Baby Boomers - that vast generation born between World War II and the first Beatles tour. It's been said that the depression era age group thinks boomers are spoiled, And that the younger generations think they try to hang on to their youth. But what the heck do baby boomers think of themselves?
Comedian Jack Gallagher provides the jumping-off point to “Boomers, Talkin ‘Bout My Generation” as he reflects on himself and fellow Boomers in his stand-up comedy routine. Gallagher continues his quest for signs that this generation sees itself so much differently than previous through conversations with doctors, psychologists, clothiers, advertising experts, even a hair stylist. A trip to Sun City in Lincoln finds that the experts in over-55 housing have been researching the minds of Baby Boomers for the last ten years.
“Boomers, Talkin ‘Bout My Generation” will amuse you while it informs you. It’s required viewing for every Boomer and might just let everyone else in on what the fuss is all about.
Psychologist Debra Moore, Ph.D., on the perception that Baby Boomers are immature and don’t want to grow up:
“I don’t think it is a matter of not wanting to grow up. I think we want more options and we want more choices. We are used to that. We’ve had more choices along the way, and we do not want to give that up. Just because we are getting chronologically older, we don’t want to see a narrowing of our options. … It’s just that we don’t want to grow up the way we saw our parents grow up… It is not a matter of maturity. I think that it’s more that we want to be able to think for ourselves and define for ourselves what maturity looks like. And it doesn’t necessarily look the same these days.”
Laura DuPriest from Laura DuPriest Salon and Spa on Baby Boomers challenging the old norms of aging:
“It’s OK to do whatever you want to do. That’s sort of the message I get. If you want to have plastic surgery or you want to color your hair, you want to do a lot on your make-up, that’s great. And there is that pressure to still look good. Because now fifty is the new thirty.
…Right now I’m starting my real life. That was my working life, get ahead life. Now I start my real life. This is the time I want to look my best…. Right now, there’s this extreme push on getting your life back and taking a little piece of life for yourself instead of just being the mom or going to work and bringing home the money. I think we live a little better now. We’re focused on having a balance between not only our children and our work life, but ourselves.”
Larry Moss, Creative Director at Runyon, Saltzman and Einhorn advertising agency on the Baby Boomers’ spot in the marketplace:
“…The biggest thing going today if you look at the boomer generation, our generation, is that there is much more crossover than there used to be. I think that it was more delineated in our parent’s generation versus selling to this group today… This whole demographic thing is kind of out the window, I think today. But advertisers are kind of slow to pick that up.
… People are staying younger longer. They’re staying way more active… I think we just want to be presented with the same kinds of good products, good services, good values. This generation has an awful lot of money to spend.”
Family practitioner Dr. Ron Sockolov on how Baby Boomers are facing changes in their health differently than earlier generations:
“I’m seeing a lot more concern for their health. At least I think there’s that thought their mortality is gonna end at some point in time, that end of the tunnel, so to speak. And so I see them taking on more interest, more responsibility about their health and wanting to know more information about what can they do to prevent various ills that are going to afflict them… The voice is already talking in the back of their head. They’re sore, their back aches every morning. It’s stiff when they wake up… I think what they want to do is get a gauge on where they stand with this, what they can do to improve it.”
Judy Bennett, Director of Public Affairs for Sun City Lincoln Village, on what their research shows about Baby Boomers moving into retirement:
“You are going to be even more independent than your predecessors. You are going to be more individualistic in what you want to do and how you want to do it and when you want to do it. You are going to be a little less structured in what you want to do.
The way that we describe it would be that the Baby Boomers from 1946 and on, have redefined every thing they have touched. Whether it was health care, whether it was education… whether it was gender profiling. It has all been shattered, everything has been changed, and that is more than rebellion. It is just redefinition, and you are going to define something differently than I’m going to define it…anything from entertaining to health, to jobs and careers are going to be very different from ours …It was all about the I want it now, I see it now. I want it now. And that’s a generation, not an excuse, it is just the reality.”
Clothier Steve Benson of S. Benson & Company on how Baby Boomers tastes in clothes reflects changes in society:
“I think people are more comfortable now. So I think that they pay less attention to convention, and more they listen to their inner self. … There is a desire, I think, not to look like their parents anymore… But also I think they want to remain young. … We have been exposed to global communications. So, if a style trend comes out, you see it on TV or you see it in a magazine. …I have friends that are grandparents, and I have a teenager who is in high school. …My brother has children who are in elementary school, and he is in his early fifties. So think that it is reason for us to want to feel and stay vibrant and young.”
Baby Boomer links:
AKA Baby Boomer Headquarters. Trivia, music, stories, pictures, merchandise.
A source for trends, research, comment and discussion of and by people born from 1946 – 1964.
A resource for blogs and articles on Baby Boomers
Collections of personal stories, memories, mementos, trivia from other Baby Boomers