We all interact with some form of media every day—whether it’s radio, TV, Internet or that old standby, print media—and when it comes to portrayals of older adults, mixed messages abound. But the way people actually feel about getting older often contradicts what they see and hear in the media about what it means to age in America.

Take a look at this truth bomb from Oscar-winning actor Frances McDormand (apologies for the ad; the interview is worth the wait!):


And here are 5 insightful articles on how we think about aging:

Erin Sharoni on InsideTracker
America’s Attitudes on Aging
“How old are you? That’s a question that most of us assume people prefer not to ask or answer. It turns out, that’s not the case. American attitudes toward aging are shifting, as attitudes tend to do over time.”

Carol Marak on HuffPost | Post 50
How Do We Take Aging Issues Out of the Closet?
“We were successful changing people’s attitudes about smoking in public places. It took a lot of time and education. Surely we can start a movement that benefits our older generations and family caregivers.”

Senior Planet on Senior Planet website
17 Ways to Be an Active Senior, According to Stock Photography
“Do you ever wonder why websites, brochures and advertisements that speak to older people look as if they’re really talking to someone totally not you? Why is everyone so white? Why does everyone have such perfect teeth? And why are these older people so… goofy looking?”

BerkeleyWellness on UC Berkeley Wellness website
Countering Negative Images of Aging
“Older people are bombarded with negative stereotypes about aging. In TV shows, ads, health news, and daily conversation, being old is often equated with being frail, helpless, and incompetent.”

Vince G. Sparks on Elephant Journal
The Discrimination No One Talks About, Even Now
“The media is a huge contributor to ageism and the portrayal of older adults. We are bombarded by images that show only the young are beautiful. If you want to remain young looking and attractive you must have plastic surgery, Botox, collagen injections and get rid of the gray. While there is ageism for both sexes, it is more prevalent for women.

Just watching the video clip and reading through these posts will make you more aware of how the media shapes our ideas about getting older.  You can change the conversation by making your voice heard.

Do you have specific questions about how to raise awareness in the media about aging? Leave them in the comments.