Ageism Is Sooooo Subtle

August 31st, 2013

What: L.A. Times

When: Today

The Story: Fashion Trends

Topshop and H&M are offering customers free in-store consultations with “stylists” to 1) lure women to brick & mortar stores and 2) help them buy more.

Who uses these stylists?

At Topshop, ages range “from 15 year old girls to 50-year old mothers.” At Johnny Was, customers “include mothers, businesswomen and even a client in her 60s.”

Did you catch that subtle, ageist putdown? “…even a client in her 60s.”

I read this to mean: “We dress Mothers, who are functioning members of society with a role and a title, and we dress Businesswomen, who are also functioning members of society, with roles and titles, and we dress one freak, a women in her 60s.”

It’s not clear if Businesswomen can also be Mothers, but no matter, my point is that “Mother” and “Businesswoman” are legitimate, descriptive categories that fit in “the world as we know it” but that “… a woman in her 60s” is adrift in her own dreary category, without a role, or function or title.

Ageism is subtle, but that’s what sharp editors are for.

The Media Watch Dog is whimpering.

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