If You’re Lucky You Get Old is an exhibition by photographer Freya Najade, chronicling the first thing she learned from the elderly people she visited whilst traveling the United States. At a time where the elderly are ostracized, or, in Najade’s words, ‘hardly seem to exist’, conjuring images of ‘wrinkles, disease and decay’, the artist was surprised that the people she met and photographed were not only proud of their age but were ‘still falling in love and breaking up.
Many of you will find these images difficult to look at.
They are largely UN-retouched, straightforward, brutally honest.
In short, not something we see a lot of in in a culture obsessed with youth and beauty.
Most older people are invisible to us, irrelevant, and for all intents and purposes, gone.
But as the oldest Baby Boomers edge closer to 70, we’re about to fall victim to the very culture we created.
Of course, we don’t all age at the same rate.
This is a result of our lifestyle choices as you will see.
Richard Gere is decades younger than the man in the above photo, but you’d only know this from a birth certificate.
Unlike many men his age, Gere has chosen to let himself go.
This is a choice, not an inevitable destiny.
That he is dating the stunning Alejandra Silva, 32, mother of one, only adds to the cliche that love is only as deep as one’s investment portfolio.
So let’s take a look at other men his age and then let you decide what constitutes “old”
If any of the following 5 men were seen in the company of a 32 year old woman, you’d never hear a word from critics who claim “it’s all money, honey,” followed closely by “Ewwww,” and, of course, the old standbys, “Creepy” and “cringe-worthy.”
1] Sting, 63
2] Bruce Springsteen, 65
3] Samuel L. Jackson, 66
Kurt Russell, 64
In this case, I chose rich, famous actors who’s job it is to stay fit.
But many civilians [men not known in the context of popular culture] who happen to be in their middle 60’s are even fitter.
Men who practice Crossfit, for example, are some of the fittest guys I have ever known, shaming men half their age.
It’s all a choice.
How much effort we’re willing to put forth to be the very best that we can be?
For many, it’s very little: Consume a few veggies [when absolutely, positively necessary], do a little walking…and maybe add a glass of water between shots of vodka.
This is normal, average.
For the rest of us, life is a full-on crucible filled with challenges no one ever thought we’d be strong enough to face.
But here we are in the midst of a never-ending war of attrition, doing what we have to do to stand tall in the face of adversity.
Talk about relevance.
Staying fit is the very definition of it, closely followed closely by money.
Of course, there is disagreement about the order, as evidenced by Richard Gere.