Type: Analysis
Pages: 3 | Words: 784
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What kind(s) of cultural images of aging of older women discussed in the course textbook/ lecture research are supported or challenged in this video- explain in detail why they are used?

The video about Ernestine Shepard concerns such cultural images of women of the older age as the attractiveness and their self-identity in the society. All this is discussed, as the heroine of the video is trying to destroy the stigmatization that exists in reference to old people. She tries to do that setting her own example of being opposite to all those things that people mean when they say “old”. Despite the fact that she is over 70, Ernestine looks like a sexy woman with perfect body. She is inspired of what she is doing; she carries on an active and productive style of live helping younger people to start believing in themselves. The cultural images are used here to discrepancy difference between what we expect when we hear the phrase “70-year-old women” and what we can really see, to emphasize that what we used to visualize while hearing this phrase is just one of the stereotypes.

Discuss how Ernestine Shepherd challenges or refutes beliefs about midlife women’s self perceptions as discussed in the textbook/ lecture research.

The midlife women’s self-perception is most cases rather pessimistic. If the midlife men can easily reach success in various aspects of their lives, the best age of women is not older than 40. It is mainly explained by the fact that at this age the men are considered to be attractive, sometimes even more than they used to be. They get much in their professional life, as they are considered to be more experienced. Moreover, they are successful in their social life, as they are considered to become more interested and inspired. At their fifties women are treated as those whose best time has already passed. As the attractiveness is an aspect that is valued in women’s appearance the most, the midlife women cannot get as much positive from their lives as they used to have before. They are not in such demand as young women, considering all aspects of their lives. Ernestine Shepard fights all these beliefs, showing that everything is possible at any age. She says that now, in her age, she feels better and fit than she was thirty years ago; she is really happy and makes all possible to help the others and to convert them in her ideology of being fit, young and strong.

Based upon the textbook/ lecture research findings about aging males in comparison to females, explain in detail how you think a male would be portrayed in a similar documentary.

The society’s perception of midlife men constantly differs from the one of women. The age for men is a positive concept, as the older they are, the more experienced, attractive, wise and rich they become, while women are getting miserable, ugly, evil and incapable of doing anything in their lives that deserves respect. If the video was about a male, it wouldn’t be so surprising and encouraging, because it is the difference between the stereotypes concerning old women and the reality that makes the video special. The man would be portrayed as one who has a young wife, maybe some little children and having a well-paid job, while woman’s life in this video is shown as cozy, with traditional values (having the same husband for a long time), life with God in her heart and working not only for money, but also doing charity in her church (training people there).

According to the research in the Transforming Society: Resisting Ageism section of the textbook/ lecture how does Ernestine Shepherd positively address issues relevant to aging women?

Ernestine Shepard shows that our physical age doesn’t have any importance. People of older age can do the same things that they did long time ago. Moreover, they can try to do something more complicated. One should work hard, be patient and believe in his or her strength. Physical fitness is much closer to young life than making some rejuvenated procedures, it makes one feel young inside and be so in appearance.

Consider the textbook/ lecture discussion about taking charge in the second half of life- discuss how Ernestine Shepherd does or does not illustrate this.

Ernestine Shepard is a vivid example of how a person can change her life. She says that now, in her age, she feels herself much better than she did, when she was 40. Her life is fulfilled with events; she feels that people need her, her consultation, her experience, as they want to resemble her. She is a happy woman and she has managed to reach all this in the second half of her life.

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