How Ageism Rejects The Natural Course Of Our Bodies And Lives
Of the many places where you expect to face bias, encountering ageism at a pub is not one. Yet a group of 40- somethings were in for a rude shock, at a pub in Goa, when they were denied entry as they were too old. A woman tweeted about how one of her relatives along with some batchmates out on a reunion were denied entry at a popular pub, and faced a board telling them, “Above 35 not allowed.” Perhaps the owners feared that the sight of “elderly” sagging abdomens, cellulite riddled thighs and (gasp) wrinkles would bring down the hip vibe of the pub. Or perhaps they thought that a crowd over the age of 35 would bring with it an array of health risks like hyperventilation, arrhythmia, severe joint and back. etc., if allowed to enjoy too much. However, most of us who have dared to be in 100 meters of a happening place know that ageism is very common in the party circuit.
- A group of 40-somethings were denied entry at a popular pub in Goa as they were above 35.
- Most of us who have dared to be in 100 meters of a happening place know that ageism is so very common in the party circuit.
- Especially, among women, advancing age slowly but surely pushes them out of the circle of importance, in our society.
- The meanness and bias that divide us is only getting ridiculous with every line we draw.
For ageist discs, pubs and even select coffee shops and restaurants, there are two kinds of customers – those who are young and hence happening, and those who are not.
The thickness of your wallet, your dressing sense and even your accent (all skin-deep, agreed.) will only get you so far. But if you are visibly over 35 or in the fourth decade of your life, then most of these places don’t want your business. The ushers will look at you with such disdain that you would instantly want to crawl in your bed. Such are the perils of crossing into middle age.
No matter if you are at the pinnacle of your professional life. Or that you have worked very hard throughout the year to deserve this one night of fun. Your age will be your badge of social relevance, because people have a tendency to discriminate on the basis of it. Youngsters often look at older peers as invalids or misfits. Conveniently overlooking the fact that they are staring at themselves a decade or two down the line. Especially among women, advancing age slowly but surely pushes them out of the circle of importance, in our society.
It dawns on you in the way people look at you. In their gaze when you walk into a party. A young woman always turns heads, even among her own gender, whereas as older women are automatically branded uninteresting, no matter their numerous achievements and maturity. As far as ageist pubs and discos go, the game is all about projecting a certain image.
The arrogance of such places only makes you wonder why people even bother to spend their time and energy visiting them.
But then again, that is what they want. Their snobbery is, in fact, a desperate attempt to keep the young vibe intact. Trampling a few grown-up egos only suits their cause. It also makes you question the intent of people who frequent such places because of their ageist policies. Do they believe they will be young forever? Just why is it that old-age is so repulsive to these people? Besides, if youth is the only highlight of your life, then clearly turning forty is going to be a traumatic experience.
The meanness and bias that divide us is only getting ridiculous with every line we draw. Today, we don’t want people over 35 in pubs, tomorrow we won’t want people over 50 at restaurants which offer candlelight dinner. Just why do we have this urge to box entertainment and recreation in age brackets? Yet ageism is not that uncommon among youngsters. This in times when being 40 is way cooler than it was ever before. People are switching careers, launching startups, getting image makeovers and living the hell out of their lives in the forties. But perhaps for some, their myopic vision prevents them from seeing all these exciting things. All they can see is a number, which will be their won certainty in coming future.
Image credit: Net.hr
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.