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Fighting Ageism in The Media With Stock Photos

What’s your age?

If you happen to be over 60, you don’t matter any more. At least that’s how senior people are viewed and stereotyped in the media. In today’s world, ageism is often overlooked for more common social issues like racism and gender discrimination. In doing so, we’ve only caused self harm to our future selves.

Unsurprisingly, the media play a massive role in shaping the narratives of this prejudice, which is considered as a major problem by the World Health Organization (WHO). Therefore, to help out an end to the discrimination against people based on their age, here’s five other ways on how to feature senior people in the media, with stock photos.

1. Senior people and the travel industry

Ageism is best seen in the travel industry. Companies are targeting millennials and Generation Z for travel promos and various types of travel like intrepid adventures, solo backpacking journeys and digital detox retreats. As a result, retirees are often left aside for online travel-related content.

However, companies are doing more harm than good with this strategy. Retirees have solid bank balances and all the time in the world to embark on a globe trotting adventure. Therefore, the next time you decide to use millennials in your travel advert, consider widening your target audience instead.

2. Ageism and the wellness sector

Old people are always unwell. That’s a common prejudice associated to this group of people. Therefore, healthcare insurances are the only time you’ll see and older person in a wellness advert. Well it’s time to consider how older people are portrayed. They’re fit, healthy and deserve to enjoy every moment of their lives, like the rest of us, without being reminded of death every second of the day.

3. Older people and family dynamics

Ageism is also highly apparent in family dynamics, as most discourse centered around this topic focuses on parents and their kids. Grandparents are left out of the discussion, and only brought in to look after the kids. Toby Maguire’s first Spiderman is a classic example of this. Aunt May is pretty much there to take care of her nephew. She was reduced to a mere caregiver. This is where the media needs to redefine the representation of the senior community and rid any notions of ageism in our lives.

4. Ageism and technology

We’ve saved the best one for the last. Ageism and technology is one of the most popular ways to pass prejudice remarks and discriminate the community. Supposedly, older people are not supposed to be associated to any sort of technology. After all, we’re not talking about millennials here. However, it’s time to debunk this myth and rid the technology industry of any apparent ageism.

In a nutshell, the stock photo industry has a massive role to play to help offer an accurate representation of the diverse world we live in, instead of confining individuals to a single story. For a similar piece, check out the latest addition to our lifestyle series which explored Asian representations in the media.

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