While it may be flattering for people to hear they don't look their age, one feisty British professor is on a mission to make the term "old" a positive qualifier that gives people a sense of pride.
Professor Mary Beard recently started a crusade against society's image of older people. The 59-year-old television broadcaster has been doing interviews to spread her views to people around the world. She's a renowned presenter on the BBC's history TV programs and classics professor at the University of Cambridge. Dr. Beard is a prominent feminist, as evident by her lecture called "Oh, Do Shut Up, Dear." In the presentation, she explained how she felt women have been given less of a voice in society since the beginning of time. Now, Beard has set out to give older people a voice as well.
Dr. Beard believes the word "old" shouldn't have any connotation other than pride, the Telegraph explained. There are plenty of seniors who are perfect examples of healthy aging as they remain adept and independent. She's said her role model is Miss Marple, a character from Agatha Christie's mystery series. Marple is an older, unmarried woman but she's also keen, well educated and capable of solving even the trickiest crimes.
Another main point of her campaign is the tendency for people to use "you don't look your age" as a compliment. Dr. Beard called it "one of the weirdest bits of double-think in our culture."
"When are we going to be in the position when to be 59 and look 59 is just great?" Beard inquired in a video interview Senior Planet.
She's especially passionate about older women having an influential and respected voice in society. Her lectures often combine her feministic values and fire for seniors' visibility.
Aging naturally and proudly
Mary Beard was publicly criticized for her appearance on television, but she's comfortable with herself, even though she doesn't wear makeup or color her hair, according to The New Yorker. Several celebrities that have dominated the pop culture scene at one time or another also make it known that they prefer to let their ages show, without feeling compelled to make major changes to maintain a younger appearance.
Real Style magazine identified Kate Winslet and Tina Fey as two female movie stars who have outwardly taken ownership of the way their bodies are aging and will continue to do so. The source explained that Winslet has called plastic surgery against her morals, while Fey said growing older without fixing perceived flaws is definitely the choice for her.