There’s a lot of ageist scaremongering in the world today. You only have to switch on the TV or scroll through the internet to recognise that youth is cherished and growing old is something to fear. We are sold creams and potions that promise to ‘turn back the clock’ and are chastised when we dare to challenge what society thinks we are ‘too old for.’
Is it any wonder we are terrified to grow older?
I set up Bolder to change the conversation around ageing. As a journalist, I saw first-hand that people over a certain age were not represented in the media – and my instincts told me they should be.
Together with my co-founder, photographer Helen Cathcart, we set about interviewing and photographing the most inspirational people over 70 we could find. Crucially, they were nothing like their media-prescribed ages and in every instance they were still doing, making or creating.
Three years into the project and we’ve realised that old age doesn’t just ‘happen’. It is a constant for all of us – and the prescribed happiness deadline is an illusion.
The message is clear: ageing is a gift.
I interviewed three pioneering and innovative pillars of our community, and asked what ageing means to them.