Gero-Punk Public Service Announcement: THIS is NOT The Next Breakthrough in Anti-Aging!

Hello to you, MindBodyGreen,

I’ve been a daily, committed follower of MBG since its beginning. I’ve much admired the periodic pieces you’ve published that provide a balanced, even affirming approach to the aging journey. I’ve even thought of seeing if I might contribute some of my own writing to the MBG blog. But I have to say that today my heart fell — and I got rather pissed — when I received the direct marketing email titled “THIS is the Next Breakthrough in Anti-Aging!”

I’m cool with the fact that MBG has sponsored content — that seems to be the game, yes?  But I am absolutely NOT COOL with the “anti-aging” discourse.  My friends, the aging journey IS the human journey. Aging is not a failure, nor something to avoid. Aging is a force of nature, it is a gift (and it starts when we are born).

I’ll extend the benefit of the doubt — perhaps Chanel determined the copy for its brand new product, and MBG had to use it.  But the thing is,  MBG could actually change the game by changing the discourse so that it is more balanced, accurate and affirming.  I purchase and wear Chanel lipstick and nail polish not because these products help me pass for younger than I actually am, but because they are legacy products that are at once edgy, classic, timeless and cool.

I am a long-time educational gerontologist, consultant, writer, and activist. I turned 50 this past December and my daughter turned 21 yesterday (and my mother turned 71 on 2/2).  Will you join me in creating a world in which all ages are of value and we don’t spend energy, time and money in pursuit of “anti-aging” but in pursuit of being our best selves at every age and in every stage?

Thanks for listening,

Jenny Sasser, Ph.D.

A Message From Our Partner

About Jenny Sasser, Ph.D.

I am a freelance educational gerontologist, writer, community activist and facilitator. As of 12/21/15, I am former Chair of the Department of Human Sciences and Director of Gerontology at Marylhurst University. I joined the faculty as an adjunct member of the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program in 1997 and since that time, I've been involved in designing many on-campus and web-based courses and programs for adult learners, including in Gerontology. As an undergraduate I attended Willamette University, graduating Cum Laude in Psychology and Music; my interdisciplinary graduate studies at University of Oregon and Oregon State University focused on the Human Sciences, with specialization areas in adult development and aging, women’s studies, and critical social theory and alternative research methodologies. My dissertation became part of a book published in 1996 and co-authored with Dr. Janet Lee--Blood Stories: Menarche and the Politics of the Female Body in Contemporary US Society. Over the past fifteen years I have been involved in inquiry in the areas of creativity in later life; older women's embodiment; sexuality and aging; critical Gerontological theory; transformational adult learning practices; and cross-generational collaborative inquiry. I am co-author, with Dr. Harry R. Moody of Aging: Concepts and Controversies (8th edition). I live in Portland, Oregon with my dog Happy. My daughter Isobel is a Sophomore at Bard College in New York state. I have been on the planet 49 years.
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