Monday, April 4, 2016

A Silver Fox?!

Longtime readers may remember when I did yoga - gosh, I just looked back and realized that this was nearly five years ago!  I liked this class; it was held outside, in a park, and it was a small group with a great instructor who helped my very uncoordinated self get fairly comfortable with yoga poses.  Eventually, the weather turned cold and the outdoor classes ended, and although I tried doing yoga a few more times with other instructors, I never liked it enough to continue.  For as much good that it does my body with stretching and strengthening, there are also some poses that tend to make my back ache, so I'm not always ready to jump on the yoga bandwagon.

That said, there is a somewhat new yoga place in town, and I've been keeping tabs on their Facebook page, thinking that one of these days I'll give them a try.  But recently, they posted this:
I'm not posting the name of the yoga studio because this isn't a bash against their business per se; it's more of a commentary on their misguided view of people in their 50s.

WAIT.A.MINUTE. 

HOLD.THE.PHONE.

Puts on reading glasses:  Did they just use the phrase "Silver Foxes" in the same sentence as "55 years of age"?!  Are they serious??

Excuse me, but that is so wrong.  I'm just over two years shy of meeting the age requirement for this class, and much as I joke about being a cane-waving, Kleenex-tucked-up-my-sleeve, git-off-my-lawn crankster, this offends me.  And I'm not sure what bothers me more - the fact that they think people in their mid-50s are so old, or the phrase itself.  Silver Foxes sounds condescending to me...let's give head pats to the oldsters who are ready to give yoga a try.  I can't speak for them, but as far as attending a class for Silver Foxes, to that I say no thanks. 

Just to be sure that I wasn't being overly sensitive, I showed the FB post to my friend Jenny, who is in her late 30s - she was incredulous.  And then I showed it to my friend Rosalie, who is in her 60s, and asked her if she considered herself a Silver Fox.  Her look of disgust told me enough, haha.  I also asked my mother (who has beautiful silver hair but that's beside the point) what she thought of the class name, and she pretty much said it was dumb and why did couldn't they just call it a beginner's class anyway?

So I wonder - is there such a disconnect between the younger generation and that they think 55 years old is OLD?  Because as I get closer to that number, I have to say, I don't feel particularly old.  I just feel like me.  But is that how they see me?  Good night Irene, do I look like a Silver Fox to them?

Excuse me while I go take my Geritol.

35 comments:

  1. Stupid name for that class!

    People in their 50's these days are so much more active and full of life than back when I was young. Yes then 50 was pretty old but not anymore. If I look at myself, I'm 2 years away from the big 50 :) but don't feel like I'm almost 50.

    So I'm totally with you on this one.

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    1. I agree. Several generations ago, 50 years old was older. It's not now.

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  2. I am 51 until October and I am experimenting with not coloring my hair any more so I am starting to go gray, and some of it is showing.So far I haven't experienced what I thought of as prejudice or being perceived as "old" but I am on the alert for it. Nobody likes being condescended to.I would let the company know call them out on it on social media chances are it offends not just me and you but others as well. Being in my fifties doesn't make me old heck I feel better, stronger than when I was in my thirties.

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    1. I thought I could get away with the gray since I'm blonde, but so far it's not turning into any kind of pretty mix, so I'm still getting it highlighted/lowlighted/whatever my hairdresser thinks that needs to be done.

      And yes - I'm WAY fitter and healthier than I was 20 years ago!

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  3. I'm right there with you. I'm also 2 years away from that magical "55" and I don't consider myself a silver fox. Unless I go too long between coloring appointments. My mom still colors her hair. What the heck?

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    1. How funny, I didn't realize you were my age. SEE??? Pinpointing 55 as geriatric is just plain dumb.

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  4. OMG, I thought that was ridiculous as soon as I saw that and before you even said anything about it.

    I am NOT defending them in any way, but perhaps it is a play on words. Like you know how some gyms have a "silver sneakers" program? Maybe they are calling these women "Foxy" at any age? I don't know but yea, it's stupid..lol

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    1. I think the whole thing was just a fail on their part.

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  5. That's some bad marketing right there. I would send them a private message and tell them so.

    I'm 56 and there is nothing silver about me. I'm a blonde fox.

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  6. If it's just related to hair color, I've secretly been a "silver fox" since my late teens. :)

    On the one hand, I can totally see why you'd feel offended by this. You are an active and healthy 50-something, and definitely don't seem like some old lady! In general, I don't think anyone in their 50's is "old" per se. But maybe they're trying to appeal to other people who are older and may feel insecure about working out with a bunch of 20-somethings? (although I admit, 55 seems like a pretty low age for that)

    My mom, who is 65 and does think herself to be "old" (sigh, this does really bother me, and I tell her so) and embraces being a senior citizen, recently joined a "silver sneakers" walking group. And although I don't think she's the geezer she thinks she is, I'm just glad SOMETHING could motivate her to be active, since she's pretty sedentary most of the time.

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    1. That's sad about your mom - I think attitude goes a long way in how you feel, and if I considered myself old at 65, well...that's just no good.

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  7. I'm almost 53 and I'm lucky to say I don't have a grey or silver hair on me. I'm also running 3 half marathons this year! I think they are losing business with this kind of advertising.

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    1. OK, see? It's not just me - they don't realize what 55ish people are actually doing for exercise.

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  8. Shelley, one of the water aerobics classes at my gym offers a class to 55 and older called "Healthy Joints." I am not kidding.

    I would be offended too, but then again, I don't feel that I am two years shy of 50! Happy Monday!

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    1. OK, maybe it's the Californian in me, but I think the "older" generation of 55+ might see "healthy joints" as something other than what that gym meant...LOL!

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  9. I always thought a Silver Fox was a good looking guy with a little gray at his temples...am I wrong about this???

    #1) 55 is not old enough to be considered "Silver" and
    #2) The name just doesn't fit. They need to try again.

    I'm with you on this. They messed up.

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    1. OK, so George Clooney is a silver fox. I can go with that. ;)

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  10. Hmmm, interesting. I'm 62, and it didn't offend me at all. (Note the past tense, now I'm wondering if it should have, HA!) What I focused on in that picture was the 100 year old looking fab. Maybe I'm accustomed to the Silver Sneaker classes/moniker. Now I'm curious and need to ask some of my cohorts for their take.

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  11. Interesting topic and comments! I think I feel like Jeannie. I'm 61. And this is weird, but I've heard of Silver Sneakers, and I never related it to hair color! I don't like the Fox part--that is so passé, sexualizing an exercise class. Okay, now that I said that, I"m offended :)

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    1. I had to laugh at where you went, from not being offended to WAIT A MINUTE...and yeah, please don't sexualize a freaking exercise class. That is ridiculous.

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  12. 55 is not old! I'm not a fan of that name either.

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  13. This "silver fox" will be 56 next month and still wears "short" shorts, and gets called miss most of the time. Oh plus I run most of my much "younger" friends into the ground when we travel together. Lol, if I'm old I haven't been reading the memo!

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  14. Anderson Cooper is the original Silver Fox and how old is he? One year older than me.

    Bad, bad marketing. I would say something.

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    1. Oh, Anderson Cooper - yes, I'd forgotten about him.

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  15. Seriously!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am 62. I don't consider myself a silver fox. I think that I will dye my hair forever.

    Anyway, I feel better and younger since I started running.

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    1. Exactly. Don't put me in that generalization...

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  16. I grayed early, I've had predominantly silver hair since my 40's, like 80% gray at 40. I colored it for a long time, knowing it was not healthy to use color and hating the expense and time it took to color it. Finally approaching 50, I stopped. The strangest thing began to happen. when my husband, who has the youngest baby face of any 52 year-old I have ever seen, and I would go out to dinner and have the predictable 20-25 year old waitress, she would ask if we were on the same ticket. Who us? No way, we have only been married 26 years and raised four children of course we don't want to be on the same ticket. It happened time and time again until finally I wrote on our meal ticket "Here is your tip; if a couple comes in together, male and female, assume they are together until they say they are not"

    Two things came out of this. I started coloring my hair again and I realized, the younger generation does think we are old, ancient even.

    The joke is on them though. Someday at 50 they will remember when they thought 50 was one foot in the grave. I plan to be alive to laugh....keep running!

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  17. That is a ridiculous name for a class, and a little offensive - on many levels. Anderson Cooper and my Husband can both be silver foxes, but everyone else...nope. I pay good money to cover my greying roots, and Dennis went gray in his late 20's. And being in your 50's doesn't mean it's time to shut down and be "old". Ask my 90 year old cousin Helen about being old...she may be slower than she used to be, but she is sharp as a tack, still dyes her hair, and says "you're not old unless you decide you want to be. Otherwise, just be". Love her.

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    1. LOL - you are married to a very handsome silver fox! And hell's yes to cousin Helen's attitude.

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  18. That's really annoying! One of the gyms here is having a "Boomer Bootcamp" which is billed as "less intense." This deeply annoys me, because there are so many 40s/50s/60s people who can run circles around 20 year olds. In fact, the fitness standards for my job are changing to become more difficult because the younger people coming in are less and less fit. Ok end of rant.

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