Just when we think she fits the “adorable grandmother figure” stereotype, Betty White socks it to us, as she should. In her non-threatening way, she’s leading a movement to confront ageism in society, and we’ll be all the better for it.
Did you see Betty White’s birthday extravaganza on NBC last night? What a scene! What pomp! What a lifetime Betty has had! And such an impact. I came away feeling like she has mentored all of Hollywood! Despite the roast-like moments, the affair was sugary sweet, a fitting appreciation for Betty.
However, if you kept the TV on, the contrast between Betty’s birthday and Betty’s new show was fascinating.“Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” is a show about a gang of 7 senior citizens who play pranks on young people.
I like to call it “Punk’d! By Nonagenarians.”
There they are, playing up and bashing stereotypes of the elderly, to hilarious effect. And why not? They are the fastest-growing age group in our society. They are surprisingly healthy and strong, full of wisdom, and up until now, made to be mostly invisible – by Hollywood and society at large. (They are 70% women, although this is not evident in the show.) And let’s face it: they are the true survivors of this reality show we call life. So, why not put them in charge? They are the best news of 2012 so far. And we really need to shift our thinking about “the elderly” and how aging is changing. So…
Betty: you go (Golden) girl!
- Betty White From Golden Girl to It Girl (onlineupdaters.wordpress.com)
- Betty White Birthday Special: The ‘Golden Girl’ Turns 90 (villagebuzz.com)
- A Night of Betty White (timesunion.com)