Ours is increasingly a “youth” culture — not in that we have particular respect for the young, but more that we seem all-too fixated on what it is to affect the impression of such in those of us who are decidedly not, at least in any real chronological way. Awaiting the semi-annual dental cleaning, one might peruse the accumulated and sundry magazines scattered in the waiting room. Even the casual observer flipping through the pages is struck by the age and appearance of the models shilling products and services. With the occasional expectation of pharmaceutical ads, the folks often sexualizing the goods are children. In fact, data aggregator Statista.com reports that 55 percent of working female fashion models begin younger than 16.
What is it in us that wants to imagine ourselves wearing the clothing of a 12-year-old? Of particular concern is that high-end design houses are often the most egregious with children being used to overtly titillate and tempt. One hopes that the world of shoppers is not secretly overwhelmingly comprised of pedophiles. So, why are children parading around in adult clothing like some perverted game of dress-up?
Has our obsession to see ourselves as young driven this twist? Plastic surgeries, especially among men, are up exponentially these past decades. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, overall procedures are up 115 percent since the year 2000 alone. Even more, we affect hipster language, wear clothing that, suffice it to say, may not be designed with a middle-aged body in mind, and largely overlook our basic responsibilities to be a fully grown adult.
Is it enough to say that we are the best we can be for our age group without fixating that we look the youngest? Can we like the age we are? Haven’t we earned it?