On this podcast episode, FIMC Community Managers Beth Matthew and Cayla Brooke will discuss a hot topic about ageism in the music industry.
Ageism is stereotyping or discriminating against individuals or groups because of their age. Employees are not supposed to decide on salary and compensation because of their age. However this is still happening. According to studies, workers over the age of 40 are only about half as likely to get a job offer as compared to younger people if employers know their age. This is outside the music industry but this may also be happening to you. Age discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favorably or not given the same opportunity as others in a similar situation because he or she is considered to be too old or too young. There is also reverse age discrimination wherein younger people are the ones that are discriminated.
Ageism is everywhere. It is in the workforce but it is also how our family treats us. It is how media defines us. It is how society treats us. It is also how we think about ourselves which we need to focus on. Ask yourself what your parent or grandparents were like when they talk about age. Did they stop pursuing their dreams when they got older? What was your experience with that? You need to understand that because that is how you talk to yourself. Do we say you can’t do something because we’re too old? Are we the ones limiting ourselves due to our age? Ask yourself how you view ageism in the music industry.
We cannot avoid some physical aspects of ageing. However, there was a study done of men 70 to 90 years old. There were two groups. There was a group put into a monastery and they were surrounded with things from their prime. They stayed there for about a week or two. They checked their hearing, bone density and other vital signs before they stayed there. They were tested after the one or two week period and their physical aspects improved. It changed because their mindset also changed. However, when they went back to their families, they were treated the same way and became older again. So we need to change our mindset and live our lives the way we feel and not according to our age. When Cayla was 35, she became a part of the musical, “Bye Bye Birdie” where she had to play the role of a 15-year old. At first she felt out of place but still joined the company of the younger casts. Eventually she was being asked for ID at the liquor store and that kept happening even until 3 years after. You don’t really need to be younger but keep feeling capable no matter what age. Follow people who are older and are still doing what it is they are born to do and are loving life. When we surround ourselves with that, then it actually has a positive effect on us.
You can still become the best version of yourself at any age. There are older artists that are clinging to youth and relevancy and that is not what Cayla is talking about. There are artists who speak of their past fondly, not hiding their age, but are embracing it. Be your authentic self no matter what age you are. Embrace whatever age you’re at. Beth pursued creating her own album even at age 50. At first she hid her age but after she embraced it, she was published in an article in a local newspaper and that has impacted a lot of people. One of Beth’s inspirations is Grandma Moses. She was not a musician but she began painting at 77 as a hobby. This is a manifestation of a childhood dream she had. She had arthritis at 76 and embroidery became painful so her sister suggested painting to her. When her right hand hurts, she switches to her left hand. Many women have pursued their passion later on in life. You can still pursue your passion even after having major life changes like having a family. As an older person, you can share a lot to the younger ones.
Follow older people who are living their life. Find good role models. Find mentors you want to follow and learn from. Change your own attitude about ageism in the music industry. Do not let other people say what you can and cannot do. Take your power back and understand that you have so much more to offer. Be a good role model for your children that progressing into an age does not stop your life. Look for opportunities to share your knowledge. You have so much to share from your experiences. Don’t buy into family members who talk negative to you especially about age. Don’t think that just because you are older, you can no longer do new things. Lead with your energy and your excitement.
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