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“I think it’s great here. When you’re an athlete here, you just become friends with other athletes easier. Everyone is a bit more welcoming because they understand your situation and lifestyle. It’s just fun at Mac. As the years went on, I fell more and more in love with Mac, the people here and everything it had to offer. When it comes down to it, I think it’s about whom you’re experiencing things with and not necessarily where you are. It’s about the people and I met great people at Mac.”

Taylor Brisebois
McMaster Women’s Volleyball

 

“It has been the best experience ever. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Everyone in my family went to Mac. I’m glad I went here because I knew how much everyone in my family loved it .”

Lauren Mastroluisi
McMaster Women’s Volleyball

 

“A Marauder is someone who competes, sacrifices and overcomes obstacles on the endless pursuit to success.”

Aaron Redpath
McMaster Men’s Basketball

 

“Being a leader. Being a team player. Holding yourself accountable on and off the court.”

Troy Joseph
McMaster Men’s Basketball

 

“As a Marauder, you get out of the sport exactly what you put into it. When you are training, when you are competing, the playing field is equal. You are not judged based on the colour of your skin or the commas in your bank account and that’s what I love.”

Rina Charalampis
McMaster Women’s Rugby

 

“I feel privileged to be at Mac and play on a team at this high-calibre level. Right when I got the offer from Mac I knew I was coming here. I went to camps here in high school and fell in love with the atmosphere. Nowhere else I looked compared to Mac. I love Mac.”

Alex Elliott
McMaster Men’s Volleyball

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For the Spring/Summer 2015 season, a variety of fashion houses ushered in a series of fabulous campaigns featuring an unusual selection of models.

Dolce and Gabbana’s nonnas took center stage with black lace and beautifully adorned handbags. On their heads sat elaborate gold and red crowns. The aesthetic of the advertisements was Italian culture meets Spanish matador. Of course, there’s nothing more Italian than nonnas, and arguably nothing more fashionable than Dolce and Gabbana’s creations.

Céline’s campaign featured an ultra-chic and minimalist photograph of 80-year-old American writer Joan Didion. Her oversized glasses and simple black sweater captured the streamlined essence of the house. At Saint Laurent, 71-year-old Joni Mitchell was photographed channeling a 1970s-inspired ensemble, complete with an acoustic guitar and a black wide-brimmed hat.

Although this was certainly not the first time fashion houses used older models in their campaigns, the campaigns have been consistently visually stunning, embodying the aesthetic of the house, while also being culturally relevant. For example, for Fall/Winter 2012, Lanvin featured Jacquie Tajah Murdock, who was 82 at the time. In what can only be described as classic French elegance, Murdock stunned in a jewel-toned dark blue peplum outfit. Her untouchable glamour was the centerpiece of the campaign, which spoke to years of Lanvin’s Parisian charm.

With Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar featuring models like 83-year-old Carmen Dell’Orefice and 84-year-old Daphne Selfe, it’s clear that the industry is beginning to recognize how wonderful diversity in age representation is, both for consumers of the images and the producers of the content.

There is no doubt that representation of diversity in fashion advertisements is certainly a point of contention and a serious issue that reflects a problem in both the industry and society in general. Photoshopped images that erase signs of imperfections on seemingly flawless young models are hardly symptoms of progressive ideals of beauty. The absence of older women in fashion culture and media is part of the harmful paradigm of impossible standards of what society deems as beautiful and desirable.

The images that Céline, Dolce and Gabbana, Saint Laurent, and Lanvin have produced are critical to the inclusion of older women and key to incorporating widespread representation in fashion. The campaigns are not kitschy or campy. They aren’t presenting age as an underlying joke, or putting these women on display to criticize. The campaigns are stunning and genuinely speak to both the models and the fashion house. These women are not only beautiful, they are cultural icons.

Most importantly, these advertisements destroy the culturally engrained narrative that older women are not fashionable. Fashion does not have an expiration date.

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By: Grace Kennedy

Ageism against seniors is an increasingly concealed issue in Canada. As university students surrounded by a majority of young adults, it is remarkably easy to get caught up in the culture of youth.

For many of us, our interactions with seniors are characterized by the time we spend helping care for our grandparents, parents, or friends in old age. Old age as a life stage is underrepresented in popular media and entertainment, including in journalism.

The harms of discriminating against seniors extend beyond the obvious demographic. There is evidence that young adults are increasingly burdened by our society’s lack of accessibility and attention to old age. A current Stats Canada report found that 27 percent of young Canadians provide care for persons in old age facing struggles with aging needs, disability or long-term health issues. The duty to provide care was found to adversely affect studies and employment, as well as increase psychological stresses such worry and anxiety.

We may enjoy providing care for important people in our lives, but these situations are challenging and complicate our lives in a time when we many of us are trying to get our own ducks in a row. We often feel that we can’t say “no” to helping out, and in many instances the people we care for would face adverse circumstances if we weren’t there to help.

As youth, we don’t give much attention to topics such as pensions and other old age benefits. It seems unnecessary to inform ourselves about these things when they seem part of a distant future, but they are realities that affect us now because they affect our grandparents and parents. In 2023, the Old Age Security benefit in Canada will increase the age requirement to 67.

Furthermore, the amount of attention the word “pension” gets in politics and in the media would have most of us believe it’s a lottery we receive every month once we hit senior citizenship. It’s not. Roughly speaking, if you meet the maximum earning contribution mark of approximately $55,000, you will receive just over $1,000 per month from the Canadian Pension Plan, and if you have lived in Canada for at least 40 years after turning 18, an OAS benefit of just over $500 per month. This really sets the tone for how we think about the possible financial challenges for seniors in our lives and people in old age overall.

If persons in old age had better financial security and accessible services, many youth would not be faced with the challenge of providing care. Transportation, meal services, and additional healthcare expenses would be things that we wouldn’t need to worry about if they existed as affordable and accessible services.

Our attitudes and culture plays a huge role in all this. We often forget, whether we are in favour of the welfare state or not, that old age is an immutable stage in life. The challenges that come with old age bring threats to our autonomy and an increased need to pay for service. The beauty of talking about old age is that we can all be advocates because it’s an expected life course; it’s on the itinerary. 

How can we be more inclusive of old age outside our family members and friends?

Our attitudes may not show or seem to affect the seniors in our lives, but outside of these relationships, there is no doubt that the general public is filled with discrimination and stigma.

It is estimated that by 2050, 25 per cent of Canadians will be seniors. A survey paid for by Revera, a provider of retirement homes and long-term care, found that many of the stigmas associated with old age including incompetence and “having nothing to contribute” run counter to the fact that seniors are more likely than any age group to say that “age is just a number.”

This speaks to the importance of valuing our minds. The word “old” can really only refer to physical traits, and isn’t a reflection of intelligence. Wisdom and experience are the true judgments of aging.

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