Sunday, January 18, 2009

Our Age Conscious Culture

Tuesday, a vivacious, animated, and youthful man will become president of the United States. Forget his race for a minute, and consider his age and his vigorous aura. Historically, I believe the presidents of the United States have been been on average, about 55 years old. Is it because our culture is so age obsessed, that we now lean towards younger leaders?

McCain was ridiculed for his age. Perhaps to gain some popularity, many will tell you that not only did he select a female running mate on purpose, but a youthful one, more importantly.

Obama became an icon for young peers. He quickly gained acceptance by high school and college aged kids, like he was the latest trend in the music industry.

The topic of age comes up quite often. For some reason, I have always been age curious. And I can probably tell you how old you are today, if you told me how old you were in 1985, because I don't forget ages. For whatever reason, I am obsessed with age. And it's not even older adults who I am curious about. I ask younger people, as well. Don't take it personally. I am not being nosy. I am interested and I register this info.

We are trained to make statements, like, "I am getting old" or "That makes me feel old." Realistically, do you feel this way? I don't. I always feel hesitant to contact any alumni from my alma maters because when I sign an e-mail, "Class of ....," they always respond with their year, followed by, "I'm old." Now, I doubt they really believe this, but isn't that what we are supposed to say? I caught myself saying it the other night. Something along the lines of "I'm going to be 29 in March. Does that sound old?" Then, I think I followed up with something like, "It's not old at all." (I did ask my mom to get me some anti-aging eye cream for my last birthday...)

I don't think this fascination with not growing more mature is such a bad thing. People who are following the anti-aging lifestyle are improving their health, and living longer lives. I feel the same as I did when I was 16. In fact, I probably feel about 100 times better.

Is there really meaning behind the "I'm so old" declaration?

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