Whoopi Goldberg said a few years ago, “I’m too old to compromise.” She meant compromise on her principles, not on other things. At my age, I understand what she means. In the past year I turned a corner where I came to say “Fuck It” to just about everything. I’m too old to nickel and dime myself into a corner on questions of value.
My aging role models should be able to illustrate what this means. Traditionally, youth means power for women because they are judged on beauty. Age means power for men because they are judged for their accomplishments. But we are in an era of gender flux, so what do we aging Gen-Xers think of our aging idols and role models? Take Hillary Clinton and her accomplishments. Hillary seems to have gained some gravitas that she previously lacked. Madonna, however, is considered a has-been by many even though her concerts draw record numbers in ticket sales and dollar figures. What do we make of this? Is it because Madonna’s capital was always based on her looks and style, whereas Hillary’s was not?
I’m aging, but I’m not compromising.