Opinions are like a$$holes…everybody’s got one.
That saying’s been around for a long time, but it’s never been more true than it is today, in the age of social media.
Well, I have an opinion, too.
It’s no secret that I believe that social media, on balance, are not good for society. They reinforce the idea that all opinions are equally valid. They allow misinformation to spread like wildfire. They allow people to be insulting and vile to one another. They keep us in siloes.
Let me break it to you:
All opinions are not valid. Some are based on false realities. Too many.
In an age of reality shows, the biggest show of all, life, is more like unreality.
(pause for effect)
Which brings me to Martha Stewart and the legions of people who are celebrating this 81-year old’s appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated, as if it’s a signal of cultural change and as if she represents 81-year-olds in our culture.
(screech!) Put on the brakes.
Here’s the truth:
Martha is not a representative 81-year-old and the photos are not a true depiction of a woman that age. And you are not a “hater” if you state that very obvious truth.
Oh, those photos. Such fresh and smooth skin! Not a wrinkle in sight. It is extremely obvious that she had peels and/or excellent work done–and/or great filters and photoshop. She does not look like an 81-year old and we should not fool ourselves that she does.
No question she’s kept fit over the years. And is always well-groomed. She was a model in her youth and retains good looks. Good genes.
But let’s not cover our eyes to the fact: she is not what a typical 81-year-old looks like.
What’s worse, is that all the congratulations and the fierce defenders of her cover photos reinforce our cultural bias against aging. That normal aging is bad and that fixes are needed and to be admired.
Our cultural obsession with covering up aging and admiring the results is a sad state of affairs.
Look. By all means get work if you want to and can afford it. I might think it’s unhealthy for society. I might look at the bigger picture with sadness. But. If this is how you want to represent yourself, that is your right.
But let’s not forget:
We are, in fact, living in the biggest unreality show ever.
Yes, I’m still making candles for a few more weeks. Maybe you want me to make one for your bestie? Here‘s the link to my shop.