Good morning, Monday. It's a beautiful bright day in the city yet somehow my old brownstone has the heat turned up to full blast. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to being outside. This is kind of BS.
Besides all of that, I read a post from a former boss/mentor that gave me pause this morning in between sweating. She's got a big job overseas and was asked by a German journalist how it felt to have such a gig at her age. She's almost 60 and though Germans are notoriously blunt, I still find that shocking. Why should anyone have to justify their age when it comes to having a job that requires a tremendous amount of experience?
If you look at our current presidential race, you'll see that 60 feels young. Joe Biden is almost 80. As is Trump. As is Bernie. Is it a ok for men to have arguably the most important job in the world at such advanced ages? I don't get it.
There was also a fairly brill article about Madonna's new album on British Vogue today. In it, they noted that although Madonna has bulldozed her middle finger through society when it comes to sexuality, feminism, and style for years, her biggest battle is being fought now. And that's ageism. I admit it- I'm not feeling wonderful about Madonna of late and maybe that's my bad. If she is indeed someone who shocked the world with that amazing "Like a Virgin" performance at the MTV Awards way back in 1984 and gave us the SEX book, maybe she's here now to show us a thing or two about what it means to still feel very much in your zone when you are over 60. And to challenge how we feel about age in general.
These days, ageism is trending in a very big way. And I do think that although both sexes suffer from it, it's harder for women because of the obvious objectification of youth when you are female. One person who seems to continually dodge this bullet is J.Lo. Perhaps because at 49, it seems like she is reverse aging. Body is better than ever. Hair and skin are perfection. Dance skills still so fly. She's a miracle. Somehow, J. Lo's age is lauded vs. panned. Because she looks perfect. And that bar is ridiculous for the rest of us to achieve. And we shouldn't have to.
Because when someone like Madonna shows some signs of age, it's somehow more disturbing. And maybe Madonna's campiness now feels a bit too cabaret/Dietrich/schticky for some. All I know is that for normal people like me and you, we are thank goodness not in the media being scrutinized in this way. But if you believe in the trickle down theory of life, then you too will know that Madonna is a mirror on how society views age and women in particular, and that just has to change. Look how we are worshipping at the altar of Keanu these days. And he's 54. I'm aware his hard chill vibe and steeliness allow him a certain transcendent quality, but you get my point.
As my generation reaches the 50-yard line, one thing is clear to me. Gen X is a generation that holds on to its youth the way it holds on to its cynicism. There's no doubt my crowd won't take aging sitting down- we'll fight it tooth and nail as we dig our Chucks into the ground. We're not going without a fight. And the notion of being doing and loving whatever age you're at? That's a revolution worth fighting for. Look at this pic of the cast of "Reality Bites" from the other night, 25 years after the movie was made. Love. Still cool as hell after all these years.
It's all so terribly subjective, this age thing. But what should change is the judgement. I myself admit I want youth in Washington, but mostly because the old white man thing is too scary to me. But there's a big difference between running the country than there is performing at an awards show. And we need to explore our damaged relationship with age and celebrate not just youth, but maturity and evolution. So don't you forget about me or anyone else. And by the way, we won't let you. Because ageism is old news, or at least it may be soon. I'm still trying to find my way on my own journey, ps. And I'm a ok with that.
Cause that's what's up this older is a ok kind of Monday in the 718, Yours, in changing the game and blazing trails. XO