Want to get in on the ground floor of an investment opportunity that I predict is going to – excuse the expression – boom? Then put your money on Baby Boomers and their (our) denial about the fact that we’re getting old.
Look around. We have millions of people killing each other in the name of one imaginary friend or another. We’re using up too many resources, and the resultant pollution threatens to bury us in our own junk. And now we find out that Rick Perry is running for president.
Seriously – the world is going to hell, but this year my Boomer cohort – 70 million strong – will spend an ass-load of our own money to fight a truly pressing problem: looking the age we actually are.
But that’s now how my generation rolls. We’ve never been content to sit back and just let things happen (unless we’d just scored some primo black Nepalese, in which case sitting back and just letting things happen was all we were capable of).
Nope – we Boomers are do-ers. Remember the anti-Vietnam demonstrators, who brought attention to an unjust war? Remember the “Freedom Riders” of the civil rights movement, who helped an oppressed minority gain their birthright? Remember the hippies who tore down the fences at Woodstock – effectively screwing the promoters, who were fellow Boomers?
OK, so two out of three.
But back to my point: Why should a generation that refuses to act its age be burdened with looking its age? Especially when that look is … well, you fellow Boomers know what I mean. Those of you who don’t, just google “Rod+Stewart+Speedo.”
So, in an attempt to maintain our youthful good looks, Baby boomers will spend $80 billion this year on surgery, dietary supplements, and clothing that looks awful even on people who actually are young.
That’s right — $80 billion. And that number is supposed to grow to $114 billion by 2015. Sure, it pales compared to the U.S. defense budget, or Kim Kardashian’s recent wedding, but by any normal standard, that’s a lot of coin.
The anti-aging crowd says that our lives can be prolonged through things like hormone replacement therapy and dietary supplements. And while it might not actually prolong it, life can be made to seem longer (much longer, in fact) by listening to health guru Deepak Chopra’s books on tape – especially the ones about aging well.
The message you hear over and over is that the key to being well and looking your best (if you can’t look young, you can at least shoot for not frightening) is very simple: maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and don’t smoke.
I would add to that, try to stay out of the sun; not only will it age you, it also shows how old you really look. Myself, I prefer candlelight – unless, of course, the candles are on a birthday cake.
So…we get to relive the 60s after all?
More proof that you’re the undisputed comic laureate of Woodstock Generation aging angst. Bravo! But I do feel a little perspective is called for on that $80 billion figure for anti-aging goods and services. At least $50B of that is personally accounted for by Arnold Schwarzenegger, so the median per-boomer figure isn’t quite so alarming.
I recently visited a longtime friend who now lives in Orange County CA. He and his wife are in their mid-50’s. While getting the tour of their very California house I noticed an inordinate amount of “products” on the shelf in their shower. By inordinate I mean I stopped counting at 40 containers! He claimed they were all his wife’s. I didn’t believe him. And it was Orange County (my friend claims “The Housewives of..” is actually a bit understated) so that does obviously skew the number to the high side. But still it a pretty frightening thing when you actually stare the blood and guts battle against our mortality in the face. The Pharaoh’s built Pyramids to defeat death, we buy “products”. And that’s progress?
I can’t believe you got through this without at least one Keith Richards gag.
Not my decision. I heard from his lawyers — and you know what bastards lawyers are.
******* Jeff Carmack South Austin, Texas 512.921.5858 c 512.462.1972 h
“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”