Friday, 31 May 2013

# 70 (2013) Under Age

Huong Hoang (stage name Junie Hoang) recently tried to sue after it posted her real age on its Internet Movie Database. This despite Ms Hoang providing the site with a year that knocked seven years off her date of birth.

Should ages be such a closely guarded secret and are some industries so fickle that they still make a judgement on someone’s age as part of their ability to do a job? Media would be just the sort of industry to come into the line of fire for behaving like this but is it really the case or is Ms Hoang making a fuss about nothing? She has claimed publishing her real age meant work offers dried up.

Whilst the database has been accused in the past of "facilitating age discrimination" the case was thrown out of court. The site's attorneys said IMDb was not responsible for the actions taken by people who read their profiles.

But is lying about your age such a big deal if you can get away with it? I knew someone in their 50s who struggled to get work interviews. He knocked 10 years off his birth date and instantly started getting interviews and, ultimately, jobs. This I think was the single most influential piece of evidence I saw that ageism really does still exist and the damage it can cause. Age discrimination exists for all age groups of course. Teens are branded trouble makers, and the elderly as infirm and out of touch.

I have for a while been a bit hazy about my actual age. But that’s because I can get away with it. I don't look my age and I don't have all the trappings of someone in my age group so I tend not to be judged and people make a presumption as to my age which is always in my favour. But am I being a bit paranoid about owning up to it and should I take the, now rather repetative, jokes on the chin and be thankful for good genes?

Whilst researching this article I discovered that 'looking younger' syndrome is not uncommon. Apparently we live longer too. It's something to do with key pieces of DNA called telomeres, which indicate the ability of cells to replicate. Maybe I'm actually superhuman? I don't seem to be exhibiting many of the aging signs of people in my group and I know for a fact that in my family history people have lived to some very admirable ages. I've always taken forgranted how I look. But perhaps I should be nurturing it and taking better care of myself?

Thankfully I’ve never lied on a job application, but I do let people assume I am younger than I really am. Whilst I've never suffered because of my age in the work place (many people are often quite envious when they discover the truth), I find it trickier in social situations because my age can be an initial barrier if it's pointed out early on. This is primarily because I often mix with people younger than me. If they are going to find out I'd prefer it to be after they have got to know me. I don’t consider myself typical of my age and I don’t like people making assumptions because of the year I was born.

I may never grow up and if I continue to age at my current rate I may only get more defensive as I get older. Maybe I am making a fuss about nothing. After all, I'm in good company.

Salma Hayek. 46 - I kid you not (source)

No comments:

Post a Comment