Ashton Applewhite Ending Ageism

by Janice Tomich

Activist, author, and ageism expert, Ashton Applewhite is fuelling change on what it means to be aging. She’s been invited to speak on stages around the world including the United Nations and the TED stage.

In our interview, she blows me away with some of my own biases on aging and I’m sure she’ll shake some of your perspectives too. We chat about her presentation to the United Nations, how she prepared for her TED talk, what it means to be ageist, and how to not be that person who contributes to the problem.

Show highlights

4:00:  How aging isn’t something that ‘just’ happens to us

8:38:  Allure bans the word “anti-aging” from their magazine pages – Bravo!

9:15:  How being “ageist” is when you make decisions about someone based on their age, including yourself

13:44:  Why you should always assume capacity and not incapacity

15:40:  Yale research on using elder speak words such as “dear” and sweetie” and their effects

19:50:  How change happens when you invite dialogue instead of being offended

23:36:  How aging is a natural, powerful lifelong process that should unite us not disenfranchise some

24:19:  Ashton’s presentation at the United Nations and its impact

26:14:  How Ashton made it to the TED stage

29:37:  The process of getting ready for her TED talk

31:45:  How she managed her anxiety before her TED talk in Vancouver

32:27:  How it feels to be the last person to present on the TED stage

33:25:  Dissecting the “curve of happiness”

40:40:  How Ashton plans to continue to help us face age bias


Watch her TED talk and share it if you enjoy it: Let’s end ageism

Read her blog: This Chair Rocks

Read her Q&A blog: Yo Is this Ageist? 

Buy her book: This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism

Follow Ashton on Twitter and Facebook.

About Ashton Applewhite

Next Avenue’s annual list of 50 Influencers in Aging as their Influencer of the Year.  Ashton has been recognized by the New York Times, National Public Radio, and the American Society on Aging as an expert on ageism. She blogs at This Chair Rocks, has written for Harper’s, Playboy, and the New York Times, and is the voice of Yo, Is This Ageist? Ashton speaks widely, at venues that have ranged from universities and community centers to the TED mainstage and the United Nations. Ashton is a leading spokesperson for a movement to mobilize against discrimination on the basis of age.

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