The Hidden Ism: Age

It's no secret that there is some prejudice in the world. People will try to label you, stereotype you, generalize you - and put you in a very small box. This tends to happen with age. Young, old, and everything in between...there are things you are expected to do and things you are expected to be at every age. I found this out at a VERY young age. I'm finding it out even more now.

I guess I just didn't understand the ever so common lifestyle of: party in your early 20s, let your crazy out then. Don't do anything serious. Just drink, experiment and have fun while you can - so when you're older you can "settle down" to a boring life of 9-5, taxes and mom jeans.

I rather be myself my entire life. I take my youth seriously while having fun. Which is what I will do when I'm older as well. I'll never have to settle down, change, or fit a mold. 

I'll be myself now and tomorrow. But I'm not gonna force myself to go crazy now. And I'm not gonna force myself to seriousness when I'm older. 

I speak about age so much in my work because I believe it's the hidden ism. There are huge social issues of racism, sexism, etc - but ageism is rarely talked about. 

In 1992 interview with Jonathan Ross, Madonna brought up the issue of ageism. She stated, "Not only do we suffer from racism and sexism, but we also suffer from ageism. And that is that once you reach a certain age, you're not allowed to be adventurous, you're not allowed to be sexual and I think that's rather hideous. I mean a lot of people have said, "Oh, that's so pathetic, I hope she's not still doing that in 10 years", I mean, Who cares? What if I am? I mean, Is there a rule? What are you just supposed to DIE when you're 40? That's basically what everybody wants people to do. I think it's stupid. Put yourself out to pasture? Why? Life is long...I don't get it."

This quote still remains prominent today. Ageism isn't talked about because people believe their accusations to be true based on their experience or statistics. Which is STILL generalization and doesn't mean everyone who is young or old is (insert adjective here). 

Do not let your age ever limit or define you. Fitting a mold will only cause regret.