Sixty is the new forty? 60岁只是中年

2021.05.07

Reader question:

Please explain this sentence: Sixty is the new forty.

My comments:

This means being sixty-years-old is considered to be being forty-years-old.

How’s that?

Well, due to many changes that are happening in society, people are healthier and living longer. Because of that, sixty-year-olds are no longer considered old. They’re considered, at least by some, middle age and in the prime of their lives, just like a forty-year-old is considered to be middle age and prime of life.

Hence, sixty is the new forty.

When people say something is the new something else, they’re equating one thing to another because of new trends and changes that happen in society.

We hear fashion people say, for example, blue is the new black and that means the color blue is taking over the fashion world just like the color black used to be the dominating color.

For another example, many Americans nowadays are saying brown is the new black, and that means brown and yellow people are being treated with hatred and prejudice, just in the same way black people have always been discriminated against.

We also hear people say, for example, something is the new normal. That means something is happening so much and so often that we begin to take it for granted, as normal – but it isn’t normal, or shouldn’t be. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, for example, wearing a mask everywhere we go has become the new normal.

Well, what can you do? The world is constantly changing. Better take the bad with the good, I guess.

Back to our headline example, sixty is the new forty. If you happen to be sixty years old, act like it please.

That is, act as if you were forty. Do what you did when you were forty. Continue to be active. Continue to be productive. Keep going strong.

And here are media examples of “something is the new (something)”, meaning something is the latest fashion:

1. Actor Keanu Reeves and supermodel Devon Aoki have more in common than fame, fortune and good looks—both are also part Asian. Known in popular culture by the Hawaiian term hapa (meaning “half”), people with mixed Asian and European origins have become synonymous with exotic glamour. In Hong Kong and Singapore, half-Asian models now crowd runways once dominated by leggy blondes. In the elite world of Asian fashion, half-Asian is the new white.

The trend may seem little more than an effect of 21st century globalization. As more individuals of mixed descent achieve fame (think Norah Jones and Tiger Woods), it seems natural that society would embrace the mixed look. Media exposure, however, doesn’t fully explain the perception of hapa beauty.

Eurasians may possess genetic advantages that lead to greater health and, as a result, enhanced attractiveness. That’s according to a study, the first to find that hapa faces are rated as more beautiful than European or Japanese faces. Researchers say the finding may extend to other racial mixes as well.

The experiment by Gillian Rhodes, a psychologist at the University of Western Australia, found that when Caucasian and Japanese volunteers looked at photos of Caucasian, Japanese and Eurasian faces, both groups rated the Eurasian faces as most attractive. These visages were created by first digitally blending a series of faces from each race into “composites” to create average, middle-of-the-road features typical of each race. Past studies show that “average” features are consistently rated as more attractive than exaggerated features—such as an unusually wide forehead or a small chin.

The finding that Japanese and white subjects preferred mixed-race faces was surprising because, earlier in the same study, most volunteers rated their own race as more beautiful than others. That is, white people typically prefer whites when choosing an ideal image of beauty; blacks prefer blacks; etc.

So why might hapas be considered particularly beautiful? Evolutionary psychologists say it’s because Eurasians and other mixed race individuals appear healthier. Humans, like other animals, look for markers of good genetic health in their quest for a reproductive partner. Take facial symmetry, for example: Studies show that, whether they know it or not, people prefer individuals with evenly spaced eyes and other signs of congruence. In evolutionary terms, these markers are associated with healthy conditions in the womb. Infants exposed prenatally to toxins or pathogens may develop facial irregularities and asymmetry. The human brain may be wired to avoid these overt cues of lackluster health, says R. Elisabeth Cornwell, a psychologist at the University of Colorado. “The signs of beauty are the signs of health,” she says. Rhodes’ findings seem to fit this paradigm: Participants in her study said the Eurasian faces appeared healthier, too.

Similarly, evidence suggests that half-Asians’ diverse genetic ancestry would enhance health. According to evolutionary psychologist Randy Thornhill, at the University of New Mexico, “If you hybridize two genetically diverse populations—another way of saying you cross races—then you create more genetic diversity in the offspring.”

- Eurasians may possess genetic advantages that lead to greater health and enhanced beauty, PsychologyToday.com, June 9, 2016.

2. For some people, throwing out your scale can actually help you lose weight and get fit.

They say “Fit is the new Thin” meaning for some people, focusing more on health and fitness instead of the number on the scale can lead to better success.

It’s how one local woman says she changed her body, and feels better then she has in years.

Chelsea Borkovitz, 26, of Philadelphia is eating cleaner, feeling stronger and says her body has completely changed over the past year.

“I weigh pretty much the same exact amount but the weight had just turned into muscle so my waist shrunk by a couple inches, I lost body fat percentage,” she said.

- Forget the Scales! Fit is the New Thin, 6ABC.com, June 21, 2018.

3. “I believe fitness goals should not only focus on outward appearances. Health begins from inside,” believes Malaika Arora. She reiterates, “strong is the new healthy.” Malaika says yoga helped her sail through her COVID-19 isolation period which drained her both physically and mentally.

In a conversation with IANSlife, the actor, who is also the co-founder of SARVA and Diva Yoga that has announced one-year free yoga and mindfulness program across the globe, shares her fitness regime and how yoga is a big part of it. She also advises her fans on how to achieve their fitness goals.

Excerpts: Is yoga part of your daily fitness regime?

Malaika: Yes! Very much. I am a strong believer in the power of yoga and yes I practice every day. I try to practice for roughly an hour a day and on rare occasions when I have a really busy schedule, I try and squeeze in 20 minutes here and there.

How did yoga help you through the COVID isolation period?

Malaika Arora: The COVID isolation is not just physically draining but is also mentally straining. When you’re cooped up in a room, feeling unwell, it can really take a toll on your body. Thankfully my symptoms were not very severe, so medication, rest, and a good nutritious diet helped me recover. But most importantly, during COVID I think meditation really helped me. It was very important for me to keep my mind calm with stress at bay. I kept telling myself “This too shall pass” and affirming to myself that I need to be strong.

- Malaika Arora: “Strong Is The New Healthy”, NewsGram.com, February 18, 2021.

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About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣 编辑:丹妮)

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