Mr. D. Perkins
AP Lang, 4th period
4 March 2014
Act Your Age
There is a strange phenomenon in America. Children are told to act their age by adults who try to deny their own years. We live in a world afraid of getting older. Society constantly reminds us that aging is bad and that a young look is the key to maintaining a social status.
Older people who try to look younger than they are were seen more negatively than those that acted their age. But that doesn't mean that those who act their age are not still seen as more negative than actual young people. It tells us that getting older is stigmatized but often times those who try to leave their social category and join another are seen as the most threatening. So you can be seen negatively for aging but seen even more negatively for trying to join a different age group than you belong in.
Adult women (and increasingly men) alter their appearance to make them look more youthful. They dye their hair to cover gray, and they get Botox injection to eliminate wrinkles. Although, some celebrities have denied this trend by publicly saying no to attempts to look younger than they are. But, because status is so dependent on beauty and youth, many assume this idea is the right one.
Parents sometimes try to recapture their younger years by imitating the youth. Adults of a certain age do not merely try to look young; they also try to act younger than they are, or in this case "cool." They use (and mostly misuse) teenage slang, and they make themselves look ridiculous at weddings imitating the current dance crazes - almost always unsuccessfully. If they have kids, they may...