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Ann Brenoff


Obama Bangs It At White House Correspondents' Dinner

Posted: 04/29/2013 11:24 am

While bangs might not give President Obama the more youthful look it achieved for the First Lady on her 50th birthday, it did prove one thing: Barack Obama has the right attitude toward aging and that's finding the humor in it.

While many pundits say that the president stole the annual White House press club show right out from under host Conan O'Brien's nose, we were struck by principally one thing: Obama gets that aging becomes more manageable when viewed through the lens of laughter.

While the photo of him in Michelle-like bangs was a hoot -- "We borrowed one of Michelle's tricks," Obama said -- he also noted how he's not "the strapping young Muslim socialist" he used to be. And while joking how his re-election meant the unveiling of a more radical agenda, a photo flashed on the screen of Obama golfing on a mock cover of Senior Leisure magazine.

The subtle message delivered was spot on: Aging is a dish best served with a side of humor.

While many jokes come at the expense of aging, like these here, we tend to prefer the ones on, which remind us that wrinkles don't hurt and middle age is when you choose your cereal for its fiber content, not the toy.

And then there's gerontologist and HuffPost 50 blogger Lorie Eber, whose book title kind of says it all: Boomers: Aging Beats the Alternative And a Sense of Humor Helps.

What's the best aging joke you've heard lately?

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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  • George W. Bush: Jan. 11, 2001:Nov. 5, 2008

    Presidents may enter the office bright-eyed, but they tend to leave with a few more wrinkles and a lot more gray hairs. Compare a younger President George W. Bush, left, before the economic crisis, before Iraq and before Sept. 11, 2001, to Bush in early November.

  • Bill Clinton, family leave bill signing: Nov. 11, 2000

    Scandal certainly takes a toll. Bill Clinton may have dallied with a younger woman, but that couldn't stop the aging process as he approached the end of his tenure, pictured here on the right.

  • Pres. George H. W. Bush

    Maybe serving a single term isn't so bad. The elder George H. W. Bush looked pretty much the same early in his presidency, left, as he did later.

  • Ronald Reagan: Kan. 1981 in L.A.: posing in D.C.

    Could it just be the Hollywood lighting? Ronald Reagan looked younger in a portrait taken in Los Angeles the month of his inauguration, left, than during his last months in office.

  • Jimmy Carter, Feb. 1977: Oct. 1, 1980

    Like the elder George Bush, Jimmy Carter only served for four years. It appeared to weigh heavily on him. That furrowed brow late in his term, right, couldn't have been good for his complexion.

  • Gerald Ford. inauguration: conceding in 1976

    Gerald Ford was the only U.S. president to never win an election, and is pictured here, on the left, at his inauguration. Is it a trick of the light, or did he really look a little beefier, and a little older, as he later conceded to Carter two years later?

  • Richard Nixon, Jan. 20, 1968: April 1974

    Watergate clearly took its toll on Richard Nixon. He looked quite different at his inauguration, left, than he did in the midst of the scandal, six years later.

  • Lyndon B. Johnson (1st photo - Nov. 29, 1963)

    Lyndon B. Johnson looks a little grayer and a little more wrinkled late in his administration, but he does appear to have lost a few pounds. Maybe there's a silver lining after all.

  • John F. Kennedy, 1961 and Jan. 24, 1963

    John F. Kennedy appears to have a fuller face at the start of his presidency, as seen in this 1961 on the left. The second photo was taken in January 1963, 10 months before his assassination.

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower, March 1, 1953 and Nov. 1, 1960

    There was no hair to lose for Dwight D. Eisenhower, as first seen in 1953, but his two terms in office aged the man, as evident in the photograph from 1960.

  • Harry Truman, 91/1945 and 1/1/1953

    Harry S Truman took office with the death of President Roosevelt in 1945, and he described his sudden ascent as feeling "like the moon, the stars and all the planets had fallen on me." All that pressure can wear on a man, as seen in an aged Truman in 1953, shortly before he left office.

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933 and Feb. 11, 1945

    Franklin D. Roosevelt president over the nation as it struggled with the Great Depression and World War II. He served in office for a record four terms. It's not surprise then that he aged so much in office, as seen in 1933 and 1945. (Sources: AP, Getty, the Washington Post)


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