Ashton Applewhite, a writer, activist, and speaker from Brooklyn, New York, begins her talk on ageism by considering how afraid many people are of growing older, and the common misconceptions that cause people to try and distance themselves from it as much as possible.
A few of these incorrect assumptions include ideas such as: older people all end up in nursing homes, most will lose their memory as they age, and that they will become depressed. As Applewhite shows, these ideas are simply untrue, as only 4% of older people end up in nursing homes, 90% maintain their memories, and most people become happier once they pass the middle age mark.
As Applewhite explains, a large part of the continuous perpetuation of these incorrect assumptions has to do with ageism, a form of discrimination that comes from people seeing older people as undesirable. By revealing the many different ways in which ageism manifests in society, Applewhite inspires her audience to embrace their journeys, and to not associate old age with negatives ideas.