These include: red eyes; wrinkled faces; living alone; and maybe even the keeping of pets such as cats, which are said to be animals used by a witch for witchcraft purposes. The media is also to blame since it fuels and perpetuates untruths about women. Even television programs point to the fact that there is something wrong with older women. Taking cartoons for example, one will always get the sense that witchcraft is practiced by old women living alone, making evil spells and potions. Wizards (old men) are on the other hand sweet and powerful beings doing good in the world. Sexually, men are seen as more attractive longer than women. Even the taking of Viagra is no longer perceived as an option but a necessity for older men.
Today getting old is not only a disease, it is a taboo. Aging is a word that conveys fear and a threat of social rejection. An aging body may be perceived as deteriorated, having no social worth. Cosmetic companies and cosmetic surgeons through the media are making millions perpetuating the myth that to be a valuable member of society you have to fight the aging process by buying their products. Aging is increasingly deprived of value, although with a milder slope for men in comparison to women, and for the rich in comparison to the poor. The taboo is therefore associated with social discrimination.
Aging reminds us of death, the biggest taboo of all, and the older you are the closer to death you are perceived to be in our materialistic society. Which is nonsense, because the fact is that people of all ages die. Our fear of death makes us fearful of aging as well and repulsed by the whole process. Our society sees beauty only of the flesh and does not look beyond, to the beauty of a wise wrinkled face of an elder, ripe with experience, detached humour and wisdom. After all it is the ripe fruit that is juicy and sweet, and not the sour, green unripe fruit of youth.