I want to introduce you to another Ashton (this one’s a woman). Ashton Applewhite is an anti-ageism writer and activist. She writes a thought-provoking blog called This Chair Rocks and recently became a contributor to the POST 50 blog from the Huffington Post.
While reading the American Society on Aging’s fall 2015 issue of Generations, I was tickled to see she had written one of the articles. This issue of the journal focuses on ageism, a topic on which she is an expert. As racism involves discrimination based on race, ageism is the ugly stereotyping and discrimination of older adults.
Ashton’s piece describes how she began confronting her own age bias and how easily many of us fall into the trap of being ageist through such seemingly harmless things as joking about having a senior moment. But when we accept aging, we empower ourselves to view it and experience it as something positive. “Concealing or disavowing our age gives the number power over us that it doesn’t deserve,” she writes.
Aston challenges us to see the damage ageism does to individuals and society, citing many of the studies I’ve discussed before. She closes her article with this: “Everyone is aging. Ending ageism benefits us all.”
Check out this short clip from her video, “Most of What I Knew about Aging was Wrong.”