The Naked Truth About Aging: Aging men and women respond to some of the issues encountered by living in a culture at war with the aging body and with aging itself



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There is an awareness among aging people that we live in a culture that is at war with the aging body and with aging itself. This book is an account of the responses of twenty-four aging women and men during individual interviews, carried out by the author, inquiring what it is like to live on a daily basis in a pro-youth, anti-aging culture. It describes their responses to some of the issues that have arisen while living in such a culture. Prior to the interviews, the twenty-four participants - twelve men and twelve women - participated in two fund raising projects for a church to which they belonged. The project carried out by the women was the creation of a 2006 calendar celebrating the spirit and beauty of older women. In a similar effort, the men created a 2012 calendar celebrating the spirit and beauty of older men. Each month of the calendars showcased a photograph of a senior woman or man engaged in an activity significant to her or his life as well as a biographical sketch. A unique feature was that the participants were photographed "tastefully" and "strategically" nude. But it was not for shock value that "tasteful" nudity was employed. Rather, the women and men wanted to respond in a positive way to society's belief that beauty lies only in the youthful, curvaceous or muscular body. They wanted the world to know that older bodies have a beauty of their own and that older people, too, are proud of their bodies. Intrigued by the responses, Hollerorth and Damianos wondered what attitudes the calendar men and women, themselves, had toward their aging bodies and toward aging in general. To find out they solicited the participation of the calendar men and women in the interviews referred to above. The photographs, also referred to above, are interspersed in two groups among the interviews.