Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Aging American Workers Fight Discrimination Part 2


Submitted by Diamond Medical Spa and Vein

Our last article on age discrimination in the workplace was very well-received and struck a nerve with workers 40 years old and up! At the medical spa, occasionally an older man or woman will come with a family member. Invariably, the younger family member will encourage the senior family member to consider the rejuvenation services offered. An unfortunate response sometimes heard is, “Honey, I’m too old; that’s for you young folk.” To paraphrase, “I’ve checked out and given up. There’s no use in spending money; I’m too far gone.”

In the 60s the counter-culture hippie movement was a fad for some, and an adopted lifestyle for others. Derived from “hipster,” hippies, somewhat like hip-hop culture, gave up on traditional dress, values, work ethic, and education. Herb Caen, journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle coined the term “hippie,” and, in an article, described the guidelines of the hippie code: “Do your own thing, wherever you have to do it and whenever you want. Drop out. Leave society as you have known it. Leave it utterly. Blow the mind of every straight person you can reach. Turn them on, if not to drugs, then to beauty, love, honesty, fun.” By the 70s the hippie psychedelic philosophy had been acculturated into much of mainstream American life.

Many who adopted the hippie “free love,” “flower child” way of life found difficulty sustaining an acceptable quality of life for their families. Some held out and still live the hippie lifestyle, particularly in the West and Northwest USA. By the 80s more of them “sold out.” They shaved, cut their hair, bathed, stopped dumpster diving, dressed more traditionally, and reentered “straight,” mainstream American life. As the economic screws tightened and competition for jobs heightened, many former hippies were forced to conform to the majority of society in order to be employable and improve their lives.

In his article, Age Bias in the American Workplace, Howard Eglit wrote, “The stars are pretty much aligned in a configuration that does not augur well for older men and women in the workforce. The number of older individuals is growing enormously — the baby boomers are upon us. This means that those who want to remain in the workforce confront the facts that they likely will constitute a surplus — certainly as contrasted to the numbers of their counterparts who in past decades remained in the workforce… Another factor inimical to the interests of older workers and job applicants is the undercurrent of old-ageism throughout American society… ageism still exists, and it is a barrier with which older workers and job applicants must contend, in contrast to their younger counterparts who are already in the workforce or are, or will be, seeking to enter the workforce.”

The only weapons one has to fight ageism in the workplace are to retain or regain a youthful appearance. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 offers very little to no protection. “Checking out” of life and cooperating with senescence is a poor strategy for an aging population that needs to demonstrate relevancy, especially in the workplace. It is not vain to take care of yourself and fight apoptosis. Real vanity is empty, without value, and conceited. Diamond encourages you to be a good steward of the health and vitality God blessed to your care. Life is maintenance. A reasonable person does not just brush their teeth once, or bathe once, or brush their hair once. There are people that let things happen, and then there are people that make things happen. If you need to work, don’t think like a cosmetic hippie. Take charge. Make things happen! You will look and feel so much better.

Diamond Medical Spa & Vein is located at 3170 E. 53rd Street in Davenport. Call 563-275-4701 today to schedule a consultation.

Photo credit:  KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock