Anti-ageist Birthday Card Project

Changing the Narrative is working with Colorado artists to design anti-ageist birthday cards. The designs will defy stereotypical and negative views of aging, ones that celebrate the one thing that all of us have in common—getting older.


The application period is over, but stay tuned! Designs will be announced in November.

Why an anti-ageist birthday card campaign?

If you follow our blog, you know that we share lots of stories of older people who are doing interesting things, giving back, taking care of others, starting businesses, working on the front lines. These stories represent the diversity and reality of today’s older adults, who are living longer and playing vital roles in society.

If you buy a birthday card for an older person, however, this is not what you’ll see. Instead, you’ll be inundated with negative stereotypes about getting older. You’ll see grumpy old men and wine-swigging women complaining about sagging. You’ll see older people portrayed as sleepy, crabby, and weak. And, you’ll see lots of ableism.

The general theme in many birthday cards: Getting older is all downhill, a period of decline, depression, and dependence. Want to see some examples? Search for these words: “ageism birthday cards”.

We know that ageism is both prevalent and harmful (it’s not just a joke). Many studies show that ageism has negative effects on our health and financial security, and a recent survey showed that 82% of people age 50-80 experience ageism in their everyday lives. We even inflict these ideas on ourselves because we’ve internalized the ageism that surrounds us.

We need alternatives—birthday cards that CELEBRATE age.

(Read more on our blog about why we need anti-ageist birthday cards and check out a similar campaign in the UK. Ageism, unfortunately, is prevalent in many cultures.)

A better, locally-sourced alternative

We are working with Colorado artists who can disrupt the trend of ageist birthday cards. We are selecting multiple artists to produce the designs to get different styles (because we have different tastes, right?). Colorado has so much local talent and we are excited to support our community, while we work to show that aging is worth celebrating.

The cards will provide an alternative to negative stereotypes and connect people to the movement to end ageism. The designs will be ones anyone can be happy to give to family and friends – cards that celebrate the people we care about and support local artists.