This post is sponsored by RoC®
Have you ever been told you look good for your age? How about any version of a compliment followed by “for your age?” I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not be given a compliment at all than to be given a backhanded compliment!
That’s not to say that the person giving me the compliment means anything malicious by it. Many of us are so used to saying these things that we often don’t even realize we’re coming across as ignorant at best or insulting at worst.
I’m guilty of it myself, but having turned 40 this year, I’m definitely more aware of this kind of language. I don’t feel old. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything particularly special for my age. More and more often however, I find people giving me fashion, makeup, fitness, and parenting advice based on my age instead of just giving general advice. Everything is qualified! I don’t need special treatment for my accomplishments or to be admonished for my choices, all because of my age.
Right now, I’m digging the RoC #ForYourAge campaign that aims to change the narrative on aging by doing away with the phrase “for your age” altogether. RoC is challenging everyone to think twice before using a backhanded compliment because the weight of words matters.
It means a lot to us when we consider what’s being said to our children at school, but not what we say to each other day in and day out. If you think a woman is fashionable, beautiful, fit, or has a lot of energy, tell her and end it right there, without adding “for your age.” When women hear that toxic phrase, it actually impacts the way they feel about themselves, the way they behave, and the way they dress, just to name a few.
RoC partnered with Wakefield Research to survey women over 40 for this campaign. The results confirmed that most women are like me and would rather not be complimented at all than to receive one paired with “for your age.” What’s more, 60% admit to changing their behavior after someone told them their actions weren’t “age appropriate.” A few silly words can make a huge impact!
Campaign Ambassador Thandie Newton puts it best in this inspirational video.
Think about it: if our choices, actions, or looks are measured based on our age, what we’re saying is that there is a better age to be than others; that it’s more desirable to be young, for example. We live in a youth-obsessed culture, but I, for one, am proud of where I am and wouldn’t want to go back in time if I could! The wisest among us understand that aging is a privilege that we should wear as a badge of honor.
Once you’ve reframed your outlook on aging (and yes, it takes time and practice), you can change the way you talk about aging. At the very least, strike the phrase “for your age” from your vocabulary! Join RoC by vowing to think twice before using #ForYourAge with a compliment ever again.
Have you ever been given backhanded compliment, particularly in regards to your age? How did you handle it? Did you make a change because of it?
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