Don’t let my baby face and short stature deceive you, I may look about 14 but I’m a 20-year-old university student.
People always tell me that I’m lucky to look young for my age and I might even agree with them… if I were in my forties. I know it could be worse, but it’s not always easy to look on the bright side when you have to deal with the inconveniences of looking young…
1. Always Getting ID’d At The Club
There have been several occasions when I’ve been out clubbing with a group of people and the bouncer has let the rest of them in with no questions asked but then IDs me. When you look young for your age, you’d better get used to having your ID at the ready. Don’t even think about forgetting it or you’ll find yourself in bed on a Friday night, watching snapchat stories of your friends drunk dancing and ‘singing’ Wonderwall.
2. “You Look Like You’re 14!”
I’ve almost lost count of the number of times people have shot me a look of disbelief when they found out my real age before proceeding to tell me how old they thought I really was. On one occasion, I was sitting next to the emergency exit on a plane. A flight attendant approached me, asking how old I was as there is a minimum age restriction on those seats. I was 19 at the time; he was so shocked that he had to look to my parents for confirmation and exclaimed “You look like you’re 14!” Cue nervous laughter and regret over wearing leggings and a Graphic Tee. Nowadays, I try and make it a habit to bring up being a university student when I introduce myself to avoid any confusion and save myself from embarrassment.
— OpinionPanel (@OpinionPanelEd) October 12, 2018
3. “Can I Speak to Your Parents?”
Don’t you hate it when people talk down to you? I get it all the time with how young I look. I’ve had people knocking on my door and when I answer they give me a once-over, then ask to speak to an adult. You can imagine how infuriating it can be since I am one. Just a few weeks ago, someone asked me if they could speak to one of my parents after telling me “you don’t look like you read letters”. Apparently, I don’t look old enough to read letters, yet in reality I am legally old enough to live alone, pay the bills and make major life decisions. Ah, the irony of it all.
Two years ago, I went on a rowing expedition with a group of friends. Our instructor asked each of us about our plans for university and when it was my turn, she asked if I was younger than the others. Why? It seemed that my posture and soft voice combined with my looks made me appear younger than everyone else. Unfortunately, looking younger than your age often means that you have to overcompensate with the way you speak and act to make your real age more believable. Piling on the makeup and high heels are also another way to go. Although, if you don’t pull it off you might just look like a young teen who has been raiding her mum’s drawers. Personally I don’t bother with the pain and effort since I dread wearing high heels – I’m pretty sure I only own one pair that I have never worn to date, and I enjoy spending most of my days make-up free.
You may have to deal with a lot of condescending people and awkward situations when you look young for your age, but it does have some perks. You won’t be in any rush to splurge on anti-ageing creams any time soon and, as you’ve been told many times before, you’ll look great when you’re older so hang in there because you will be rewarded in the end!