Ageism Is Far More Prevalent Than You Think — & Here’s How It Really Affects Women

Ageism is all around us. Being stereotyped or discriminated against on the basis of age may feel like an issue that only affects older people — like when someone is told they’re too old to work in a certain industry or wear an item of clothing. But in reality, it affects each and every one of us, whether you’re a 63-year-old who feels underrepresented by wrinkle-free shots in magazines or a 23-year-old whose coworkers make comments like, “You’re doing THIS job at YOUR age?”
Chances are, you've had a moment in your life when something (or someone) made you feel like you were being shamed, either directly or indirectly, for being “too old” or “too young.” Ageism, in all its forms, is so embedded in our culture, across all regions and socioeconomic groups, that most of us don’t even recognize it. That’s why we teamed up with AARP, which spoke to 2,000 women — all from diverse backgrounds and ranging in age from 21 to 72 — about everything from changing appearance to representation in the media to how we can shift the narrative around aging. Below, we've broken it all down, highlighting the staggering numbers that show why it's a topic that demands more attention. It's time we fix our view on aging.
Welcome to Life Begins At. Refinery29 is proud to team up with AARP to bring you honest, intimate stories that aim to uncover all the unique experiences that come along with living — no matter your age. It’s time we shed the negative stereotypes, unconscious cultural bias, and misconceptions associated with age and get real about what aging really looks like for us. Because it’s not about how old you are; life begins when you decide to start living it. Have your own story to share about aging? Fill out this form or email us at

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