Sep 19, 2019

Age Discrimination Fueling Cosmetic Procedures

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By Eileen Spatz

News flash: If you’re looking for a job or a date, youth sells. 

Yep, it is that simple. People seeking job applicants and romantic partners gravitate toward fresh faces, toned bodies, and shiny locks. That is all well and good until that inevitable moment in time when we realize we are….yikes…aging. We are now the ones passed over for the job promotion or the invitation to be a plus one. Seemingly overnight, we find ourselves labeled as the “older woman,” or the “seasoned employee,” which is code for your best days are behind you.

Retirement? I'm not ready!

Unfortunately, age discrimination is front and center as experienced by the hoards of boomers aging into their 60s and early 70s. Although they may have no desire to retire, or even slow down, boomers find themselves marginalized in the workplace. With spunky millennials nipping at their heels, it is a disconcerting feeling to realize you may be sent out to pasture well before your desired expiration date.

The Dating Game

And while we are discussing ageism, let’s not forget about the dating scene for someone of a certain age. Here the situation gets very interesting, as men in their 60s are completely uninterested in dating a woman their own age. So, a great looking, vital woman of 60 is shut out of the matching algorithm because the men in her age group have selected age 49 as their top end, drop dead, last possible age to consider as a possible match. Wow, even within a woman’s own age group there is age discrimination.

It is a quandary. Today’s crop of sexagenarians is nothing like their parents. These people still rock out at live concerts, go on adventure travel tours, run 10Ks, race mountain bikes, and hit the gym hard. The only things giving away their year of birth are the lines, wrinkles, and sags that Father Time has gifted them with. Drat.

Stay Young - Stay Relevant

A recent study published in Aesthetic Surgery Journal entitled “Ageism and Health in Patients Undergoing Cosmetic Procedures”[Pearl, Percec] sought to determine the prevalence of perceived age discrimination among patients seeking cosmetic procedures. The study reported that over 30% of the participants reported age as the main reason for everyday discrimination experienced in the workplace or interpersonal contexts.

Is it any wonder then that the age discrimination that exists in our culture is driving a boom in cosmetic surgeries and procedures? Many folks in their 60s and 70s who want to remain competitive and relevant, both at work and at play, are storming the plastic surgeon’s offices for a bit of an update. The vast array of minimally invasive procedures offered at a fraction of the cost for a full facelift has opened up a whole menu of possibilities for shaving some years off the ole façade.

No longer do patients desire a complete transformation of their looks. That is so 1960s! These days those who seek out cosmetic procedures are aiming for a natural look, a minor tune-up, shall we say. Some of the most sought after procedures currently include:

  • Dermal fillers for plumping lines on the face and around mouth
  • Botox for reducing the appearance of fine lines
  • Lasers for skin resurfacing and reducing age spots and other sun damage
  • Chemical peels for a deeper skin resurfacing
  • Microdermabrasion for renewing overall skin tone and texture
  • SculpSure for toning up the double chin

Thanks to improvements in healthcare and more attention paid to nutrition and exercise, people are remaining active and engaged much longer than in previous generations. It is disheartening to see the effects of age negatively impact people’s perception of you when you feel strong and sharp inside. Thanks to the many aesthetic options available, the outside you can now match the inside you.

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