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Age and Ageing Bodies in the Media

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Tine Fristrup - Participant

What skin products are good for is hiding the traces of age chiselled onto the body by time’s passing and living our life. ‘Flawless’ means without wrinkles, ‘ageless’ means an appearance, which has managed to hide age, and so on. Extensive use of digital image manipulation techniques contributes to the construction of the idea of the youthful face and retouched photographs of flawless faces and trained bodies abound in print media and on the Internet. The female television host seemingly has to be young and slender and lead parts for actresses become fewer the older they get. On one hand, the many anti-ageing discourses in the media are manifestations of the taboo of the ageing body. On the other hand, and within the last thirty years, notions of ageing and old age have changed so that media also represent older people enjoying life and leading an active life on the conditions of physical ageing. This seminar will contribute to the discussion of this dual tendency or seeming paradoxical media image of ageing and old age. The seminar focuses on representations of older people in television, in fashion magazines, in photography, in documentary film, and on websites for elderly people’s interest groups. In particular, we are interested in the interplay between the body and ageing, looking at how representations of processes of ageing are constructed visually. Moreover, we are interested in analyses of economic and cultural aspects of media production that may help uncover the media’s ‘rationale’ for various representational strategies concerning ageing bodies. Thus, the aim of the seminar is to discuss how various ‘media logics’ both in terms of production and reception frame ageing and older people in the media. The seminar is organized by the research project: Ageing and old age in the media and elderly people’s media use http://mef.ku.dk/forskning/fokusomraaderogprojekter/aldringchrista/ It is financed by The Velux Foundation and Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, Copenhagen University.
24 Oct 2014


ConferenceAge and Ageing Bodies in the Media
LocationUniversity of Copenhagen, Department of Media, Cognition and Communication

ID: 85608013