Unfortunately, ageism is absolutely an issue in our society, and it seems as though the threshold for what constitutes "too old" is only getting lower. In a powerful new video created by AARP as part of their #DisruptAging campaign, we get to see just how ridiculous ageism looks when taken out of its common context in the workplace. To make the point that ageism is unacceptable, AARP set up a hidden camera on a food truck advertising that it would only serve to people under 40. The reactions ranged from simple confusion to downright irateness.
The #DisruptAging campaign was created in conjunction with the book Disrupt Aging by AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins, and both are aimed at changing the narrative regarding age. "I hear people talk about the old birthday card jokes for turning 50. You know — 'Happy 50th; you're now officially over the hill.' It's just been acceptable for so many years," she explained in the latest edition of the AARP Bulletin. "And we haven't challenged it. We haven't insisted that it's no longer OK to make fun of somebody because they're getting older."
As the video points out, ageism is an everyday occurrence in the workplace, but typically veiled behind closed doors. In this unique social experiment, ageism was unapologetically out in the open. Would people stand for it the same way they do (wittingly or unwittingly) in the workplace? Here are a few of the many problems inherent with ageism, as told by the reactions people had when beignets were only being sold to the under-40 set.
1. It's Laughable
This woman's face says it all: "There's an age limit?" Are you for real, lady? When ageism is out in the open, it's readily apparent how silly its whole premise is.
2. It's Offensive
Say it with me: Exclusion is bad, inclusion is good. Exclusion solely on the basis of age is offensive and, to be honest, just plain rude.
3. It's Illogical
This woman was a pretty good sport — right up until the moment she was asked to stand across the street so that "people won't get the wrong idea." In no way should age be a qualifier for desirability in the workplace, and this experiment spotlights just how illogical the idea is.
4. It's Hurtful
No one likes to be told they aren't good enough, and it's certainly hurtful if you're deemed unwanted because of your age. People over 40 have feelings too, right?
5. It's Infuriating
As this guy so pointedly (and appropriately) puts it, "This is a stupid f***ing thing." How is discriminating against an entire demographic of people based on age even allowed? It's a maddening culture. Aging is inevitable; being a dill hole who advocates ageism is a choice.
Watch the full video below:
Images: AARP/YouTube (6)