When someone tells me I do not look my age or act my age, I know they mean it as a compliment, but the statement frustrates me because I do look and act MY age. I may not fit their preconceived concept, stereotype, of a seventy-five year-old woman. Therein is the crux of the problem. Anyone who thinks they are complimenting me, perhaps, has a negative view of aging? They think looking younger is to be desired? If they are basing their concept of age on ads, commercials, televsion shows, and movies, they may view age as a negative.
I encourage you to check yourself. Do you have preconceived negative concepts of certain age groups, particularly the “elderly”. That word in itself is nebulous. When does one become elderly? Does it vary from culture to culture? For the sake of this discusion, if someone asked you to describe a seventy-five year-old woman, what would you say? If you were an artist, how would you paint her? If a writer, how would you describe a typical day for her?
If your answer is that it depends, you passed the test.