Representation Age #2

Positive & negative stereotypes of youth and old:

Youth

Old

Positives

Active

Sociable

Innocent

Strong

Long future ahead

Adventurous

Fun

Wise

Authoritative

Well educated

Freedom

Wealth

Stability

Negatives

Lazy

Rebellious

Rude

Hormonal

Vulnerable

Naive

Dependent

Weak

Vulnerable

Fragile

Mentally incompetent

Not in control of their own bodies

Lonely

Dependent

Boring

Unwilling to try new things

The representation of people of different ages has changed massively over the years. Up until the 1950s, there were really only 2 age groups shown in films and television (adult and child). This was because that most children left school at a young age and went straight to work and became adults. In the 1950’s more young people started staying in education and began leading very different lives from both children and adults and so developed the idea of the “teenager”.

Here are some stereotypes associated with different ages:

  • Children – Often shown as being young, innocent, naive, pure, sweet, helpless, powerless.
  • Teenagers – Often shown as being aggressive, moody, lazy, criminals, hate school.
  • 20’s-30’s – Often shown as the ideal age for love, parties, fun, making money, being glamourous and attractive. In films the heroes are often this age group.
  • Middle Aged – often shown as unattractive, not aware of popular culture, uncool, boring lives, powerful, dominant over others, no real connection to their kids, grumpy. In films the villains are often from this age group.
  • Elderly – Often shown as being unattractive, slow, weak, ill, confused, pathetic, powerless, not important, dependent on others.
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