“You are Young at Heart!” A Compliment? No!

Lovely isn’t it? There you are at 70+ or 80+ and a well meaning person wishes to be courteous and complimentary. They smile and the standard phrases roll out:

You look young for your age”.       “You are young at heart” etc.

Do you thank them for their kindly remark?  And return a gracious smile?  YES/NO ?

Think about it. What have they actually said to an old person?

Do they realise that quite unwittingly they have been very rude to you? NO!

Translate it.   In effect they said:

Being young is a good thing.    Old age is a bad thing”

Oh Dear!  So sad. They didn’t mean to do that, did they?  But they did.

Telling someone old that  they “look young” is an insult.  Isn’t it?

You aren’t sure?  Try  complimenting a woman of today on being bright.
Tell her   “You have a brain like a man”.
100 years ago that might have been acceptable. Not today.
Women and men are deemed different, but equal. Indeed the current trend is not even to differentiate. Sex is irrelevant.   Today, we are all people.
Over my life time language use has changed.  It is no longer acceptable to use racist language.  The ‘nigger’ brown coat that I wore at 6 would certainly be chocolate today.  But we used the word with no malice, just totally unthinkingly!
Sexist, Racist and Homophobic language are now quite clearly uncorrect. And illegal!

So what has happened to Ageism?  Why is it still OK to be Ageist?

  Even unthinkingly so?

Recently ITVs This Morning show presenter Phillip Schofield fell unhappily into that trap. He was  interviewing me.  I was introduced as an” 83 year old sex blogger”  *

The interviewers were, of course, charming.  The pleasures of sex in old age were aired happily.  Until, he asked very kindly

So you are saying it is about keeping young at heart?”

It had to be responded to.


See Interview for how


Unthinking Ageism is a serious problem in todays world. The  emphasis on Youth has distorted our view of  a normal life.

Ageist language demoralises, demeans and defeats.          

            Worse, it remains unchallenged. And legal!


* Note that! Why is that a big story?  That human beings continue to have an enjoyable sex life at all ages should be seen as perfectly normal.  Where has the idea come from that they dont? Why would anyone think that strange enough for a TV show?  Seriously.  Ask yourself.  Unthinking Ageism again?





1 Comment

  1. January 31, 2019 / 10:50 am

    All very interesting! It is inspiring that we oldies are not all gaga. I keep receiving compliments that I started a blog in my 70’s!

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