In case you were wondering whether ageism is really that big a deal in our society, take a look at the Diesel ad in the latest issue of GQ Magazine. I'm not talking about the good-looking guy who is sporting a pair of Diesel sneakers. Good-looking men wearing over-priced product are a dime a dozen in GQ.
Instead, what caught my eye is the older man who is groveling on the floor in front of the young, sexy model. Our aging sneaker slave is desperately biting at the boy-toy's foot. For good measure, the model is holding the older man's neck down on the floor with his other foot. Check it out.
If there were many older men gracing the pages of GQ, the Diesel ad might be dismissed as somebody's harmless idea of a kinky intergenerational foot fetish. But lo and behold - when I flipped through the rest of the magazine there was nobody else who was even close to the age of the groveling old man in the Diesel ad. How can a whole generation of people be relegated to invisibility, or worse, to objects of humiliation for the young?
Personally, I won't be buying a pair of Diesel sneakers anytime soon. But the reality is that the problem of ageism extends well beyond this one ad into every nook and cranny of society, LGBT or otherwise.
In our own community, where are the positive images of aging and older people? When was the last time you went on an LGBT website or picked up an LGBT magazine and saw plentiful images of the older people who were the pioneers of our community? Given that the demographics of the country say that we're getting older by the day, that we're awash in an exciting "silver tsunami," where are they?
Why am I complaining? Just look down at the feet of the Diesel model.