Why there’s nothing funny about ageist greeting cards

Precious readers,

Today’s column is a continuation of our discussion about ageism, keeping in mind that where you live issues. Among every one of the states in the UNITED STATE, Colorado ranked reduced on what is called implicit age predisposition, meaning its homeowners scored reduced on bias against older people.

Ageism has been attended to through educational programs, tool kits, research study projects, seminars, media events and books. Writer and also lobbyist Ashton Applewhite is a fine example with her book, “This Chair Rocks: A Statement Of Belief Versus Ageism.” We require all of these techniques to increase recognition as well as neutralize ageism because it is refined and also pervasive.

Birthday celebration cards are one area where ageism matters. The tone of birthday celebration cards for children are upbeat. We celebrate birthdays in our younger years. At some time, the narrative changes, in some cases as very early as age 30.

Age-stereotype birthday celebration cards typically “exaggerate the incidence of Alzheimer’s illness, highlight significant age-related physical modifications, portray older adults as unpleasant and cranky and recommend they lack sex-related rate of interest or have unacceptable sex-related rate of interest,” composes Sheri Levy in “Psychology Today.” There is a pushback to such images and messages: birthday cards that celebrate aging.

In 2018, Janine Vanderburg that refers to herself as an area activist, launched the effort “Changing the Story Colorado,” a critical communications and understanding project made to raise the understanding of ageism as well as to change exactly how Coloradans think of aging. The organization trains supporters, policymakers and also various other influencers of all ages in utilizing evidence-based, cutting side communications devices as well as messages established by FrameWorks Institute and tailored for Coloradotarget markets. “Our goal is to educate, activate as well as advocate,” state Vanderburg. She includes, “to do that we complement workshops that reframe aging, end ageism and also business situation for older workers, highlighting the negative results of ageism to show people concrete things we can do in our very own lives to combat ageism.”

Go into the greeting card story. We understand that ageism serves and also embedded in our society. Birthday celebration cards appear to affirm that reputation as well as Vanderburg desired to throw down the gauntlet.

She commissioned 22 artists ages 16 to 82 from throughout Colorado to develop cards that commemorated instead of denigrating aging. Over 60 artists applied. They were picked based upon the type of art work submitted along with their solutions to the application which asked their point of views as well as experiences on aging and also ageism.

So, what makes up ageist messages? Right here are a few instances.

  • “Don’t bother with growing older, just roll with the ‘‘ paunches.’ “
  • “You understand you are obtaining older when it takes twice as long to look half as excellent.”
  • “Your tricks are risk-free with your buddies because they can’t remember them either.”
  • “You know you are getting older when your back goes out greater than you do.”

Right here are some positive ones which typically are less in number.

  • “Sweetheart– when we’re older we’re going to be SOB’s– stunning older babes.
  • You are “a really special person … may your birthday be as wonderful as you.”
  • “100 years old and also you are just a terrific woman, a faithful close friend, a generous spirit, a captivating spirit, a dedicated confidante … as well as a fun individuality.”

We see congratulatory birthday celebration cards for those whose birthdays finish in nos such as ’90s, ’80s and ’70s. That excludes a lot of older birthday celebrations.

Below are some instances of winning messages from Altering the Narrative birthday celebration card task.

  • “Celebrate your seasons. Delighted Birthday celebration to marvelous, wise and venerable you.”
  • “Going through the yard of life brings knowledge. Pleased Birthday celebration sensible on.”
  • “Exactly how fortunate we are to commemorate another year. Satisfied Birthday celebration!”
  • “She got up, placed on her birthday celebration hat and also claimed, “this asks for some champagne as well as roguishness! Terrific plan girlfriend, count me in.”

The objective is not to offer cards, yet rather to start conversations concerning ageism. Profits are made use of to contract musicians to produce initial designs and to support enlightening individuals concerning ageism and workplace discrimination against older workers. You can see the beautiful graphics along with acquisition cards at https://changingthenarrativeco.org/anti-ageist-birthday-cards/  I asked Vanderburg regarding ageist cards as a vehicle for humor, enabling usto

laugh at ourselves making certain we don’t take ourselves also seriously. Her reply,” My message is clear; do not send ageist birthday celebration cards.”Ageism remains to obtain enhanced attention throughout the pandemic as it associates with higher vulnerability,

vaccination priorities and triage decisions when resources are limited. Related Articles Why it might be tough transitioning from staff member to’volunteer’The value of having family pets, and a strategy

in location to take care of them


  • if you’re away Why this may be the correct time to start on a project for


  • future generations So dear readers, get vaccinated, remain risk-free and also continue with the CDC guidelines.


  • We’ll obtain there! Helen Dennis is a country wide acknowledged leader on issues of

aging, work and also the brand-new retired life with academic, company and also not-for-profit experience. Contact Helen with your questions and comments at Helendenn@gmail.com. Visit Helen at HelenMdennis.com as well as follow her on facebook.com/SuccessfulagingCommunity

Leave a Reply