In this overly politically correct world there are more than enough nutritional, workout, New Age, scientific, and psychological programs espousing how the Boomer generation is staying young & fit and push back senior citizenhood. With respect to looking older, aging gracefully is acceptable; feeling your chronological age is not. At least publicly, the media is loath to state that someone is old unless they’re over 100 years ‘young’.
Nonetheless, I’ve noticed an unusual trend when we passed from the 20th century to the 21st century. The media has distorted or bent time by making the Boomer generation look like the lost tribe from an ancient civilization recently discovered by Indiana Jones. This simple method is nefarious and is, in a twisted way, psychologically damaging to those Boomers who are successfully striving to stay relevant in a young person’s world.
Nowadays when the media reports on events during the 1970s and 1980s, the films and photos are frequently in black & white. Color visuals were the norm during that period yet the media, in order to evoke a distant past, consistently uses this method. This is especially true when comparing an architectural or social scene side-by-side from that period. Each time the media references an iconic venue that no longer exists like CGBG or Studio 54, the photos of the venue and participants are almost always in black & white giving the venue (and the people) an historic, bygone era look. It’s not just enough for them to show the distinctive fashion and overall style for that period. Rather the media must give it an historic look.
The difference in time is a mere 20-25 years during which period color photography was the norm. Visually you might as well be comparing a horse & buggy to a Formula One race car. When Boomers look at these photos they feel ancient. Before digital, personal color photos of that period lost their vibrant color and faded gradually over time and took on a muted look. Publishing these same images in black & white is a disservice.
I’m curious as to how the media will visually compare the world 20 years from now to today and whether black & white images would not only be acceptable, but believable to today’s Millennials who by then will be solidly in the middle age demographic. Every generation always wants to look good and always ready for their close-up, no matter how far down the path of life they’ve traveled.