Is “ageism” Really An Issue?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by freeandfun1, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. freeandfun1

    freeandfun1 VIP Member

    Feb 14, 2004
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    An interesting opinion piece.

    June 20, 2004

    What exactly is “ageism”? Is this the newest form of prejudice in our society? Should someone sponsor legislation? The accusation of “ageism” is often made by people who have lost jobs they’ve held for many years, because management wants ”younger faces”, or when aging actresses can’t get the plum roles anymore. Is this really as large a problem as some would have us believe?

    I’m not defending the practice of casino bosses firing everyone over a certain age, but let’s be honest – there are some jobs that are designed for young people. If you are in an occupation where youth and/or a great figure are expected, you have to be prepared to move on if either of those factors change.

    Lest I be accused of insensitivity, let me say that I have worked in occupations which required me to be young – cocktail waitressing and lounge singing, for example. Of course there are older cocktail waitresses out there, but they didn’t get started when they were over 40. In my experience, as the cocktail waitresses in a casino got older, they caused management a lot of headaches by loudly opposing any new, revealing costumes the casino wanted to use. Of course, they had been all too happy to show it off at 25! If you still want to waitress over 40, and you don’t want your butt hanging out, there’s always the coffee shop, or a gourmet restaurant…As for me, I went to school while I worked in a casino, because I knew I didn’t want to be there forever, and education is your ticket out.

    The same goes for entertainment. “Side men” can get away with being older, but if you’re out front, your shelf life is short. You must come to the realization that unless you’re Tina Turner or Cher, you should not be on a stage trying to look 25 when you’re 45. That’s why a lot of singers go into producing or writing to continue their careers. Since I have no talent for either, I knew going in that I’d sing for a just few years and then get on to the next phase of my professional life. Does that mean I’ll never perform again? Of course not, but I won’t be singing dance tunes in a club where the patrons could be my children!

    Regardless of your occupation, it’s your responsibility to prepare yourself for every professional stage of your life, to the best of your ability. How many guys over 50 have you seen around town, still pounding nails? Construction takes a heavy toll on your body, so a smart guy who wants to remain in the business looks into supervising or starting his own company as the next logical step in his career.

    So-called “ageism” can easily be solved by “professional diversification”. In my husband’s marketing office, there are several ladies who used to be production show dancers. They saw the writing on the wall, and took the next step. Ask around; you’ll find that probably half of the real estate agents in Vegas used to be strip musicians or showgirls!

    Professional athletes are another great example. The smarter guys know that “NFL” really stands for “Not for Long”, and they plan accordingly. Quarterback Steve Young went to law school during the off season, and is now a licensed attorney and NFL analyst. Many other guys get into coaching. Once again, professional diversification is the key.

    It’s hard to feel sorry for the aging Hollywood crowd. Any actor knows that unless you’re a character actor, the lead roles go to the younger people. The answer is simple - save your money, or learn how to direct. I haven’t heard Jodie Foster or Ron Howard mention ageism.

    We live in a free society, and your professional future is yours to determine. The average person these days can expect to change careers three to five times in a lifetime. Preparation is the key.

    Ageism is nothing more than the cycle of life, and the normal process of societal renewal. In reality, the over-40 Hollywood actresses ought to thank Father Time for forcing the (often much more beautiful) actresses who came before them to make some room.

    Heidi Harris
  2. Big D

    Big D Guest

    It would matter more what race these old people are, if it's a old white guy no one gives a shit.
  3. dilloduck

    dilloduck Diamond Member

    May 8, 2004
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    Austin, TX
    . "Preparation is the key."

    preparation H is the key for the aged !!!!1 :laugh:
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1

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