4 Reasons Why I Hate Looking Young

You read that right. I hate looking young.

On top of looking at least 5 years younger than I look (I blame it on my genes), I am also an introvert which makes me quiet and non-assertive. I don’t go around stating my opinion or being loud which reduces my apparent age even further. And for a cherry on top, I am quite short and petite (I blame that on my genes too), which also doesn’t help my case.

4 Reasons Why I Hate Looking Young

1. I am constantly underestimated.

People don’t really take young kids or teenagers seriously, and I look like one, even though I am 25. Being underestimated is not a nice feeling. It affects my self-confidence and it makes me frustrated.

The only good thing about being underestimated is that I keep surprising people about my abilities, my confidence, my maturity, my strength, my courageousness and my stories (since I have lived longer than people think). But it’s not enough to make me enjoy being underestimated. I don’t find the need to prove myself to people, so whenever I do surprise people, it comes naturally.

2. Being carded

I get carded so much it’s not funny (in the US.) I don’t get carded much in Europe or Mexico, where the drinking legal age is 18. I even get carded when I’m not even the one ordering or purchasing alcohol.

The other day my husband and I went to Walgreens to buy a bottle of wine. My husband was the one carrying and paying for the wine, yet the cashier guy asked for my ID. You don’t know how annoying that is. He noticed our annoyed state so he continued by saying that one time they made his wife get out of the car to check her ID. Really dude? Really? That’s the most baloney story I’ve heard. And if it’s true I can’t even begin to understand the logic.

The worst part is when I’m at a restaurant and I am really craving a cold beer or hard cider and I forgot my ID. I always try ordering and maybe I’ll get lucky and won’t get carded. I have gotten lucky a few times.

It doesn’t end there. For about a month I had an expired license and they wouldn’t accept it as ID for drinking because it was expired. I promise you my age didn’t change when my license expired. I don’t get that logic either.

3. “Are your mom and dad home?”

Guy rings the bell, I open the door and he says “Are your mom and dad home?”.  Enough said.

4. Age Difference

There is an age difference between my husband and I, and the fact that I look younger than my actual age doesn’t help. If only society wasn’t too judgy about the subject.

I know what you are thinking: “When you are older you are going to appreciate it.” Do you know how many times I’ve heard this?

This is not necessarily true in my situation because I’m lucky enough to have found my soulmate at a young age, and I’m not a very vain woman. I barely wear any makeup. My priorities lie in other places. And our age difference is never going away.


Underestimated, looks younger than actual age, can blend in with different races and cultures, stealthy: I seriously would make a great spy.

Who else is with me? Who else hates looking young? (I doubt there will be many arms raised on this one.)



30 thoughts on “4 Reasons Why I Hate Looking Young

  1. I am 27 now..and had just started enjoying a little bit looking younger…
    but oh boy, did it suck in my younger days, you bet
    it affected my self steem and my ability to stand up for myself
    so i feel your pain

  2. I can relate. I hate looking so young. It would be one thing if I looked 19-23, but I think I look 12. I’m 26, and I get so tired of hearing about how young I look. And it’s sexist to assume that every woman wants to look young. I don’t consider it a compliment when I’m not taken seriously and treated with respect. On my first day of work the other day, one of my co-workers thought I was too young to be working there, and there are teenagers who work there. I asked her how old I look, and she said 16 (she was more than obviously lying, but I left it alone). I’m really short and when I was on one register and a teenager who was taller than me was on the one next to me, people kept going to check out at her register and giving me dirty looks. It was extremely awkward. A few years ago, there was this guy in Starbucks I liked and one day he started talking to me and I was happy because I thought at first he was hitting on me. Then he asked if I was in middle school. I was so mad! The only guys who are interested in me are creepy old men. The men I’m attracted to usually end up hitting on my married mother (who is in her 40’s) and my married cousin. Then I worry if some child molester is going to rape and murder me thinking I’m a child. Looking young contributes to my social anxiety. I’m tired of having my intelligence underestimated. And I’m tired of no one understanding why it bothers me and acting like I’m crazy for being bothered by it or ungrateful for looking young. What I keep explaining to everyone that no one seems to understand is when I’m 50 I’ll look 30 as opposed to being 26 and looking 13. And I probably sound just as much like a broken record saying that as everyone else does saying “You look so young” “You don’t look your age” and “You’ll appreciate it when you’re older.” I may appreciate it when I’m older, but that doesn’t do me any good for now. Also, when people my age or olde are talking, I’m usually ignored. Sometimes I’m treated differently when people find out my age, other times people still treat me like a child just because I look young. I don’t want to look 50, but it would be nice to at least look my age instead of like a child.

    1. Hi “someone”,
      thanks for sharing your thoughts. I certainly understand a lot of it. I get told this: “You’ll appreciate it when you’re older” so much and I hate it. I keep saying “yeah everyone says that.” But being underestimated and treated like not-an-adult definitely sucks.

  3. I love how I’m not the only one suffering from self-esteem issues. Let me explain: I am NEVER taken seriously and am ALWAYS underestimated. Yes, I enjoy looking young because people are extremely surprised, but when I’m applying for jobs and attend the job interview, the interviewers usually look puzzled. I have a lot of experience in the field I’m working in, but NO ONE wants to give me a chance because “I’m very young with a lot of experience, and therefore ‘overqualified.'” Such bullshit! I hate it. Now that I’m in my mid-twenties I find myself miserable because I’m out of a job and I CAN’T SUPPORT MYSELF FINANCIALLY. ALL THANKS TO MY F*CKING GENES.

  4. It’s rather comforting to find out I’m not the only one who looks much younger and thus get treated like a child. And yes…..getting carded. To be honest it’s embarrassing. I’m 28 and always get carded while 18 year old girls simply walk into the clubs. It reached a point where I stopped going out altogether because I hate the kind of attention I’d get plus getting carded would sour my mood most times. Sigh. Most people say it’s a good thing but they don’t get how it affects people like me.

  5. I am so glad I’m not the only one! Everything you said is the story of my life. My boyfriend is older then me and people always mistake me for his little sister! I can never buy alcohol because someone always says this isn’t you or your not old enough or something along those lines I don’t even go out to bars because of that. Wish it didn’t effect me so strongly! How did you get over letting it bother you?

  6. I can honestly say that I hate looking young also. Being Filipino At 37, I can still pass for my early 20’s. I’m single now and finding a woman my own age is very difficult for me, however I have no problem attracting women in their 20’s. It is very tempting to entertain those thoughts, but at this stage in my life, I’m looking for something a bit long lasting. There was a big age gap in my last relationship and that lasted seven years. In the workplace, I’ve always been underestimated and I am not the one to reveal my age to others, unless it is brought up. So, I started working at new job a month ago, and one of my trainers had mentioned how she’ll be turning 30 soon with 5 kids already. She then asked me how old I was. She threw me off guard and I paused…and she said, “I know you can’t be older than me! You look like a college student.” I had told her that I was older by a lot and she demanded to see my Drivers license. I didn’t get a chance to tell her my exact age, only that I am older than 30. I guess she’ll find out next time I see her. My point is that this whole time, her and other staff members percieve me as being much younger and at times talk or treat me as such…some more than others. It can be quite frustrating. Well to make an already long story short… I hate looking young! I’m glad I read your article though. I never thought that I’d hear someone else say that lol.

  7. I can agree with you here. I’m also introverted, short and petite. I look and act younger than my age and people always are so shocked when they find out I’m 28. They all think I’m around 19. Oh well!

  8. I totally understand. I have all that happen to me as well. My shinning moment was when I was at a restaurant with my brother who is 6 years older then me and his family ( wife and 3 daughters at the time). The waitress came back with out sodas. My brother and sister in law got normal glass cups and me and my nieces all plastic cups with lips and straws…… At first I thought Ok MAYBE they ran out of cups, I knew i was kidding myself. Then the waitress gestures to my brother and us and said you have such 4 beautiful daughter. My sister in law and I started cracking up, I broke it to the waitress that I was his sister and I was 22 at the time….. I have also been mistaken for the baby sitter to my daughter because of my age and the fact she looks indian and I am white lol. On the bright side Mani you look young and gorgeous 🙂

  9. Haha! My youngest daughter is 30 and she still gets carded.
    I would love to be carded! 🙂
    Enjoy it and we’ll talk about it again in 20 years!
    Te entiendo. Total. Pero disfrutalo. 🙂
    Turn it around: most people who card you are probably old, doughy and grumpy.
    Brian 🙂

  10. I am 44 but still am underestimated due to being a quiet person that doesn’t try to attract attention to myself. But I have noticed a few advantages to being older (and, in my case, less attractive than I used to be). The main one is that I’m no longer a magnet for weirdos and pervy old men. And it is nice to not get carded. 🙂

  11. I know exactly how you feel, especially on being underestimated. I taught at an all girls school for about a year when I was 26 but I might as well be 16 like them as far as my students were concerned! Getting them to take me seriously was not an easy task

  12. I am now 37 and I looked 13 or so at 18 and have carried about a decade younger since. You do age though, so enjoy it… I was actually sad to not get carded as often when that began to happen. I now still get carded, but as I look like I am in my mid 20s, not nearly as much. 🙂

  13. I know this pain, although I am a little younger than you… Well, by seven years. I am eighteen, but I’m generally estimated to be about fourteen. As an univerisity student who is actually allowed to go clubbing (living in Europe), it is not funny when doorkeepers try to kick me out for “sneaking in” or “being too young”. Also, like you, people generally think I’m my boyfriend’s little sister, although we are only a year apart. According to him, it is going to get worse. I’ll be like my grandma: when she was thirty, people were still asking if her mum or dad was home. Part of me really likes looking young, but when it comes down to the reality of this world, not so much.

    1. It sucks. I’m 28 and get carded all the time in Europe so they think I’m under 18… Also I’m single and my peers don’t recognise me as one of them so have never dated or anything 😦 The curse of bad genes that made me petite and young looking, I’m sure. It feels lonely.

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