Dame Judi Dench has long been vocal about ageing and back in 2015, in an interview with The Telegraph, she voiced her dislike of imposing labels on a person, such as ‘old’ or vintage.’ Perhaps this dislike rings true with you too, or perhaps you feel there is much to celebrate in the ageing process and are happy with being known as ‘retired’, for example? While there are clearly challenges and difficulties to be faced in later life, it could be argued that old age is a gift, and one that not all people manage to attain.
What Dame Judi’s outlook does highlight, however, is the continuing struggle society and individuals apparently have in accepting human mortality and getting older. Every person on the planet is ageing: how curious it is, then, that a person of any age can subconsciously (or consciously) use negative imagery around old age, and it is deemed acceptable? Perhaps this is viewed as objectionable; being labelled and diminished as ‘other’, without being seen as a full person. We applaud Dame Judi’s use of the word ‘enthusiastic’ to describe herself: and warmly invite her to redeem the term ‘vintage’ through experiencing Messy Vintage: where enthusiasm and celebration of old age might meet!