What are the prevalent images Americans have of older people?
Being old has somehow become as an insult, even a disgrace, to the American
society. We, as Americans, are probably the only culture who does not view the
process of growing older as a chance to become wiser, or more respected. My mom,
being Asian, I have learned to respect my elders, because they are wise and they
should be treated with respect. They are the ones who have taken care of me when I
was younger, so why should I be the one to complain to take care of them when they
Some of the images that Americans have of older people are really disrespectful
because to think of being old as an insult, they are the ones that hold the most
knowledge about things around us, or even life itself. Through greeting cards or the
media, being old, or growing older, can be portrayed as just a big joke. In movies,
they would show the typical stereotypes as an old person: the sweet little old lady
with tons of cats, the grumpy grandpa, or in some comedies, it shows the elderly
influenced by the hip hop fad, and acting like a hoodlum.
Of course, in a comical sense, joking about being or getting older is totally fine.
However, the way that media makes the elderly seem so helpless and exaggeratedly a
mess is a different story, that it makes people afraid to grow old. The American
society has underestimated the older people who cannot even handle things by
themselves, or even be independent.
Why do Americans fear getting older?
A lot of Americans fear getting older because we are influenced by the media
24/7. Everywhere, in magazines, television, billboards, we learn that being young and
beautiful is the way to go. So, as we get older, we tend to stay away from the signs of
aging that tend to pop up at every counter. If we see a gray hair, we will dye our hair.
If one is growing bald, Rogaine is the way to go. Facial cleansers and lotions for anti-