking young is always worth your money.


miruspeg said...

I posted this quote on my blog tonight and feel it is very apt for this post also. I have actually never worried about growing old, because to me age brings intelligence, experience and wisdom. But I certainly don't like the double standards that western culture has between ageing men and ageing women.

“Age puzzles me. I thought it was a quiet time. My seventies were interesting, and fairly serene, but my eighties are passionate. I grow more intense as I age. To my own surprise I burst out with hot conviction. Only a few years ago I enjoyed my tranquility; now I am so disturbed by the outer world and by human quality in general that I want to put things right, as though I still owed a debt to life. I must calm down. I am far too frail to indulge in moral fervor.”
~~ Florida Scott-Maxwell

I'll be interested in reading feedback from your readers Bill.


lisleman said...

thanks for browsing over, I'll be checking your post next. You point out great things about getting older. Our culture needs to appreciate wisdom more. The double standard on aging seems to have various drivers. Like most social things the reaction to it varies greatly too. I think the double standard exists but you are not forced to accept it. thanks

Bearman Cartoons said...

Both professors look like Christopher Lloyd

lisleman said...

The first picture is him from the back-to-the-future movies but I don't know who is in the second picture. Maybe it is him but the guy looks different to me. thanks

longhollow said...

I'm going to fight aging, but only in the healthy category. I want to be as healthy as possible (and hence, as active as possible) for as long as possible. Also, you have some awesome hair!!

lisleman said...

thanks - that is the best category to pick your fight. Why do we have double standards for hair? I certainly notice this hair treatment difference for older people turning gray. I know some men color their hair too but as high of percentage as women. thanks

Cheryl P. said...

I do think there is a huge distinction as to how older men are perceived as opposed to how older women are perceived. I am not embracing the appearance of aging but can't say that I obsess about it either. I do work at keeping fit as I think it helps with the physical side of getting older but working out won't save me from gray hair or crow's feet. I, too am a buyer of products that can help with that.

lisleman said...

I agree about the exercise (not to the extreme) and I probably should do more of that than I do. Hair, wrinkles, age spots, saggy skin are nothing when compared to joint pain, memory loss, tooth loss, bone loss (what else can one lose without losing it all?).
But why do we have this distinction between how it's viewed by men and women? I wonder if it really is as bad as some think it is. Is it like when you go to a party and think everyone is looking/talking about you when they are not?

Cheryl P. said...

I am not sure why there is a difference as to how aging is perceived between men and women in this country but I believe that there is a double standard. Just look at the hundreds of commercials that tout anti-aging potions, or the magazines full of "turn back the clock" ads. How many feature men?

lisleman said...

what came first the desire or the promotion? Chicken vs. egg - maybe chicken vs. rooster?
I agree about the double standard existing I'm just not sure how we got it.

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