Everyday Ageism: CHRISTA D'SOUZA says listen to older people

Everyday Ageism: FEMAIL columnist CHRISTA D’SOUZA says it’s time we start listening to the wisdom of older people

  • Christa D’Souza says that older people shouldn’t feel they have nothing to offer
  • She questioned why some women feel the need to have botox for other people
  • Christa argued that older people need to believe in their abilities and experience

It’s the last tolerated prejudice. But Femail’s had enough. It’s time we called out those day-to-day moments when we’re patronised for no longer being young…

I love an older woman who won’t go gently into the night. I’m thinking here of the magnificent Dame Joan Bakewell, 87, who fights the fight against ageism with such fierce authority and self-respect.

Why should she have plastic surgery or Botox? For whom? As she said earlier this week, ‘I’m long past being able to worry about that. It would be absurd, like trying to dress in flimsy little tops . . . You’ve got to recognise that you’re old.’

Christa D’Souza (pictured) says it’s time for older people to place more value in their experience and abilities

I wish, though, she hadn’t also said that she felt ‘lucky’ to still be in broadcasting because, in truth, she was a ‘real leftover’. 

No, you’re not, Joan! To paraphrase something I heard the novelist Margaret Atwood, 80, say recently, you know the plot a lot better than someone who has just started the book and you know how it’s going to end, too! We must listen to you!

Belief in ourselves and our abilities needs to be nurtured in our twilight years. 

Hard, I know, when the cards are against us, but if we don’t set an example to the younger generation, the cycle of ageism will never end.

Old, then, but still very much here. Please pass the message on.

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