Are you guilty of microaggressions?


I have a friend, Alyce, who is an absolutely stunning woman. She also happens to be 80 years old. Hardly a week goes by that someone doesn’t remark, after learning how old she is, “Wow, you look great for your age!” That statement says a lot about the person making it. I wonder what they would say if I asked them, “ What should an 80-year-old look like?” Would they answer that an 80-year-old should have lots of wrinkles? They should have gray hair? They should be stooped over, using a cane or wearing a hearing aid? The statement “Wow, you look great for your age” may be considered by some a compliment, but it is really a microaggression. The term microaggression refers to brief and commonplace slights and insults, intentional or unintentional, which can be expressed through words or behavior. Here are some other seemingly innocent statements that can be considered microaggressions when addressed to an older person: “You have an iPhone?” “You’re going to run the marathon?” ...