“Aging is a natural process that unites us all”: Ashton Applewhite, Anti-Ageism Activist
One of the freshest faces to the Lavin roster is the wonderful Ashton Applewhite, author of This Chair Rocks, whose energy and dry wit infuses her writing, activism, and keynotes. Addressing ageism in the worklace and society at large, she presents new persectives on aging, pointing to alternative ways of viewing ourselves and the world we live in.
What if discrimination on the basis of age were as unacceptable as any other kind of prejudice? Ashton Applewhite is a leading voice in an emerging movement dedicated to dismantling ageism and making age a criterion for diversity. The author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, and a TED2017 mainstage speaker, she reveals the untapped possibilities of late life—in our communities, at work, and in ourselves.
Drawing on the writing in her books, articles, and blog, Applewhite debunks our culture’s most pervasive myths about getting older. And with her funny, straight-talking approach, she helps audiences realize the often-overlooked benefits of advanced age, championing the need for greater age-based diversity in the workplace and our institutions.
Applewhite’s first (non-pseudonymous) book was Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well. It was inspired by the puzzlement: why was our notion of women’s lives after divorce so different from the happy and energized reality? Ms. magazine called it “rocket fuel for launching new lives.” Prior to writing and speaking about questions of diverse social signigicance, Applewhite wrote under the name Blanche Knott, producing the humor collection Truly Tasteless Jokes, a best-selling paperback of 1982. As Blanche Knott, Applewhite made publishing history by occupying four of the fifteen spots on The New York Times bestseller list.
Insightful, inclusive, and subtly radical, Applewhite is a necessary voice in a society that prizes youth, illuminating the vital gifts that those beyond of the first blush can bring to any environment.