Ms. Violet's Musings

if you're not angry, then you're not paying attention.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Silly Old Bints

There's a great piece over on the Beeb regarding the representation of older women in modern society, which also happens to have been penned by none other than my A-Level Eng Lit teacher from last year. She raises a good point, as - in the media especially - there is widespread discrimination against older women (men also, though perhaps not as much). From just one sitting of television commercials (if I can manage that, as adverts make me famously nauseous) we are showered with images of young women freaking out at the sight of a wrinkle, as though they've heard a whisper that it's the first sign of the apocalypse. Then, said women informing us of "so-and-so" lotion to "banish those unsightly signs of aging!". My goodness! Because the very THOUGHT that we may be aging is horrific! In fact, I think I must GAIN a wrinkle everytime I see one of these frustratingly pathetic adverts.

The only time we ever see older women advertising products is when it is especially for them - for example stairlifts, over 60s life insurance, baths for the elderly, toffee, etc. But that is still a rarity, as how many times do you see pensioners on the covers of magazines aimed at that exact target group? In awful newspaper supplements which have adverts for thermal undies, elderly women's nightgowns, etc - how many are actually modelled by women who look over 45? Not many.

If it wasn't for the fact that I know that over 65s in the UK make up a whopping 16% of the population, then - judging by what the media tells us - I'd think we'd all gone a bit Logan's Run.


  • At 12/02/2005 05:43:00 am, Blogger Motorised Wheelchairs said…

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  • At 12/06/2005 10:54:00 am, Blogger TP said…

    It's a great piece she's written. And funny, as I was having a 'discussion' about the representation of old women in our media last night with my partner.

    During which I asked him to name 5 famous old women and 5 famous old men.

    This backfired on me because he can't name any famous people at all, but I find it is more difficult to find examples of successful older women in the media.

    Also, the Little Britain sketch she mentions with the old lady peeing everywhere - I find that so disgusting and insulting.

    You mention older women not being used to sell products to people of their own age group, or at least very little. When I was recently going through catalogues (for insertion of membership leaflets for the charity I work for) one was for older women's clothing, not one model looked over 40, and the probably weren't actually over 50.

  • At 12/09/2005 07:54:00 pm, Blogger Ms. Violet said…

    Yes, TP, that's exactly what I mean - catalogues supposedly for older women, featuring obviously much younger models.

    The same goes for models for plus-size clothing, who all look barely over a size 14!

  • At 12/12/2005 05:12:00 pm, Blogger TP said…

    I'm not sure where I heard it, but someone once told me that they choose especially tall models to model plus size clothing, the longer silhouette helps them look thinner even if they're not, all to overcome that 'fat person' look.


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