I have been told many, many times over the years that I look young for my age. Now, aged 37, I still get taken for being in my 20s (yay!) It does feel good to be seen as youthful, but in my case I have been concerned about aging since my 20s and have done almost everything I can within reason to keep a youthful appearance. I have hungrily read any anti-aging advice I come across, it is mostly the same but it’s always good to have it reaffirmed, and adhered to it as much as I can. You know the ropes; stay out of the sun, drink lots of water, get lots of sleep (I suffer from insomnia so I flunked on that one),exercise, eat a balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, reduce your stress (I also flunk on that one as I am highly strung and get stressed easily). This advice is exactly the same as for being healthy in general. Actually come to think of it, I am quite fortunate considering the little sleep I get. I have also put all kinds of “anti-aging” skincare on my face, albeit until recently very mild anti-aging products. So each time someone does a double-take on learning my age, it’s a reward for the investment I have put into my skin.
However recently, I’ve come to observe that at work especially, I a lot of people don’t know my age and have been making assumptions about me based on the age they think I am. I am also concerned that people assume I have little work experience and that my job is one of my first jobs (my current job is a temp job). Erm, I have over 14 years of work experience! What if because I look young I am not being taken seriously?
After a bit of googling, it turns out this realization that there is a definite downside to looking young, I am far from the only one. Such as with this lady here:
I do not have a career as such but even so I want people to realize that I am not a naive school or university leaver, that I have held many jobs and know what I am doing.
There was an occasion when I was 30, I was explaining to a Recruitment Consultant that the job she had suggested for me was too low paid and that I was hoping to move out of my parent’s home. She remarked, “Nah, stay at home as long as you can..!” Er, how old did she think I was?
From my research, many women who have written about the problems they’ve encountered by looking younger than they are, changed the way they dress as a necessity. I feel that is sad. I personally wear what I want but then my clothing taste is quite smart and these days. Gone are the super-short mini skirts and crop tops, even though my figure has not changed for the past decade.
Another possible downside of my looks could be that it is a part of the reason I am still single. Ever since my late 20s most male attention I received was from significantly younger men. It was rare to get attention from a man my own age. I tried to date a few of these men, but their age was a factor in why it never worked out (I didn’t want to be attending boozy 21st birthday parties at the age of 28). Even now, I get message on dating web sites from men a decade younger than me. My concern is that they are not in the place in their lives where they feel ready to settle down and have a family.
Having considered all of this, I am not prepared to lay down my anti-aging arsenal and let time do it’s thing. I have a respectful relationship with my emerging fine lines. Instead I’m going to tell people my age more often. I am also going to work on emitting a wiser, more confident persona.