To survive on this shore: Photographs and interviews with transgender and gender variant older adults is a joint project of photographer Jess Dugan and professor Vanessa Fabbre. It combines photographs of transgender and gender variant people over the age of fifty with interviews about their life experiences of gender, identity, age, and sexuality.
Never Give Up, Never Surrender: Cosplay After 40
My name is Phaedra Cook, I am 46 years old and I’m a cosplayer. That sounds like some kind of intro to a confession at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, doesn’t it? There are certain types of people who would like me to have a sense of shame about my hobby, but that’s not going to happen.[more inside]
There are no grown-ups. We suspect this when we are younger, but can confirm it only once we are the ones writing books and attending parent-teacher conferences. Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.
After 80, some people don’t retire. They reign. A collection of portraits of and interviews with men and women of a certain age. Here there be wisdom.
"A child’s body is very easy to live in. An adult body isn’t. The change is hard. And it’s such a tremendous change that it’s no wonder a lot of adolescents don’t know who they are. They look in the mirror — that is me? Who’s me?
And then it happens again, when you’re sixty or seventy."
Ursula K. Le Guin on Aging and What Beauty Really Means
And then it happens again, when you’re sixty or seventy."
Ursula K. Le Guin on Aging and What Beauty Really Means
There are various changes that come with the greying of the traditional television audience, including the kinds of ads being aired, as the median age of a broadcast or cable television viewer is increasing faster than the median age of the US population at large. Older people are treated to a litany of drug ads, filled with lists of horrifying side effects, thanks to the ability for drug companies to market directly to customers. The rise in such advertising is now the most prominent type of health communication that the public encounters, but it hasn't always been the case.
What Happens When 'The Simpsons' Becomes Dad Humor? With a ratings-smashing marathon running on FXX and a streaming app due to launch in October, perhaps now is the time to ask an impertinent question: When will The Simpsons become passé? Culture has moved on from The Simpsons, despite the show’s unwillingness to pass into comedy Valhalla. In other words, Simpsons is becoming dad humor: structures so well trod that they can never again surprise, no matter how perfectly crafted. The aesthetic earmarks of this mid-90s humor juggernaut are becoming as antiquated as puns and pies-in-the-face.
Calico, the company Google launched in September to try to cure death by tackling aging and illness, now has an official website..." [more inside]
Recently I overheard a man say at a yoga class, "Yeah, well, you get two women together and it's like bitch central." I could have told him he only needed one, in fact, and that would be me, but it also made me realize how much people diminish and poo-poo the real power and strength of female friendship, especially between women, which is either supposed to descend into some kind of male lesbian love scene porn fantasy or be dismissed as meaningless or be re-written as a story of competition.Transformation and Transcendence: The Power of Female Friendship, an essay by Emily Rapp (previously).
Here's the truth: friendships between women are often the deepest and most profound love stories, but they are often discussed as if they are ancillary, "bonus" relationships to the truly important ones. Women's friendships outlast jobs, parents, husbands, boyfriends, lovers, and sometimes children.
Post-operative Check: "It's okay that you don't remember me. My name is Shara, and I'm part of the surgical team. I'm checking to see how you're doing after your surgery. Do you know where you are right now?" [more inside]
The approximate moment when grumpiness kicks in for men is around age 70. Researchers found that as men grow older — from, say, 50 on — they have fewer obstacles and annoyances to worry about in life and, furthermore, they are more equipped to deal with adversity. But around age 70, life — or at least the perception of happiness — begins to go downhill. [more inside]
"America is in the midst of two major changes to its population: We are becoming majority non-white at the same time a record share is going gray. Explore these shifts in our new interactive data essay."
"Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?" an upcoming graphic memoir from Roz Chast is excerpted in the New Yorker online.
"Why am I not constantly grieving?" The wonderful Roger Angell on love, loss, sex, death, time, and the view from age 94.
Worm study suggests that activity in mitochondria determines ageing. More evidence for the mitochondria theory of ageing?
"I often think about my place in the modelling world and how my career is almost over. It’s sad and exciting at the same time. Once I’m not waiting for emails about castings or booking my next facial, I’ll put my energy into something that won’t make me feel worthless."
Robina Asti was born in 1921. She used to take the subway to the airport when she started flying in 1936.She fought in World War II, and at the age of 92 is now fighting the government she served to obtain Social Security benefits following the death of her husband, Norwood. The Social Security Administration states that she is ineligible because her legal 2004 marriage was not legal.
Starting at age 15, on New Year's Day in 2011, Matt Perren took a shot of himself every day lip-syncing to Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now". 1100 days later, at age 18, the video is ready. [more inside]
4 GIFs showing how the population in 4 different countries has and will age over time. (courtesy of Planet Money)
"And then one day you find ten years have got behind you..." It's a long slow five minutes, and you don't even know it's happening, but it is. Slowly but surely, the inevitable march of aging happens before your very eyes. Don't skip ahead, just let it unfold.
The Hebrew Home in Riverdale, NY has a comprehensive policy regarding sexual expression. The policy, which appears to be the only one of its kind among U.S. residential facilities for the elderly, says that residents "have the right to seek out and engage in sexual expression,” including “words, gestures, movements or activities which appear motivated by the desire for sexual gratification." As Baby Boomers age and begin to enter nursing homes in greater numbers, they're taking their freer sexual attitudes -- and their Viagra-- with them. An 80-something resident of the Hebrew Home says "she’d love to have someone special in her life. 'You want to have someone to pat you, someone to hold hands with,' she said. 'Age should not be a barrier to anything.'"
Rising Demand for Long-Term Services and Supports for Elderly People (pdf, 574 kb) - "By 2050, one-fifth of the total U.S. population will be elderly (that is, 65 or older), up from 12 percent in 2000 and 8 percent in 1950. The number of people age 85 or older will grow the fastest over the next few decades, constituting 4 percent of the population by 2050, or 10 times its share in 1950. That growth in the elderly population will bring a corresponding surge in the number of elderly people with functional and cognitive limitations."
‘People Think It’s Over’ Spared Death, Aging People With H.I.V. Struggle to Live
French Feminist Babayaga Thérèse Clerc, is captured by photographer Elisabeth Schneider in a short French documentary. Thérèse Clerc is the founder of Maison des Femmes de Montreuil, a women-only feminist retirement community, in Paris. [more inside]
In Korea, Changes in Society and Family Dynamics Drive Rise in Elderly Suicides - "The epidemic is the counterpoint to the nation's runaway economic success, which has worn away at the Confucian social contract that formed the bedrock of Korean culture for centuries." [more inside]
What will your last ten years look like? A powerful PSA that will get you off your couch. Another health-related PSA that will make you cry.
The Old Man at Burning Man. "When I mentioned to friends that I was going to Burning Man with my 69-year-old father, 'Good idea' were the words out of no one's mouth."
The aging of Obama. "Photos of Barack Obama on Election Night 2008 look like they were taken much longer ago. Now his face has deeper creases and crow’s feet, while his hair has turned white." Maybe damaged cell tips are to blame.
The New York Times asks seven 'experts': Does makeup ultimately damage a woman’s self-esteem, or elevate it? [more inside]
"Outcasts are my kind, they try harder. From strip joints to Burlesque theaters, I went on a quest and met the 'Legends', these dominating characters of the quintessential American art of strip tease. Hours of confidence on tapes, intimate photo sessions, they peel off and reveal the hidden layers of their life with throaty emotion. Their memories reflecting the memories of the land. Vietnam vets and bikers are their loyal patrons..." The Living Art Of Risqué, a photo essay from Marie Baronnet, features portraits of former strippers aged 60 to 95, accompanied by short bio-vignettes in their own words. [NSFW; nudity] [more inside]
Le Miroir is the story of a life as reflected in the bathroom mirror. It's a lovely contemplation on staying in place while traveling through the experience of growing older. [via] [direct video link]
The Eagleman Stag is the 2011 BAFTA award winning Royal College of Art thesis film of director/writer Mikey Please. It's mostly made out of some strange white stuff, found in the back of a stress cushion.
The Boston Globe reports that nursing homes in the United States continue to administer antipsychotic medications to patients who do not fit criteria for these drugs, in many cases to manage behavior considered disruptive by staff. For example, "in 21 percent of US nursing homes in 2010, at least one-quarter of the residents without illnesses recommended for antipsychotic use received the medications." Overuse of antipsychotic medications appears to correlate with nursing homes that have higher staff:patient ratios and to homes that house more people covered by Medicaid/Medicare. [more inside]
"Woodstock is their last refuge, the only old-age home in the world where hard drugs are not a taboo, a place intended for people who, in their early 50s, look as worn out as if they were in their 70s." A model project keeps aging drug users out of the streets of The Hague. [more inside]
Observations, stories and photographs by and of art model, sometime dancer, Alex B. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) (NSFW)
"'The dog lives in the present,' Ms. LeVine said. 'We don’t. Our body is fragile. We’re thinking about the past and what we could have done differently; we’re thinking about the future and what is going to happen to us.'" Senior Dogs Across America by Nancy LeVine (via) [more inside]
Philippe Faraut, realist sculptor, has a couple of interesting videos on Youtube ... one shows the effects of the aging process, another shows the effects of meth, and a third shows the effects of insanity. [more inside]
Zerosomethings are adorable: angst-free, energetic, usually related to me. They will grab onto one my legs to get a free ride, and I will always give it to them. A precocious twentysomething's artful musings on the series of life-stages most of us have passed, are passing, or will pass through in the course of ordinary survival. Reading "-Somethings" I am reminded of Gail Sheehy's classic Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life (read a portion here), a thought-provoking and somewhat more academic investigation of how we change over time.
Photographer Irna Werning's project, 'Back to the Future' recreates classic childhood snapshots 20-40 years later, using the same settings, subjects, and clothing. Zefrank's Young Me Now Me (previously) is a much more extensive crowdsourced version of the same concept. (via BB. One photo very slightly NSFW)
The Global Aging Preparedness Index The GAP Index is a measure of how countries are prepared to deal with their elderly/retired - this is a recent report put together by the Center for Strategic International Studies and looks at how things stood in 2007 and looks ahead to 2040. Hint: you don't want to be old now in South Korea or old in 2040 in Spain. via cfr.org
101, images of males from age 0 to 100 by Danish photojournalists Sofia Wraber and Nanna Kreutzmann.
Working on the Ending. Writer Gail Godwin reflects on the way she works now: "Inevitable for the old writer is the slowdown of word retrieval... All it once took was the slightest tug at the bell for the vigorous servant, accompanied by backup synonyms, to report for duty... You can rail at your 'senior moment' like those tiresome people who bring a conversation to a halt because they can’t remember the name of a place or person... Or you can leave a blank, to be filled in later... For me, a consolation prize of word delay has been an increased intolerance for the threadbare phrase. I don’t want anyone on my pages to 'burst into tears' or 'just perceptibly' do anything, ever again."
Olga Kotelko is 91, and she has probably set more athletic world records—and will continue to set more—than most of us will in our lives. We all age, but she is aging differently. Scientists are trying to figure out why...but she is just trying to find someone who can keep up.
80s supermodel Paulina Porizkova (images may be NSFW) on aging: Beauty, unlike the rest of the gifts handed out at birth, does not require dedication, patience and hard work to pay off. But it's also the only gift that does NOT keep on giving. It usually blossoms at an age where you're least equipped to handle its benefits and rewards and instead take it all for granted, and by the time you start understanding the value of it, it slowly trickles away. How's that for revenge of the ugly ones? (related)
The Gray And The Brown - why the baby boom generation's concerns about race may mean that it's stabbing itself in the back as it moves into retirement.
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