The Green Blob Revolution: Are you ageist?

The Green Blob Revolution: Are you ageist?

Settling down to watch the next instalment from Yorgos Lanthimos, "Poor Things," I had expected my mind to be bent out of shape a little.

But even before the film started, I was served a short ad from a charity that got me thinking in an equally perplexing, but more purposeful way.

And why? 

Perhaps it’s because I’m hitting the middle stretch of my 30s and have become acutely more aware of getting a little older. Or, because I realised I was totally in the dark when it came to understanding the very real impact of ageist microaggressions.

From the Centre for Ageing Better comes the Age Without Limits campaign and the beautifully simple animation I saw.

In it, a person of a certain age, represented by a glowing green ball, initially full of energy, bounces through a moment in time and is met with passing remarks from people they don't know, strangers. Comments about their age, appearance, and perceived ability or desire to do things are made until this person/ball gets smaller, dimmer, weaker. Eventually becoming as delicate and confused as those people had perceived to start with.

Age Without Limits challenges ageist stereotypes and societal norms that suggest certain activities or opportunities are only suitable for people of a particular age group.

It’s a powerful blast in just 30 seconds and demonstrates that you don’t need a big, lengthy production to leave an impact. The scripting is tight, supported by the right amount of descriptive text on the screen, combined perfectly with a non-fussy treatment that actually makes you feel drawn and emotionally passionate towards this green floating blob.

It leaves on a high, fighting back.

Forget the perceived constraints of age or the sympathizing nature that can be adopted when interacting with older people; instead, celebrate the diversity of experiences and abilities that people of all ages can bring to the table at every stage of life. This promotes a mindset of empowerment, resilience, and continuous growth.

Tudor Crockford, junior creative at The PHA Group:

I too first encountered this in the wild whilst at the cinema, watching Jonathan Glazer's "The Zone of Interest," a somewhat different experience compared to "Poor Things".

The most effective creative campaigns are often the simplest, leaving a lasting impact and easy comprehension, and this green blob achieves just that.

I'm reminded of a scene from ‘Matilda’ where Harry Wormwood, played by Danny DeVito, delivers the memorable line: "I'm smart; you're dumb. I'm big; you're little. I'm right you’re wrong, and there's nothing you can do about it". This phrase may strike a chord with those who recall feeling belittled in their youth. Now, it comes full circle as our ageing green blob deflates, signalling a return to the limitations of childhood.

As more individuals find themselves having to prolong their careers, resentment may grow amongst the younger generation eagerly awaiting their turn in the spotlight. Yet, we should all be able to relate to that feeling of waiting our turn.

In the creative realm, time seems to pass at an astonishing pace. One moment, you're in tune with the latest trends and deeply immersed in cultural phenomena; next you're bewildered by people eating toothpicks on TikTok. You feel disconnected, pondering when exactly you fell out of the loop. It's understandable how this can touch a nerve with many in such a rapidly evolving industry.

For young people out there tasked with reassuring their grandparents that it's perfectly fine to click "update" on their computer, it may seem challenging to envision age without limits. 

However, keep in mind that in a decade or so, it will be the next generation explaining to you how updating your Neuralink chip won't erase all of your memory.

So, let's not dismiss the struggles of the green blob, for one day, we may find ourselves in a similar position.

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