There are many mornings when I wake up early and watch some TV, in fact I watch TV a lot. What I can not stand are those hideous commercials that devalue the elderly, and make them look slow and weak. These commercials make me, as the person watching, feel sorry for them. It makes me dread becoming old, because I do not want to be as helpless and devalued as they appear on the TV. My body shakes as I watch that elderly woman fall down in her living room. She reaches her head up and screams those famous words that most people joke about: "Help, I have fallen and can not get up." This shows that all old people fall a lot and they are completely helpless.
The commercial could have shown a middle age person falling. Just because a person is elderly, does not mean that he / she are always falling and screaming for help. Sealy Prostropedic has a commercial that advertises their new bed. This new bed goes up and down with the click of a button that is conveniently located at the side of the bed. This bed is good for people who have trouble sleeping, or those who have bad back problems.
In the commercial, the Sealy corporation has an elderly couple laying in a regular bed, complaining and whining that it is uncomfortable. Then in the next scene, the same old couple is lying in the Sealy bed, and they are all of a sudden magically cured, lying comfortably. This commercial shows a common stereotype, that old people are commonly bed ridden, with bad health problems. It also shows that old people are bitter, lying in bed complaining until they get what they want.
I know that my dad, who is a middle aged man, always has back problems, and is always complaining that his back hurts. The Sealy Company might be able to make some more money, if they advertise to a wider range of audience. A middle aged person might feel old and bad about themselves if they have to buy a bed that old people stereotypically use. People die everyday, old people, teenagers, kids, adults. However, the Garden Life Insurance commercials, there is always an old woman crying about how she can not afford the funeral costs of her husband, who dies suddenly.
This insurance covers the family after someone dies. This commercial devalues the elderly by telling them that they will be dying soon. Once again, a middle aged mother or father could die, and he / she need life insurance as well to make sure that everything is taken care of. The Alka Seltzer commercials show an old man who has heartburn. In fact, all of the heartburn medicine commercials predominately show an old man who is in massive pain which is due to their heartburn.
Many people from the ages of 18 on get heartburn. We all eat something wrong sometimes, but the commercial sells to the older generation, because they tend to be seen as sick and weak. Another frightening commercial that devalues the elderly is Depends underwear. Depends is a brand of diaper or pad for the elderly that have accidents.
The commercial shows old people who need to wear diapers. This is a very embarrassing thing for an elderly person to admit they have to do. This commercial is very rude and immature to show on TV. This is also an example of why some people are scared to become old, because of this sort of helplessness. These commercials strike a nerve inside of me. I think of my poor grandfather who lives all the way in Washington state.
He does not have a wife, or any of his family nearby. It is him by himself in a nursing home. When I see these commercials, I picture my grandfather screaming in pain because of his heartburn. I can also picture him attached to a posture pedic bed, because his back hurts too bad to sleep in a regular bed. It makes me sad and angry.
The insurance commercials show an old person all alone in the world. These commercials, although effective to the general audience, show a weak side in the elderly. Most elderly people are not even in that bad a condition and they do not need to be treated negatively. Elderly people have played a big part in our world.
Without them, we would not even be here today. Some of these people have fought for our country, taught us lessons, gave us jobs, entertained us, built our homes, and protected us when we were young. These people should be respected and honored because they are probably wiser than we will ever be. The elderly have seen the world through some of the toughest times, times that we will never be able to compare.
The elderly do not need to be shown as weak, sick, and crabby. They are people too, and deserve to have positive commercials targeted to them. The elderly are stronger than we will ever know, and for that, they deserve the utmost of respect.