Elderly men in the 1800s
The biggest consideration is length of life. Women have always had a longer lifespan, on average, than men. And it's important to ask *what is elderly?*. The man in the picture there is probably in his sixties. Up until the 20th century, that was pretty much the oldest man most people ever saw in their lifetime. Women, on the other hand, have commonly lived much longer. So elderly women could be in their 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, or more. And that makes a big difference to image. There is elderly, and then there is downright scary old. And while many women could achieve this, few men did.
Our attitude towards being fat has changed, too. I doubt if being a terribly overweight man with long white hair and beard would be considered much of an attractive image these days, but it was then.
Posted by Brad Hall