Everyone praises a fifty-something man who sculpts a six-pack, or “scores” with young girls. But no sooner than a woman turns forty, she gets labelled old and is deemed irrelevant. It is amusing how a youngster thought he could get away with age shaming actor Lisa Ray, and look cool and happening on social media. While the said youth got a nice slam and dunk from Ray herself, it is unfortunate how some young people only see the digits in your age and wrinkles on your face, and not the life you’ve led.

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • A young man tried to age shame Lisa Ray by commenting “too old” on her selfie. 
  • It is unfortunate how some young people only see the digits in your age and wrinkles on your face, and not the life you’ve led.
  • Trolls do not realise that ageing is a universal fact. All of us grow old, that’s a fact of life.
  • In fact, it also makes you appreciative of what all you have in your life.

Mostly it is women who are at the receiving end of nasty age-shaming, because vanity is a curse bestowed primarily on us by the society. Men remain youthful and dashing even in their seventies.

No sooner than a woman turns forty, she gets labelled old and is deemed irrelevant.

Not Lisa Ray though. The 46-year old model turned actor and cancer survivor has led quite a life and she is mighty proud of it. Which is why when a young man (judging by his handle, early twenties) commented “too old” on her selfie, she took him down. “You’re right. I’m old. Older than time, my boy. Perhaps you will never grow up in your mind but your body will and it’s a blessing to be wise, a cancer survivor and living my best life at 46. Unshakably secure and happy in my spirit and body. Hope you can experience that one day,” she replied.

Seems like young trolls who shame women and even men for “looking old” do not realise that ageing is a universal fact. All of us grow old, that’s a fact of life, though not as fabulously as Lisa Ray. To the entitled young man who reminded Ray she is too old, I wish to ask  “Too old” for what? What is it that young people think they will achieve by labelling someone too old? That they are irrelevant? That they are uncool or bygone and thus boring? Why do they feel that someone should feel ashamed of being “too old,” in the first place?

Ray has beaten cancer, is a fitness icon and most of all happy with her life. It takes a certain amount of creases on your skin to appreciate and see various experiences of life as an advantage.

When twenty-somethings call forty-somethings “too old,” it reflects that youth is seen as a merit by them. Being young is an advantage, which makes you superior to those older than you. But if you think your age is your USP, then you haven’t lived your life just yet. Ray has beaten cancer, is a fitness icon and most of all happy with her life. It takes a certain amount of creases on your skin to appreciate and see various experiences of life as an advantage. Only as you grow old, do priorities shift and you understand that being young or beautiful or slim can’t always bring you true happiness. Youth can make you adventurous, but ageing gives you experience. Age makes you wise and strong to face the hardships in life.

In fact, it also makes you appreciative of what all you have in your life. But more than anything, it makes you appreciate the value of life and time. So many “too old” women these days are striving for professional success, choosing to follow passion over a steady career, to travel or to be independent. The liberation they feel is, in fact, a gift they receive for realising that they have limited time at their disposal, and that every second is too precious to be wasted on not living your life to the fullest. Besides prioritising youth only makes ageing hard. So many people live in denial of growing old because they value their youth too much. Alas, time doesn’t stop to let you fret over your wrinkles and ageing body.

So instead of shaming someone for being “too old” why not feel inspired by their lives? Why not think of their wrinkles as a gentle reminder of what is inevitably going to happen to you too. Perhaps it would motivate you to put your time to better use.

Picture Credit: lisaraniray/Instagram

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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