SO life in Britain is ageist and those of us in our 30s are most to blame for discrimination.

Well, it makes a change, doesn't it?

Normally the headlines are yelping nonsense about us millennials: entitled, wimpy, spoiled, we ruin everything, from fruit to Nabokov's Lolita. We spend too much money on artisanal coffee and are the main culprits of food waste; we can't manage our asthma and we've caused recruiting problems for the army.

I mean, I'm ok with it. Every generation has its sneering issues with the younger. Those in their 50s in the 1950s blamed the teddy boys for knife crime and the general destruction of society, or at least, I have vague memories of this being the case from watching Heartbeat on ITV with my gran.

My peers are only derided as overly-sensitive and avocado-obsessed.

Though I suppose being called ageist is somewhat offensive, especially as millennials are such proud challengers of the isms and the phobias.

This week's Ageist Britain report found more than one third of British people admitted discriminating against others due to their age with those in their 30s found to be the most guilty.

By ageism, the report specifically mentioned discrimination of those over 50. Whoah. Over 50? I have several 50-somethings in my social circles and I wouldn't for a moment consider them over the hill or call them any of the most-used phrases researchers found on social media: “Old fart”, “little old lady”, “bitter old man” and “old hag”.

Given that people are having children later in life, women aren't uniformly trotting off for blue rinses at 55 and men are more likely to be in the gym than in their plaid slippers at that age, it seems bizarre that we'd countenance the notion 50-year-olds are old. Old, surely, starts at 65 these days? Maybe 70. Not 50.

It's interesting that those in their 30s were the worst for ageism. We're an age group likely to be working alongside 50-somethings and to then, you'd hope, be able to see them as people and not a homogeneous bunch of little old farts.

But while there are 70-somethings training for triathlons, we don't seem to have managed to adjust our collective take on ageing. The tropes still exist – the discussion of the ageing population being a burden; the push for anti-ageing skincare and youthful fashions; the relentless framing of an intergenerational conflict between millennials and baby boomers, which suggests no common ground between those of us who are the future and those we're told have stolen our future.

We're told to fight ageing. For women, particularly, youth is equated with worth and beauty. "Girl" in the title is such a ubiquitous signifier of attractiveness and intrigue in literature and film. It's not the Mum-of-Three With The Dragon Tattoo, is it? Middle Aged Woman on the Train. Gone Woman.

It's no wonder younger people see life as all downhill from 50, there are so rarely encouraging examples of middle and old age. It's unusual to encounter any age group painted in neutral terms.

Wednesday of this week was National Senior Citizens Day and to mark it, one of Glasgow's shopping centres introduced a grandmother personal stylist - Instagran.

The idea of the day is to show how much that age group contributes to society and the idea of Instagran to have a kindly but firm elderly lady give people clothing advice.

Reading about the scheme made me pine for my own gran, who was never afraid to dispense sartorial advice. It was rarely kindly though. A look, a pause and then the fatal blow, "Is that what you're wearing?"

The Instagran was praised for her wisdom, authenticity and candour "that only a granny can provide".

Meanwhile, the latest Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland campaign urges young male drivers aged 20 to 29 to "drive like gran's in the car".

The advertising campaign uses a series of grandmothers who critique their grandsons' dodgy driving and works on the premise that young drivers will both drive more carefully if they're carrying an important passenger and won't want to let their gran down.

"You'll have met gran," runs the strapline, "She’s no-nonsense and pops up in the least likely of places." Does she? I mean, harking back to my own grandmotherly experiences, she was certainly no-nonsense but she was usually exactly where I expected to find her.

It's quite the juxtaposition of stereotypes, though.

On the one hand, older people are maligned for being out of touch, past it, worthless. On the other, praised for their life experience and wisdom, their ability to warmly guide those younger than them.

Why aren't we more neutral about ageing? Dislike and resentment is often the result of insecurity. Millennials receive a bad rap but they also receive a slew of fear-mongering headlines. How we'll never own homes, we won't retire until 75, our jobs are insecure, we won't be able to afford to have children. Given the vast age span and life experiences of those in the millennial generation, such generalisations can be silly scare-mongering.

All generations have strata of wealth, education, class. Claiming all millennials will be living in their parents' spare rooms until 40 is as daft as insisting all baby boomers are responsible for Brexit.

It's no wonder younger people would like to drag out youth for as long as possible.

If you haven't hit the expected milestones by the expected point then it's surely natural to want a little extra time, to extend the deadline. And if you're refusing to grow old, it follows that there would be a scorning of older age.

Ageing itself is unpalatable, an inevitable slide towards our eventual demise. It seems natural to be unenthusiastic about it.

Ageism, though, is a particularly foolish way to proceed.

Racism and sexism are based on dislike or fear of the other, ageism is the dislike and fear of our own selves. We will all, inevitably, age and, if we enjoy good fortune, become old.

Ageism, then, is self-hatred. It may not be necessary – or possible for everyone – to embrace ageing and being older but accepting it would be a sensible step, and smite the stereotypes.