Many things can be said of the elderly. They say to age is a privilege. Another adage declares that to live long, one must embrace growing old. Wise words to remember indeed, if we are to be amongst the favored ones who will live to a ripe old age.
When we think of people in general, most of us carry in our minds an image of someone youthful or in the prime of their lives. Anastasia Pottinger instead, celebrates longevity, age and durability in her aptly titled series called Centenarians.
In the collection, she makes us recalibrate our notions of typical ‘beauty’ as we marvel at the reality of living 100 years of age and beyond. The project was not one Pottinger had originally intended to do. The concept for Centenarians came to her when she was approached by a 101-year old woman who desired to be photographed au naturel. This request came with just one caveat – that the woman would not be identified from the photos.
“When I later reviewed the images on my computer, I knew I was looking at something very special. It was when I began exhibiting the work that the idea to continue the series was born. The response to the images has been remarkable. Viewers are visibly moved by what they are looking at. Whether it’s wondering, “is this what I’m going to look like?” or remembering a loved one – the response seems to be universally emotional on some level,“ said Pottinger.
A rising number of Americans are getting to live past the century mark. Across the country, the centenarian population has risen 65.8 percent over the past 30 years, from 32,194 individuals who were age 100 or older in 1980 to 53,364 centenarians in 2010, based on new Census Bureau data. However the entire population has increased 36.3 percent over the same time frame. Women seem to edge out men as far as centenarians are concerned, which is being studied more by doctors. The term ‘supercentenarians’ was also coined, referring to 110 and older people. Will you be one of them?
See the truly remarkable Centenarians here.