Getting old: a social, political, and environmental problem.
Lidia Ravera and Antonella Viola have no doubt: growing old is a marvellous journey, a necessary part of the human experience. Both authors agree on its beauty in their respective books, Age Pride and La via dell’equilibrio, even if each analyses the ageing process in a different way, Today's literary event takes place in the garden of Saint Sebastian’s Church, and the crowd is eager for it to begin. It may be related to the fact that most people in the audience are older than 45. Who knows?
Today’s society is impregnated with the image of youth as the only possible and desirable beauty standard. But why are people so afraid of getting old? There may be many explanations for that, but Lidia Ravera believes that this fear is deeply linked to social norms and unrealistic expectations that media place on people, particularly on women. Youth is sold as the main element to be considered beautiful, once again limiting women to the role of object of desire, and not allowing them to explore the possibility to become subject of desire. Ravera fights for a new kind of beauty, open to different standards, ages, and ethnicities. It’s time to end the vicious cycle of despair, self-pity for not being able to stay 23 forever. The fear of ageing is another well-disguised example of double standards between men and women.
Change is necessary, not only for self-care and emancipation, but also for the planet. An ageing population places an additional burden for the national health system and the planet’s natural resources. Prevention is key: this is the message of Antonella Viola. Finding a way to age better should become a necessary political action, in order to prevent diseases, excessive strain on the economic system, destruction of biodiversity for the extraction of health-related resources, and to improve quality of life of the elderly.
Ageing is a problem faced by everyone: effort is needed so that the next generations can also reach old age.