Ageism & the cult of youth/beauty

Two things I saw this week that are worth connecting: the first was this video of Sean Micallef on Channel 10’s obnoxious new breakfast television program, running amok in a kind of protest of the stupidly loaded framing of the segment (Really? “Generation (wh)Y and Generation Wise?” Thank christ Micallef refused to even engage with it, which sadly can’t be said of his Gen-Y counterpart).

And then a day or two later  I read this piece in Crikey, about a Channel 9 traffic reporter allegedly getting the sack because of his age. A text message allegedly sent by the boss said “Tell me, what are you doing about getting that f-cking fat old c-nt off Channel 9?” after which the 40-year old (male) presenter was sacked and replaced with a younger, prettier female presenter.

The cult of Youth and Beauty is evident in both, and it is the obverse of the same ageism coin – young people are dumb and pretty, old people are wise. It’s a false dichotomy that doesn’t exist in the real world. Young wise people don’t exist, according to this paradigm. Neither are there beautiful middle-aged or older persons (nevermind the fact that there’s plenty of terribly unwise older persons out there – that’s a whole other post by itself, but see THIS POST about the entitlement of the ‘baby boomer’ generation which is now talking up austerity measures across the globe).