Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ageist imagery

I'm puzzled by a story that's appeared in The Sunday Times and other papers:
"The road sign that shows a hunched couple clutching a stick as a warning to drivers to slow down should be banned because it deters employers from giving the over-50s a job, says the government’s tsar for the elderly.  
Ros Altmann, the business champion for older workers, is to press Jo Swinson, the women and equalities minister, at a meeting next month to act on the grounds that the sign is discriminatory."
I don't understand why Ros thinks this image depicts the over-50s. Surely it depicts the over-90s, and if/when I reach that age I will be glad of a sign near my care home to warn speeding drivers.

In any case, this icon is more than counterbalanced by the usual Getty Images retired couple: slim, tanned and happy, the male with a full head of hair, they flaunt their generous pensions as they cavort hand in hand on beaches in exotic locations, on cruise ships, or pursuing some unfeasibly athletic retirement pastime. When things turn ugly between the have-it-all boomers and Generation Rent, I will blame Mr and Mrs Getty for winding up the young 'uns.