Dear Ageists, Leave Geraldo And His Selfie Alone

Source: Donna Ward/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
I woke up yesterday morning to find my Twitter timeline collectively ewwwwing over Geraldo Rivera and his OMG NAKED selfie. (It wasn't actually fully naked, by the way. Geraldo's manparts were covered with a towel). 

As you can see, everyone had A LOT to say about Geraldo's choice to share a shot of his body:

[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/lenadunham/statuses/359005959298879488] 

[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/amaditalks/statuses/358838127260995584] 

[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/MeghanMcCain/statuses/358959172974411777] 

Uh, what's the big deal? It's a little inappropriate for a selfie, sure, but if a conventional sex symbol (or, AHEM, someone young) tweeted something like this, it wouldn't be a big deal. Remember Heidi Klum's wildly inappropriate underboob selfie from last week? The bikini selfies Kim Kardashian tweeted all the time before she got pregnant? Yup. I mean, celebrities are narcissistic. They want attention. That's not a surprise to anyone. 

Honestly, this whole brouhaha strikes me as pretty ageist. Yeah, I said it..it's ageist! Would everyone on Twitter be making fun of Geraldo if he were 20 or 30 years younger? I doubt it. The collective AHHH MY EYES-ing of the Twittersphere just proves, despite all of our purported body positivity, that there's still a very narrow definition of what's considered to be an acceptable body in our culture. That apparently doesn't include the body of an older man, even that of an older man who clearly works to maintain optimal physical fitness and fit into standards of conventional attractiveness (hello, abs). I mean, this is ridiculous. You lose your right to be proud of your body once you're past middle age? You can't expose your fit form if you're not super young and virile? 

Maybe the outcry is more because of Geraldo's racist, hack-ish reputation, but all I know is that I was a little offended by how quickly everyone jumped to eviscerate and poke fun at him. (And this is honestly the first time I've paid attention to him...ever.) It looks like Geraldo has since deleted the infamous selfie, but he later tweeted something that shows he was aware (and ashamed?) of the crazy reaction:
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/GeraldoRivera/statuses/359067670697607170] 

Although it's understandable that he took it down—can you imagine if thousands of people were making fun of you and your body on a public forum?—I wish he'd left his picture up instead of allowing the public to bodyshame him. Still, I say more power to him for working to have a fit body and feeling proud enough to show it off (at least initially) regardless of the ageists in the Twittersphere. 

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