Popular culture is like a good piece of gossip.
It starts small with one person, more people catch on, others appropriate the gossip for a better angle, and before you know it you find yourself joining in and spreading the latest juicy news to everyone you know. Just like 'good goss', popular culture sometimes sticks around and holds its longevity, yet other times it disappears quickly into nothingness.
A surge of films and TV shows centred around the golden years has recently brought the topic of retirement out of retirement and straight into the glaring spotlight of popular culture. Let's look at a few examples.
The only logical place to start? Betty White. This 92 year old is an advocate for 'living it up' like someone many years her junior. Betty's latest TV show – Off Their Rockers – is all about shaking up societal norms by pranking younger generations with the antics of the most seemingly reserved retirees. With hidden cameras, Ms White and her fellow conspirators take to the streets to show growing old isn't all about acting your age.
The film 'Last Vegas' (starring Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline) is another recent example. To celebrate the last of them finally trading bachelor status for a life of wedded bliss, four 60-somethings take to the streets of Las Vegas to celebrate in traditional Buck's night style. True to Las Vegas, boys' weekends and Hollywood blockbusters, antics ensue as the quartet find themselves in all sorts of situations you'd expect from a group less than half their age.
And let's not forget Morgan Freeman's role with co-star Jack Nicholson in the 2007 film 'The Bucket List', a story of two older-aged men who escape a cancer ward to 'live' the last of their years.
It's not just films headlining the golden years though, with Jonas Jonasson's book 'The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared' just as ridiculous, entertaining and popular as it sounds.
Whether life is imitating art, or art is imitating life, there is definitely a growing segment of retirees living it up just as much as their pop culture counterparts, determined to grow old disgracefully.
Check out this story about Brenda Backhouse, a thrill seeker who enjoys abseiling, kayaking, go-karting, parasailing, skydiving and more – all at the tender age of 83. Could she be getting this zest for life from the media around her?
Stories about the increasingly-golden-years is one of the coolest trends to come out of popular culture in recent years and no one can deny it's great to see some adventurous golden oldies making the most of their retirements!
Do you know of any retirees taking part in this trend?