Getting older is a natural part of life — some people embrace birthdays and some dread them. Regardless of how you feel about getting older, it’s still a big part of your life. I got the opportunity to listen to Cindy Gallop talk about ageism and the taboo around getting older. Cindy is a legendary advertising exec, digital entrepreneur and the founder of MakeLoveNotPorn. She recently spoke at Teen Vogue Summit.
“I’m 57,” Cindy says proudly. As she said her age out-loud, I thought about how at 20 I am already afraid of aging. When I turned 20 last year I sobbed a bit, my teenage years were long behind me and it was time to start a new journey into my twenties. They say your twenties are the best time but even at 20, I have been conditioned to dread getting older. It’s all due to ageism, somehow I convinced myself all the things I do won’t be as remarkable in my twenties as they were in my teens. Cindy believes that as you get older, life actually gets better. She lives life by disrupting aging — she challenges perceptions and stereotypes of what it’s like to age or grow older.
In journalism your age matters — it decides whether you’re credible or not. When one of my articles got many shares I had many people commenting that I was wrong simply because of my age. This often leaves me reluctant to share my age. Cindy is different. She tells everyone how old she is as often as possible. She shuts it from the rooftops. She does this because In our society there’s this feeling that as women get older they shouldn’t tell anyone their age. I am still even unsure of how old my mother is, she doesn’t put her correct birthday on Facebook. She does this to throw people off about her age.
Cindy remarked about never wanting a marriage or kids. She emphasizes that you can live your life how you want to instead of how society wants you to. For example, she dates young men in a society that supports the older man and young woman but looks down on young men and an older woman. She even talked about how brands target women with anti-aging creams,
As we grow up we hear about how our parents talk about aging, our mothers talk about how she doesn’t want to be older. The taboo around aging is all over media. Beauty manufacturers even sell eye creams to teenage girls. The most easily dismissed group in our society is teenage girls.
Cindy’s ultimate message is the older you get, the better life gets. At 57, Cindy is continuing to live her best life. Her testimony has made me realize that I shouldn’t fear becoming older. It only gets better.
You can check out more at DisruptAging.org
This post is made possible with support from AARP’s Disrupt Aging. All opinions are my own.