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I look so young for my age...any way I can make myself look older?

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Question - (1 September 2006) 193 Answers - (Newest, 9 January 2013)
A female United Kingdom, *helsea writes:

I need help, asap. The thing is, I look really young for my age. I'm 19, 20 in November and I still get asked for ID. Most of the time I even get asked ID for a 15 rated movie. When I got to clubs it's really embarrassing to be stopped infront of people. Is there any way I make myself look older?

Thanks x

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States + , writes (9 January 2013):

So_Very_Confused agony auntI was still being carded at bars at age 28! The legal drinking age for my state at the time was 18.

My 39 year old hubby gets carded for cigarettes still to this day....

At 24 I was married and gave birth to my first child... folks thought I was the baby sitter for years.....

It's something that happens all the time. I wish I got carded... but now at 52 the carding would be to prove I'm old enough for my senior discount!

If you really want to look older:

dress in a more mature fashion

wear makeup as mature women do

do your hair in a more mature fashion.

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A female reader, HiHiHi007 United States +, writes (9 January 2013):

I'm almost 30 years old and ppl think im in my teens. It gets frustrating when I'm like when i was 17 or 18 I did this and this and ppl are like WHAT??? I thought u were 18 I thought u were 17. Even ppl younger then me think im their age or younger. The wrost that's happen to me this past year was a 17 year old kid asking me out and I told him my age and he thought it was a way of rejecting him. Tbh im glad I look young for my age but at the same time not to that extreme.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (28 October 2012):

Hi all, after reading a bunch of these comments, I can totally relate.... I am turning 21 next month, but I constantly hear "wow you look young, are you 12?".

It really makes me feel like crap. I'm fairly short and I barely have any hips at all. I've never felt like a woman, just a child.

I live in a big city full of jerks (hipsters) who try and dress "fashionably". Whatever *that* is, I've never been able to look "that" way.

I am fairly poor since I am an art student, in my second year. I have zero money for new clothes or even a jacket (my only jacket is beat up and has holes in it).

So that really doesn't help me look any older. Today it was cold and rainy so I bundled up. Well wouldn't you know it, some assholes followed me off the subway and were actually pointing at me and laughing saying, "omigod that girl is so young, is that even a girl?

She must be 10 or 12." It wasn't paranoia, they were actually saying sh*t like that.

I gave them the finger and walked off because I needed to buy paper. But it really hurt because it's not like I don't hear comments like that all the time.

I have very little self-esteem and I can barely hold a job because of my social anxiety.

My boyfriend and close friends always tell me I look nice, or that I'm pretty and I shouldn't worry, but it's so hard when I feel as old as I look. I just want to cry every day but I hold it back because it makes me feel weaker.

I used to work at a movie theatre with a bunch of high school kids. I got made fun of often and took bathroom cleaning shifts for 7 months to avoid talking to people at the cash register. There was this girl there (who was an absolute cow) and she liked to poke fun at me. One day I walked past her and she stopped me to say, "Everytime I see you from far away, I think to myself, 'how can this company hire children? It's slave labor!' hahahaha!"

I've been taking rubbish from people my whole life about my age and I'm so sick of it.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way, but I also sympathize with all of you. Looking young sucks, and I won't feel old till I'm 80 at least.

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A male reader, thedude91 United States +, writes (18 June 2012):

I completely understand your concerns. Trust me when I say you are not alone. Looking younger has been an issue for me as long as I can remember. I look absurdly young for my age. I am 20, almost 21 and believe it or not, I've had people tell me I could pass for 14/15 and even as young as 12. (and they wouldn't even question it) One thing I cannot understand is that I am a pretty tall guy (5'11'', roughly 6'), yet people still assume I am some young kid or teenager. My face is very small, oval shaped, with clear skin. Physically, I have hardly any muscle mass, my wrists are small, as well as my hands and feet. I am most likely a late bloomer and still in the process of puberty. This issue may have resolved itself or changed since you last posted almost 6 years ago. One thing I would like to add is that this problem is generally worse if you're a guy (in my opinion). I am extremely awkward and self conscious around girls. I usually hang out by my local pool with people I know or my brother, but I never take my shirt off or jump in the pool for a quick swim because I hate the way I look. Over the next few years, I am hoping things change for the better, but this problem has led to severe social anxiety and depression for me. The only thing I can recommend is to act confidently, assert yourself as often as possible and dress maturely. (as well as wearing make-up etc) Other than do, there is nothing you can really do about it. It is most likely genetic.

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A male reader, thedude91 United States +, writes (18 June 2012):

I completely understand your concerns. Trust me when I say you are not alone. Looking younger has been an issue for me as long as I can remember. I look absurdly young for my age. I am 20, almost 21 and believe it or not, I've had people tell me I could pass for 14/15 and even as young as 12. (and they wouldn't even question it) One thing I cannot understand is that I am a pretty tall guy (5'11'', roughly 6'), yet people still assume I am some young kid or teenager. My face is very small, oval shaped, with clear skin. Physically, I have hardly any muscle mass, my wrists are small, as well as my hands and feet. I am most likely a late bloomer and still in the process of puberty. This issue may have resolved itself or changed since you last posted almost 6 years ago. One thing I would like to add is that this problem is generally worse if you're a guy (in my opinion). I am extremely awkward and self conscious around girls. I usually hang out by my local pool with people I know or my brother, but I never take my shirt off or jump in the pool for a quick swim because I hate the way I look. Over the next few years, I am hoping things change for the better, but this problem has led to severe social anxiety and depression for me. The only thing I can recommend is to act confidently, assert yourself as often as possible and dress maturely. (as well as wearing make-up etc) Other than that, there is nothing you can really do about it. It is most likely genetic.

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A female reader, pepbell United States +, writes (15 April 2012):

hi i am so glad to see that I am not alone. I am 34 years old and I look like i am in my early 20's. I could type in stories here all day long about the many problems I have encountered with looking young for my age but ill just type in the one that bothered me the most. Last year I was at a fair with my 9 year old son.He wanted a toy at the vending booth. The lady that was selling the toys didnt want to sell me the toy because she didnt believe I was old enough to be his mother. I think the thing that frustrates me the most is when people that dont have this problem dont view it as a problem and tell me that when I get older Ill appreciate it.Well that hasnt happened yet.

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A female reader, Atakmanga United States +, writes (28 January 2012):

I am 36 and I've had to deal with looking young my entire life. On my 16th birthday I was handed a kids' menu. The waitress didn't even bother to ask! I never got asked out until I started college and even then it happened very scarcely. I did, however, marry at age 21, but, like other posters here, he has often been called my father. This has been a source of frustration in our marriage.

I get asked out by 20-25 year olds all the time which makes me a tad uncomfortable. I probably wouldn't have married the man I did if I had thought I had other options. I was afraid no one else would love me, now, I'm trapped in a marriage I don't really want to be until I get out of school and am able to support myself.

I've been told I'll appreciate the fact that I look young when I'm older. I'm still waiting, though Iam a bit less resentful.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 August 2011):

Hi, I've got the same problem. I'm 18 and going into college next year. I had to pick up some paperwork from my old high school to mail to the college recently and I was asked if I was an incoming sixth grader. Thirteen year old boys hit on me, and 18+ year old boys (and girls for that matter) keep their distance. Whenever I walk into a restuarant with my parents, brother, or friends, I'm asked if I want the kids menu. "Would you like the kids menu sweetie?" "No thank you, sweetie, I'm eighteen."

One thing that helped a bit that's easy enough is that I heard if you change the part in your hair to the side it makes you look older, and so does keeping it up in a semi-tight bun. Worked for me. So instead of a sixth grader, I look like a high school freshman. :P I'm thinking of maybe adding just a little make up, a touch of eyeliner and eyeshadow. I also redid my wardrobe for college, and that helps. Long shirts and long pants are my favorites because it makes it look like i'm a bit taller, which helps me seem older.

One other thing, don't be afraid to dress sexy. Not slutty, mind you, but elegant and sexy. Elegant especially makes you look older. Think long and flowy, no baby-doll shirts, no mini-skirts. I like outfits that cover up most of my skin but are skin-tight.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (31 July 2011):

Hi,

I recently turned 24 but I look about 14 or 15. People sometimes say I look 19 or 20 but I think they just say that so I dont feel so bad. It really hurts being told I look like a little girl. I am actually starting to feel like one to be honest. My confidence has been blown out of the water. I cry almost everyday, I get so depressed sometimes it takes everything in me to get up and start my day in the morning. I don't go out anymore. Its also hard to start a career when in peoples eyes you are just a kid. Guys never date me very long. I think they get insecure about being seen with me. I have been considering taking my life the past few days, but I can't stand the thought of what it would do to my family. All I can do is hope that this will all pay off someday like everyone says. I am told often that I am attractive and pretty. But I really dont feel attractive, except maybe to the 15 year old boy down the street.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2011):

Hi everyone! Wow! I'm not the only one then?

It is very reassuring to see so many others in the same boat.

I'm 28 (almost 29), married, mother of two, served 8 years in the Army and have been a stay at home mum for almost 3 years now.

When I was a soldier it never dawned on me that I looked young, I kind of always looked my age as far as I was aware... I met my husband who is 8 years older than me when I was 21, the age gap was never an issue and isn't as far as we are concerned. Now he is heading into his late 30's he looks early 30's at most, however now I'm a civilian people seem to assume that I am a teenager and don't understand our relationship and on some occassions have even assumed he is my dad!!!!! It really upsets me because I really don't see it. I am constantly spoken down to, ignored etc... Its like I'm growing younger not older! I was a Corporal in the Army and supervised those junior to me in a high profile role, I wasn't disrespected then, so why now!? I'm chuckling to myself now just thinking of the look on people's faces when I tell them my experience, you can see them doing the math! HAHAHA!

Yes people say... "Hey just think how great it'll be when you're 40 odd!" But what about now!?

I constantly get the whole teenage mother assumption, I'm a bit of a loner if I'm honest, I have no social life, friends near by... My husband is still serving, so we move around a lot, so I'm always getting judged by those that don't know anything about me. It is depressing.

After leaving the Army I worked as a family liaison officer for 12 mths and a more mature lady in the same role, constantly introduced me to new clients with... "I know she only looks 12 but she is actually 26 (at the time)! haha!" What right do these people have!? What I should have countered with was..."I know she looks nice enough but she's actually a jealous poisonous old hag!" But of course I didn't and wouldn't.

I worst thing about it for me is.. I'm petit and quite flat chested, I hate wearing heels, makeup makes me look even younger and short hair makes me look masculine... so there really is no hope for the dressing/styling myself older solution. Guess I'll just have to endure it and wait until I'm 40 going on 25 and enjoy it as they say.

To be honest I've found once I do get chatting with people they soon see past the exterior and realise I am far older than I look, I just lack confidence these days which doesn't do me much justice with meeting new people and making friends as such.

I'm sorry I don't have any answers guys.... Suppose all we can do is be happy in our own skin and just be good people that don't judge others but respect everyone for who they are not what they look like... maybe someday it'll catch on!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (28 June 2011):

I just read this whole page and it feels good to know im not the only one out there. Ill be 23 next month and i always get asked my age. people usually seem to think im around 17 or 18, because my face looks young, i don't have much facial hair, my cheeks are smooth just like a baby. It makes me very self conscious and hurts my confidence around women, even since high school when i got a lot of attention from girls I still felt inadequate and unconfident, i felt the need for drugs and fights to deal with the insecurities i felt. I always over think everything, i smoke weed everyday and pretty much just sit in my room by myself all the time. I've never even talked to anyone about this.

As for a solution, i think its all mental, if you can have confidence no one can touch you, and just because people might think your young it doesnt make you, so you shouldn't feel insecure about it. im 22 but i feel 17 or 18 just because a few people implanted it in my brain and my body language and communication exemplify it further. but i know its just a mental game for me.

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A female reader, blonde30s United Kingdom + , writes (27 June 2011):

blonde30s agony aunti know how everyone is feeling as im 31 and feel and look very young for my age. im still living at home and looking for work which doesnt help at all but i look about 16 and i hate looking for jobs as i feel like a kid and people walk all over me as well. i get treated like a kid even by family as my parents wont let me have anyone round or in my room but im a lesbian which also may have something to do with this. looking young has runied my life and i feel so down. is there any help out there for this and why has this happended in the first place?

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A male reader, nothappy United States +, writes (22 June 2011):

I am glad I am not the only one experiencing this curse and yes I mean curse. Im a 25 year old guy and I get told every day that I look 12 and sometimes even 10. I have been reading these posts and a lot of people are saying be happy you look young because when you are older it will be good for you. No thats not what this is about, being young looking and I mean YOUNG looking nobody takes you seriously ever I get hassled everywhere I go I get carded always for buying alcohol or going to a club or a strip club is the worst I actually get strippers who come up to me and say I look 12 and shouldnt be here and then have the nerve to ask me if I would like a dance after that. My ID always gets double even tripple checked and even after they find out its a real ID they still dont believe me. I have only had 1 girlfriend my whole life who I dated for 3 years when I was 22 and she was 17 by the time she grew up and turned 21 she realized I looked like a little kid and dumped me. I am way too depressed I dont ever want to leave my house the only thing that makes me feel better is smoking weed and drinking but I hate buying alcohol because they always make a big scene about me looking so young. Im 5'7 150 pounds my body seems to look normal but my face is just so unbelievably young that even if I had huge muscles people would still think Im 12. I have been working at a carwash since I was 17 and I will not go to school or find another job because I just dont want to deal with the comments from new people meeting me saying how young I look I am so fed up with it there is nothing I can do anymore everytime somebody tells me I look like a kid I have to hold myself back from punching them in the face. Its true why is it not ok to go up to someone and say they look really fat or ugly yet everytime someone always tells me how young I look as if I have never been told that before. Why can't people have the common sense to realize that I know how young I look and it is not ok to constantly remind me of it? Also what 12 year old would have a fake ID and try to buy alcohol knowing that they look so young? Its just unreal how stupid and close minded people are in this pathetic world.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (27 April 2011):

Hi guys

I am so surprised (and relieved) to discover this discussion... I had no idea that there were others that go through this sort of pain everyday too, like I do. I spent hours reading all your comments and a point that I found myself relating to the most is how unbelievable it is that people (strangers or friends) find it perfectly acceptable to comment on how young I look, but it would be unacceptable for me to tell them that they look ugly, fat or old. Double standards or what??

I'm a 27 year old guy, and have been dealing with this since I was around 16 and started socialising properly, and going to parties and pubs. I am 5ft 7, slim, and have had pretty much no facial hair up until about 2 years ago. I have been picked out of crowds going into clubs, had waitresses ask for my ID when with my family (when I was 23yrs old) and trying to order a beer, and been told I look 'about 12' on so many occasions I try to forget.

This issue pretty much ruined my experience of university, being told I looked 'like a child' didn't exactly fill me with confidence! Did anyone else here start smoking to try and appear older and more mature? I used to (and still do), and I have a technique I use - If i am out in a group and we are heading towards a club or bar that I know has bouncers, I light a cigarette 30 seconds from the door, and tell my mates I'll meet them inside... this way they won't see me get asked for ID! Pathetic right??

Things are starting to get a little better for me - I have gained a bit of weight and 'filled out', which has made me appear older. I also have some facial hair which I let grow slightly. The main thing though is confidence, and how you carry yourself. Guys - walk upright, pull your shoulders back and keep your chin up. It makes a huge difference to people's perception of you.

Anyway, thanks for all your stories, it has helped me a lot. Remember you aren't alone in this!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (26 April 2011):

Hey there,

to you guys who think women who look young for their ages should 'drive off a cliff' and 'shut the hell up', I am astounded by your rudeness and ignorance! Particularly when many people on this forum have discussed how difficult they find it when others brush off their deep insecurities about how young they look.

Please do not assume that women do not face problems when we look younger than they really are.

I had a man break off a relationship with me because his friends were teasing him that it was 'child abuse'.

I met a man in a pub on a blind date who told me he did'nt care that I was 24, he wanted someone who actually looked like a 'woman' to date. The only male attention I ever recieve is from boys half my age. I was in a nightclub recently and a security guy picked me out the crowd, grabbed me and threw me out, causing me to split my head on a the ground. The police decided not to persue my complaint because 'he had reason to believe I was under 18'. I was so hurt, I cannot tell you.

I'm 24 and educated to a Masters degree, yet people usually think I'm anywhere from 14 to 18. This affects my confidence so deeply and I believe I have tried everything to look more mature. I am 5'5 and I have a curvy womanly figure and huge boobs! It must just be my face that lets me down! I work hard to progress with my career and try my best to act maturely, but I do feel when you have so little confidence you cannot hide this from others. Seriously, I have considered hypnotherapy to get rid of this complex!

I have found that wearing small heels and having a short hairstyle that graduates at the back helps a little. Sticking to darker clothing such as brown and black makes people look more mature than, say, pastel colours like pink and blue.

When people comment on my young looks I generally just change the subject so it looks as though I havent even taken it on board. Sometimes I tell them they are a bad judge of age, or that their perceptions must be very narrow. If I feel they are trying to take the piss, I tell them I have thoughts about their appearance but wouldnt want to offend them by bringing these up. Its a little childish I know, but it goes down a treat!

Keep your heads up guys and remember anyone who treats you badly makes you a better person as they teach you how not to treat others. And men, there are lots of women who are attracted to younger-looking men, including myself... I hate facial hair and beer guts!

How old you look is just somebody's PERCEPTION, it is not a FACT. Please remember that.

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A male reader, greeners1989 United Kingdom +, writes (21 April 2011):

I agree with the answer below, women receieve far less judgement in society than men do for looking young, after all, isn't that why so many women spend tons of money on anti-aging cream? To retain youth. But for a man to appear a boy has far deeper social implications. Im a 22 year old male and whilst my girlfriend says I look 20, I see guys coming out of secondary school who are taller and older looking and in all honesty it can be crushing. It sucks to hear your own girlfriend refer to you as a boy when in every cell of your body you feel fervently 22. Im a psychology student, and it appears that from an ethological perspective looking young as a male and receiving judgement for it could have evolutionary roots (only speculating); it could have the same origins as women being attracted to older men and men being attracted to younger women. But ya know what, what really matters is the spirit behind those eyes and ultimately that is what the people who love you will value you for right? I don't say that to try and mend anyones self esteem, as I know how it feels, I know that one hundred positive statements about yourself can be absolutely fruitless the next time someone asks "really? but you look so young", in the past i have been a very confident person, and still am, but one or two remarks, or even getting IDed can leave me asking some pretty self depricating questions. But if there is no obvious way to really make yourself older, as opposed to making yourself appear older, then all any of us are really left with are 2 options- to accept it or reject it. Picture in your mind two selves waking up 2moro, they both look the same, but one has got a determination and utter acceptance and love of who they are despite their youthful appearence. Now imagine the second self, who loathes themselves and feeds their mind every negative thought about themselves becuase of their youthful appearence... who has the better day, more to the point, as time goes on and life continues how far apart have these two paths become? Yes we may look young, but we are still worthy people! Don't let someone elses thoughts about something as trivial as your appearence let you feel anything less than great about who you are (saying this as much for me as for you) cas im sure if I met any of you in person i'd think you were pretty awesome regardless, and if you did have that beautiful self-acceptance I previously described Id respect you even more than I would a 'normal' person looking your age. How do you get to that stage of radical self-acceptance when inside yourself you feel inadequate? Im not sure I know the answer as I feel the inadequacies of a young face everyday of my life too, but I do know that letting it go when those remarks do come your way and spreading as much love as you can every second of every day can be a big help. If you are a loving, respectful and joyful person people will be attracted to you no matter what, yes its true that some will perhaps not take you as seriously but those that do see you for who you are are the ones you really want to be with anyway right? And for those that don't, well therein lies the daily struggle for us young lookers. Still, i'd much rather look the way I do, with the baby face, than be physically handicapped, or chronically obese- we still got our mobility and our fitness, two things to be forever grateful for.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (22 March 2011):

To any and all females who are complaining about looking young, or females who are saying enjoy looking young while you can, you have no right to comment on how a guy feels about his age. ITs completely different. Ive never felt bad about a girl who looked 16 when she was really 25, or whatever age she looks or is. Its because they arent viewed the same way as men. No one cares if a girl looks young, and as a matter of fact, looking 16 isnt that big of a deal for a girl.

Im a 24 year old male. my voice changed when i was 15. When i was 16 i looked 14. When i was 18 i looked maybe 15. My face litterally looks like you took it off a 16 year old kid at this point in my life. However, i can grow facial hair(at least mustache and hair from side burn down the chin and to the other side burn, not much cheek hair, but i still have good amount of facial hair, it doesnt look like a pubescent little boy thin sparse hair, it grows evenly and covers well), and im 5'10" which is decent height. I hhave a proffessional job, and they have a relaxed dress code so i always keep a good amount of scruffy facial hair. The scruffy facial hair litterally signifies to people i am not 16 or even 18 so dont question me bitch. Thank god for that. I am about 175 pounds and in great shape. However, i like to wear comfortable clothes that fit nice and big, unless im going out, or going to work.

Here are some things i found help me look older, and ill give examples. I drink, and i found that i dont get carded much when i have a decent amount of facial hair, and am wearing clothes that hug my body. I have a great body, which the luckiest 18 year old would be blessed to have. Therefore people can tell im older when im wearing a muscle fit t shirt. The same goes for when i get off work and im wearing slacks and a button down. I dont get carded as much.

However, i do get carded if im dressed in clothes that anyone from teens to adults wear such as an old comfy shirt and gym shorts. I also get carded if im not in good shape and look more scrawny. Ive had periods wear i let my muscles loosen and shrink and my shoulders start to get smaller and i just have an overall frail young appearance.

This was most evident when i recently had an emergency and had to have my gall bladder removed and had another issue and i lost about 20-25 pounds and was down to 150. I looked like i was 16 no ifs ands or buts. It was devestating when i went to see a doctor and she goes how old are you and i was like 24, and she goes oh so your over 18, you just look young. And the other nurse said wow way to just say it right to his face, and i was just like dont worry about it.

I found the only solution to looking somewhat my age is to put on weight, mainly in the form of muscle, wear clothes that are more age appropriate that a younger generation wouldnt wear, such as t shirts without graffics and without logos and stuff. Also make sure the clothes fit your body and hug your best features such as big arms and chest. Also if you can, grow facial hair in the form of a scruffy look.

Basically what im saying is, i was cursed with late maturity and a face that wont age a single day, but i work on my body and my appearance and it does help somewhat.

Even though sometimes i feel i look my age, i know i only do in rare occasions. Ive never had a problem with getting women due to the way i present myself, but that wouldnt have been possible without my muscles. I feel for men who look so young they dont fit in with their age group. It is such an inadequate feeling, especially in social and proffessional places. We are men and want the alpha appearance, and looking like a boy is the furthest thing from that.

So to the women who are struggling with looking young or women who are saying embrace your young look i say shut the hell up. You have no clue.

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A female reader, angziety United States +, writes (21 March 2011):

angziety agony auntYou know what? You should ENJOY this while it's happening! My hubby and I are in our 30s.. and we still get carded! We look young, yes. Before you know it you will look old and you'll regret all the fuss you made when you were younger. Trust me.. ENJOY IT NOW. It doesn't always last forever. So what if you get carded? So what if they don't believe you or that your card is real? I keep looking back on my younger days and wondering why the heck I was so insecure when I looked GREAT and regretting that I didn't enjoy it when I could! Now I've had 2 kids.. gained some weight.. it sucks when you realize how wrong you were to be so worried about stuff like that. I feel like I missed out.

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A male reader, RyanJarred United Kingdom +, writes (21 March 2011):

It's comforting to hear that other people are in the same boat as me, I've always thought i was the only one.

I'm 18 years old, but i really look about 13-14.

I drink and smoke and it's just so horrible when the shopkeeper asks for I.D then makes a big fuss about how I look like a 'baby' or how I look 'about 12' in front of loads of people in the shop.

The other day I went to the shop to buy some beer, and the guy serving me was so patronizing, after asking for my I.D he said to me 'Oh, so your a big boy are you?' in front of an entire store full of people, one man, who was lingering by the door for some reason as if he'd already planned to say it, shouted over 'Doesn't he look about 10!' and they both laughed at me, as if I weren't even there.

It's come to the point where I try to avoid buying cigarettes and alcohol because I just can't face the abuse.

I can't grow a proper beard, it's just blonde hair and barely visible, even after 2 weeks, I've always been quite skinny, but I've recently started weight training just to fell better about myself, but it doesn't seem to be working very well. I have no hair on my chest or arms and barely any on my legs and under my armpits, and I'm starting to get so self concious it's unreal. I just wish someone could help. I don't want to waste the years where I'm suppose to be partying and having fun, by being to scared to go out with my friends.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (14 March 2011):

Ok, here goes. I've only talked about this issue with a very limited amount of people and feel that posting on this webpage may help me feel better about my situation. I'm 31 years old and married. I've looked very young since as far as I can remember. It started in grade school when my peers were going through puberty, adding muscle mass, starting to shave, grow armpit hair etc. I realized I was different because I was very skinny, didn't have any facial or body hair, etc (people made fun of me telling me I waxed my legs, made fun of me for not shaving, etc). High school was the same. I clearly stuck out as looking young and still didn't shave or grow sideburns. I was 120-130 lbs tops. While not many people said anything I developed a complex from thinking about it and my self-esteem and confidence were very low.

When I turned 18 and 21 and was able to buy cigarettes and alcohol (respectively), the situation got worse. I smoke and drink so buying cigarettes and beer was a regular occurance. I found that most people made comments when I was carded since I looked years younger than my age. College was rough because I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb to others. As a senior I was often mistaken for a freshman. After graduating and getting a "real job" the comments continued because I had to work with a lot of people face to face. People couldn't believe how old I was when they asked.

I went through years of depression and went to a counselor about the issue, but he offered little help. Eventually when I was about 25 I had enough and knew there had to be some sort of explanation for looking so young and not having any facial or chest hair. I spent hours researching what the issue could be and determined that I must have low testosterone. I made a dr's appointment and went to the family doctor to present my case for prescibing hormone supplements. He had my hormone levels tested and found that my testosterone was low for my age. I was prescribed testosterone which helped put some muscle mass on and helped somewhat with the facial hair. Still, it didn't completely make up for it. I shave every few days, but still can't grow a beard or mustache. I had hoped the testosterone was the answer and it would solve all my problems, but after being on it for 5 solid years, I'm losing hope.

Birthdays are a low time for me since I'm a year older and will have to say 32 now when people ask how old I am. I'm told that I look anwhere from 19-24, and sometimes I feel people are being nice when they say 23-24. It hurts so much to see people a lot younger than me who look older than I am. I'm constantly anxious about going to bars, meeting new people, etc. I'm fearful of getting carded going to see an R rated movie. It hasn't happened yet, but it will be devistating to my self-esteem if it does. The comments people make are the worst though - "you don't look old enough to be married", "you don't look old enough to work", "you look like you're still in high school"....and the worse - "my son who's in high school looks older than you". Each year that passes it gets worse and worse.

It's comforting to know there are others out there in the same boat...I've searched online before about this issue and this website is the best I've found so far.

Here are some things that I've done in the past that have helped (somewhat) with my situation. Focused a lot on my wardrobe. I make decent money at my job so I was fortunate to be able to "revamp" the wardrobe and get some more stylish clothes that fit well and really help with my confidence. Exercise - specifically lifting weights which helps build muscle and makes you look less "scrawny". I go through phases where I'll work out and bulk up and then I'll feel better for a while...then I'll stop for some reason and start to feel crappy again - I'm in that phase right now and really need to get back on a good exercise schedule. Seeing a dr and getting on testosterone supplementation helped me gain about 20-30 lbs and start to grow some facial hair. It was one of the hardest conversations I've had to have in my life because for years I didn't tell a soul about how self conscious looking years younger than my age has made me feel. I told my wife one night and she had no idea how much it bothered me, but I felt a lot better after. Talking about the problem definitely, but you have to be careful who you talk to since a lot of people don't understand and will just say things like "you'll be happy when you're older"....screw that....I want to be happy now!

Well this post is getting long so I'll end it here. Hang in there guys....we're not alone with this issue.

TJ

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A female reader, blonde30s United Kingdom + , writes (9 March 2011):

blonde30s agony aunti know how you feel and does anyone know why this happens. im in the same boat but its worse for me as im 31 years old and look about 17 to 19. why has this happended is there something gone wrong?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (18 February 2011):

To the gent below me and all who care to read:

I'm in the same boat with a bit of a difference. I'm 25, but I probably stopped growing around high school. I'm about 5'5 on a good day (heh). I work my ass off at a rather shitty job (despite my high level of education) six days a week (Sunday's off, but really, it feels like nothing in the bigger picture) and live in an apt with the same financial struggles as people in our age group. I smoke weed, love it, but, yes, it's rather expensive (gotta conserve). I'm an atheist and find the idea that so many could believe in fantasy just because it's ancient and tradition distressing. So, practically the same situation as yourself.

So what's the difference? I've actually been quite successful at attracting and "spendin' time" with the opposite sex.

See, when I was younger, I was always afraid that I'd remain a virgin forever. I had girlfriends and flings, but they were all sexless. And they were few and far in-between. Then, early on in college, that all changed. Girls were coming to me and I wasn't even trying. Since then, I've had a pretty lengthy experience with sex. It's pretty awesome, although seriously long-lasting relationships have alluded me thus far...

The reason I bring this up is as a counter-argument that being short and young-looking is some unbeatable adversity. It isn't. Granted, a big requirement is being social and likable, but almost anyone can attain those attributes easily. My life experience is obviously different and, for the majority, unplanned, but that doesn't mean that it has to go in one, negative direction for the rest of your lifespan.

Yes, being short can suck. I've endured the humiliation and teasing as a child, I've endured the rejections from girls, I've endured the dismissals from possible employers, all of that. But that's always going to be there, and it's always going to be a part of life. The thing is, it's not the only part. I've had the exact opposite happen, as well, and quite frequently.

I can't explain it in an exact sense (since I'm stoned and, though a science-enthusiast, it's still rather mysterious), but I believe the reason I've been able to fulfill my sexuality and live a rather fun life, is because I've remained unfocused on my height. I've been lucky enough to have good looks, but I really don't think it's that big a part of it. I even openly make fun of my own height, and girls find it charming. It's cool! I know that sounds like a silly thing to mention and a bit self-serving, but I believe/hope you understand why I mention it.

From a fellow short-guy to another, just go out there and meet people. Be friendly, be funny. I mean, this is just naturally attainable stuff. We are a social species of mammals, after all, and we require the same amount of attention by our kind as any other species would. Don't be afraid to live a good life the way you are, because though life and society may seem horrifyingly unfair and mockingly hateful, it's more of a psychological wall than anything else (barring any actual tragedies and horrific details of life like poverty, death, disease, etc).

There's no trick to it. You just have to be at peace with rejection and open to "in the moment" experiences. Or, to be sleazy, "sexperiences."

Phew. Rather long, but hey, I'm stoned.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (27 October 2010):

All the women who are complaining about looking younger than they really are, please go drive off a cliff....

I'm 26 year old male, turning 27 next month. My dad is a small man, 5'7 170 pds, and my 48 year old mom looks EXTREMELY young for her age, often mistaken to be in her twenties. Now to me.

Life was really awesome up until I was about 15. Nothing significant happened, no major deaths, supportive family, I had and still have normal physical health. But for some reason, when I was 15, I just stopped growing and maturing. I haven't grown an inch since high school, still 5'7. My voice never changed, I've NEVER and I mean Never been able to grow any kind of facial hair other than the little peach fuzz that grows on my upper lip that I have to shave literally every month. It's been 12 years now since I've aged, that's right, somehow I found the fountain of youth and I guess most people would think that is a blessing, but I sure don't feel that way.

It's hard to put into words the kind of pain I've been through of the last 12 years, but after reading all the postings on here, it pains me to see some of my fellow brothers have gone and are going through the same horrific experiences that I go through over and over again on a daily basis. I won't rehash all the stories (Girls consistently looking past me, not being taken seriously in the corporate world, a woman the other day telling me I looked 12 years old) but to put it in a nutshell, It's gotten so bad I'm to the point where I no longer leave my apartment unless it's for work or food, and I live every second of my life in this state of constant depression. Over the last few years, I discovered the ONLY thing that helps the pain anymore is smoking mary jane. But since it's illegal in this country still (which is another issue all together), the prices are so inflated that I have to live paycheck to paycheck just so I can smoke every night and forget about my desire not to live.

So yeah, this is what looking extremely young can do to someone.... Turn them into a pot smoking recluse who loses all value for life. Yet, some of you fools still believe in a God? What a joke. Life is one long horrible joke.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (20 October 2010):

I am in the same boat. I am nineteen and look about fourteen. I am pretty confident when i am with my friends meeting new people but when i am in class I lack the confidence to participate thus it drops my grade. I really want to go to law school but do not think i will be respected. Besides this "problem" bringing my grades down, i also have trouble getting a girlfriend every time i am around girls I feel super young and my confidence drops. Many times I play my age of as a joke but when people say rude comments some days it gets me really hurt even though i know they are joking, it is hard to be this way and i wish i could look older. However, when i think this i also think my situation could be a lot worse. I have no serious health problems so besides this i have nothing to complain about.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (16 October 2010):

I completely understand how you feel because I have the exact same problem. Whenever I meet new people I always dread telling them my age because they are always in shock. I guess it is because I am skinny and really petite. My mom had the same problem when she was my age so I guess it runs in the family. However, I fear that people won't take me seriously because I look so much younger than my actual age. I feel that people always look at me in a weird way. When I'm with my younger brother who is 5 years younger than I am but taller, people ask who is older or they automatically assume he is the older sibling. Getting into clubs and consuming alcohol will probably be an issue in the near future too since I am turning 21 next year in April but the oldest age I look is only 15 years old. My suggestion to you Chelsea is to wear makeup and dress in certain clothes. Also maybe get a new haircut that will make you look older and more mature.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 October 2010):

I'm 40 and I look 25. I've been told this many times and I get carded on a regular basis. When I was 24 I looked about 14, I got carded because I was trying to buy alcohol. At the time I was affronted that she couldn't tell I was married since I was wearing a wedding ring, (now I think its hilarious.)

I'm naturally quite petite as well. I never wore makeup until about three months ago and even then I usually have to wear very little.

Don't be offended about it, enjoy it. It's fun to look younger than you are.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 October 2010):

Don't worry, you'll love looking younger than your age one day!! Tehe...

I am 55 years old and look 40, my elder son is 33 and people find it incredible that I am his mom!

Good luck!

Connie

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (28 September 2010):

i am 19 goin to be 20 on jan...alot of my new friends think i'm 16...i don't care much, but sometimes i lie that i am because it gets annoying...i;m just greatful to look young...because one day i'm sure i'll loook old...

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 September 2010):

I'm 20 years old. I look 13. In photographs I look 10/11-ish (no exageration) - extra weight is added in still images! I'm very petite and have puffy-ish cheeks. God... It is such a curse! But just for now. It is so debilitating if you let it be. But still, the acknolwedgement of my conflicting age and appearance is always occupying space in my mind? Anyway... I still think positively and acknowledge that in 20 years time when 40 y.o. women age, I'll still be way cute lol. I can sometimes appear 16/17 (on good days!) and 18/19 (on great days!). I can still find guys (around my age). Just appear confident. BE confident. Try to dress more maturely. BUT do NOT force yourself to wear something like a business suit if it doesn't suit you - you'd look like a 12y.o. playing dress up! Same applies to wearing make-up. In summary: act mature, dress mature (but only if suitable). And if you still look too young... best to accept the fact and move on. I mock myself and laugh it off. Humour helps. Goodluck fellow gorgeous guys and girls. Peace =]

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (24 September 2010):

i have the same problem i am 19 and i am 20 in october i only look 14 but i have trouble looking older i hate it i really need help

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A male reader, Penitantman United Kingdom +, writes (21 September 2010):

In further to my comments. I think you can try and reduce peoples perceptions of your age but if you look young you look young and it's hard to escape. I think the way some people treat you because of your perceived age is little more than discrimination. It's almost like ignoring a disabled person or someone because of their colour but people can't see the effect it has. For me it has been really difficult to handle and can often put you on the offensive but if I have learnt anything with maturity it is that you can't change it and in years to come you probably won't want to so although it's hard to deal with when your young, remember, most people are only young for a short period of their life and we get to be forever and like most forms of jealousy, people will always try and reduce a positive into a negative so just be proud and say " i would rather look like Peter Pan than Benjamin Button but thanks for highlighting my insecurity".....big smile.....then watch them squirm and backtrack!!!!

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A male reader, Penitantman United Kingdom +, writes (21 September 2010):

I can really sympathise with all of your comments. I'm now 30 but regularly told I look anything from 20-30 depending on who says it. Through the years I think that unfortunately it hasn't got any better and I have always appeared considerably younger than my peers. I'm a professional person and dress in a suit and I weigh in excess of 200lb but with only 10% bodyfat and none of this seems to change peoples attitudes. It doesn't help that I am in a management position in a large organisation and unless I outwardly introduce myself by outlining my role and position I find myself either being excluded or overspoken until they realise I actually have something good to contribute.

I pe

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (28 August 2010):

I am 23 year old male that has had this problem since I was in middle school. I have a baby face, can't grow much facial hair, and I have an ectomorph body frame (skinny and small bone structure). I lift heavy 3 times a week and I can't seem to put on weight for the life of me. I'm about 5'10 150 lbs. This makes it hard to pick up women when you're the youngest looking guy in the entire bar. Women at my age want to go home with a man, not someone who looks like a teen. Yeah, and confidence does help, but it can only get you so far. I'll probably look back when I'm older and be glad, but you only get to enjoy the great single life while you're young.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (26 August 2010):

I'm a 22 year-old female and get this all the time. Yes, it can be annoying... but I have to say, there's something funny about shocking bartenders. Just speak maturely to these people and watch their faces go all confused. You'll get the last laugh. X-)

Actually, I've found that heavier makeup doesn't necessarily make people think you're older. I think that they associate it with high school and the beginning of college... that is, times when people are *trying* to look older. This seems especially true when you wear a lot of eyeliner. ;) I'd recommend accentuating your best features without making it obvious that... ker-POW... you're totally wearing makeup! :-O ... ;)

If your hair is long, consider trying a shorter cut. And either way, avoid ponytails, especially high ones! Try looking at videos about up-do's on YouTube.

For clothes, try items with some structure and clean lines to them, like a nice jacket or skirt. Clingy and/or soft fabrics--like fabrics in T-shirts and hoodies--can make you look more babyish. As can pastel colors when you use them by themselves (no contrast).

Whatever you do, don't try to age your body right now! I know it's frustrating to have to explain your age all the time, but as everyone's saying, it'll pay off. I know someone who got carded at 40, and it made his day. It'll be fine. :)

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (22 August 2010):

I'm a 20 year old male, almost 21, but I look 15-16, or at least thats what I usually hear. The thing is, I'm 5'9 and work out everyday but still look young. My ex-girlfriend back in high school also looked kind of young, but even in college I haven't had too much trouble with girls. Its all confidence, who cares if the asshole at the door asks for your id?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 August 2010):

I just turned 21 and I'm always mistaken for 14-15. It's the only part of me I wish I could change. I don't think I'm bad looking, I know that I'm intelligent, I've always been told by girls that I have pretty eyes (feels good, man), I'm pretty funny, and I'm musically inclined. I just wish I looked older. I'd be much more confident.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 July 2010):

It's a relief to find so many other people in the same boat.

I'm 21 and so often I will get an obnoxious person making a comment. I am petite and apparently have a very young looking face. I often get called 'cute' and 'sweet' and these people assume I am about 15-17. They all seem to think that their perception of how old I look is more important than HOW OLD I ACTUALLY AM!

On a good day people's comments don't affect me, but I have been having health issues in the past 4 years and a comment when I am feeling particularly vulnerable will feel like a smack in the face.

Some of the worst parts of this is that most of my friends are older than me. I have friends in their early 30's, and if I am out with the male ones they assume we are romantically involved and that my friend is some sort of cradle snatcher. Also my partner of 3 years is 26. He is balding and could be taken for about 30. People's comments can be quite derogatory- like I am meant to feel we're doing something wrong, when we're not.

I agree with what other people say, the best thing to do is think 'fuck them'- but I know from time to time itr will hit closer to home. I just think we all have to remember is that we are not what other people tell us we are. Other people can and will think what they like and evidently express it like idiots, but it doesn't change anything.

Best of luck everyone!

E

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (27 July 2010):

Men- GROW A FREAKIN MUSTACHE and lift heavy weights... and make the mustache as thick as possible. Just a mustache mind you nothing else. It will easily add 7-10 years on your perceived age trust me. I am 30 and before i found out about this i was treated like a college kid now everyone calls me Sir etc.. Its hilarious what a little upper lip hair can do.

Women- wear as much makuep as possible,tan and workout. If that doesnt work gain 50-100lbs and that will add 7-10 years on your age.

These are simple things that will work trust me.

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A male reader, badass17 United Kingdom +, writes (22 July 2010):

Hey I'm 17 years old, and whenever I reveal my age to people they're always surprised, even though I do have a goatie lol. Once they're told, it's hard for them to drop it. They say things like "really?", "wow, you're cute." The most common reaction from older is people is when they pull the face 'o.O'. Cute is BAD, I don't want to be told by people my age that I'm cute.

Ok, in a way it's a good thing, therefore I should be happy with my looks, but it's really offputting getting a girlfriend my age. I have no problem when it comes with making them laugh, putting a smile on their face or what have you. But here lies the problem, I always become aware of my looks before asking a girl my age out. In the past, I've tried going out with girls that were my age, but I was rejected because I looked 2-3 years younger. At 17, girls want a man, not someone who looks like a young boy. Yes, I know that I am a boy, but the thing is, I look 13-15, or so I've been told. My friends say that I look 16-17, however they're just my friends, so maybe they're just saying that to make me feel better.

I tried playing around with different hairstyles, and funnily enough it changed peoples opinions on how young I looked. I originally had my hair spiked, but looked 13-15. I then experimented with the "emo look", It added a few years on from what people thought i looked with spiked hair and people thought I looked around 16. I didn't like it, so i had a mohawk/mohican. This looked a bit weird, because it wasn't really me, but people said I suited it. I was told I looked 15-16. I tried out a few others but none of them really made me look my actual age. My final haircut initially scared the hell out of me. The idea of having this haircut frightened me because it was daring, and only one other person my age had this haircut. I eventually plucked up the courage and went for it. I decided to shave my head to a grade 1. At first, I wasn't sure about it. It seemed really odd to begin with. But after a few days, my hair grew back very slowly and I began to adore the shaved head look. It felt great too (A bit like velcro, if you like that sort of thing :P). I went into college, and my friends looked and me and were surprised to find out that it was me. They weren't quite sure what to the think of it at first, which was my first impression of it too. But the odd thing was, was that I looked 18+! Not just my friends told me this, but other people too. For some odd reason, I started gaining respect from people too, because I didn't look like a child. Yes, some think that people with shaved heads are antisocial thugs. But with a smile, you can change someones view of you completely. And, as a bonus, some of the girls actually preferred the shaved head look to having hair. They found it sexy apparently ;) Anyway, I have my hair spiked and short at the sides with a small earring in my left ear. (Not that that's got to do with anything).

I know that when I get older, say roughly 40-50, I'll want to look younger, so in a way, it comes as a bonus. But at 17, this is the complete opposite of what I want.

If you managed to read through my "mini essay", then good job, but if not then here's the important part. ---MY HAIRSTYLE CHANGED PEOPLES OPINIONS ON THE AGE I LOOKED---

So yeah, if you look young, cherish it because when your friends begin to age, you'll still be a fresh-looking person. :)

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (21 July 2010):

I am very happy to hear that at least I am not alone - I am a 24 year old male and am constantly told that I look very young, typically 16-20, which bothers the hell out of me. People off the street will often treat me with little respect, though I have to say that those who really know me treat me with much respect, maybe because I act even older than I am. In some ways, that's the worst part, because the gap between how old I act and how young I look is quite large. Definitely gets me some strange looks. Can't grow facial hair either.

People will come up to me in bars just to tell me how young I look. Thanks, but I'm aware, folks. I definitely have gotten told that I don't belong because I'm "too young", at parties for instance, which is pretty awful. Even telling them my actual age doesn't seem to get me any more respect, most people are ready to judge a book by it's cover, it's so much easier for them.

Dating is an issue too. I can tell some women are turned off by the young looks - have even been told that before by a couple of ladies. Worse is the fact that I'm attracted to older women, as I find them more mature and easier to have conversation with. I feel like I've gotten the word "cute" a lot but "attractive" is much less common.

It doesn't seem to get to me as much anymore, though, as I am much more confident these days. Part of it has to do with how much I've been working out, part of it is just natural maturation I suppose... the ability to ignore the shit that doesn't matter. And it really doesn't matter. I've dated older women (25, 27, 30), and a couple my age. A lot of my friends are older, 25-32. The people that are worth spending time with usually see through the young looks, and for many, the young looks earn you bonus points.

Those who look down upon you and make snarky remarks, well, you have to learn to ignore them. There really is no other option once you've done the basic things (dress to look older, act confident, get a sharp-looking haircut, grow facial hair if you can). Once you understand that completely, the practicality of the matter, you will find that ignoring those remarks becomes easier and easier... until they don't matter at all. I am still on this route... from time to time it still really gets to me... but it's getting better.

I saw someone's post about referencing how the young looks are due to "taking care of your body, eating lots of fruits/vegetables, exercising". If you need a remark to make to someone who "accuses" you of looking so young, I say mention something like this. It projects confidence and can only bend the conversation in your favor.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (16 July 2010):

LOL. Today I was asked if I was old enough to buy cigarettes, and when I told the store clerk I was 22 he seemed astonished. Said that all the older looking people are young and all the younger looking people are old. It's really discouraging. Maybe its because I am thin, just shaved and got a haircut. Anyways. My advice is to gain muscle, dont shave, dress older? Wearing suits helps one look older Good luck lol

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A male reader, monkeyboy77 United States +, writes (15 July 2010):

I can sympathize with all of you. I am 25 year old male, but most people think I am 17 or 18 at the most. The most humiliating experience was after High School graduation me and my family went out to Dennys for my Graduation dinner. The waitress asked if I wanted the kids menu. I was 18 had just graduated from college and I was being mistaken for being under 12. I got on the defensive and I was like "I just graduated from High School why do you think I am in a cap and gown". She seemed embarrassed and said "oh I thought you had graduated from elementary school". It was so humilating but something me and my family look back and laugh about now. Looking younger has not held me back in anyway I just get irritated with it. I cannot grow decent facial hair either wihich is annoying. But I try to take the positive from it. When I am older I will have a youthful look about me still. Which is what people want when they get older anyways.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (14 July 2010):

I can relate to everybody in here. I too look extremely young for my age. I'm 21 but constantly get reminded that I look 12. If I drive i get weird stares by every other driver on the road. I have not been able to find a job either. I never been to a club or a bar and don't plan to go until I can grow a beard and a moustache. I can't stand getting hit own by 14 year old girls. If I go to restaurant in the morning I get offered orange juice while every other "adult" is offered coffee. Life really sucks right now and I can't see it getting much better. I must say you all are very strong. I think regular "adults" could not stand to live like this for a week let alone for years. I would not wish this life upon anybody except for those annnoying idiots who keep telling me how young I look and stare at me funny when I do "adult" things.

Anyways I hope you all stay strong and don't let those worthless idiots get the best of you.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (13 July 2010):

acting more confident etc.. has nothing to do with how old someone thinks you are. Your face and build plays the biggest role. To look older the only option for males is to put on as much muscle and weight mass as possible. ( for females putting on muscle will greatly help too but also for females wearing alot of makeup helps. I remember this one girl in highschool who was like 14 and would get into 21+ clubs because she wore alot of makeup and had a older looking hairstyle. Noone in the world will think you are a kid or really young if you look like a weightlifter and if anything you will be intimidating. You can do this no matter what height you are either as most bodybuilders are on the shorter side. Also grow as much facial hair as possible and style your hair with product this will help GREATLY. I am 30 and have been mistaken for anywhere between 21-30 and the reason for this is because it VARIES BY THE ACTUAL PERSON MAKING THE COMMENT AND THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH PEOPLE AND AGE. For example take a 50+ year old person with a 25-30 year old kids. This persons opinion on how old someone else looks will be pretty much based on how old their kids look to them and you will be compared to them in their mind. You will also be comapred to the people of THEIR generation and how old they looked when they were your age. Its as simple as that. So dont feel down if one person thinks you are really young because the next person could have a very different opinion. This is FACT

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (13 July 2010):

****** PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE AS I BET IT WILL HELP ALL THE MALES ALOT ****

I am a 30 year old male and have had this problem all my life but i've found that everyone has different opinions. As of recently i was mistaken for 21-22 but just the other week someone thought i could be 30 so it varies greatly. som of the time people think i'm in my mid to later 20's but sometimes early 20's. I believe it depends on the person and their age. For instance if the person is 50+ people of that generation looked like they were 30+ when they were in highschool in my opinion. Alot of my friends have this problem who are my age so i'm not so sure if its genetics rather than generational. Since poeples opinions on my age vary so much ive found out a few things that have helped (this probably will only help males)

#1 hair in general seems to play a role in peoples age opinions. today someone thought i was 21-22 and i had almost no facial hair and a military style haircut (probaly associated that look with some kid right out of the military or in the military. When i would wear my hair up with product in it and had facial hair (mustache coming in and goatee) this lady thought i could be 30) I think wearing your ahir up and neatly combed with neatly trimmed facial hair and as much as you can grow will help alot. If you cant grow facial hair you might be screwed but try some product in your hair and slick it or whatever.

#2 i think your physique plays the most important role.

a couple years ago I had a pudgy out of shape physique with a round face and this was from my early to late 20's and people thought i could be in my late teens- no lie.

I started working out (p90-x program) and lost alot of weight- went from like 190-195 to 155. At this point i was skinny but in shape but this one person thought i was just out of highschool because of my skinny frame.

since this didnt work I went another route of bulking up- hitting the gym lifting heavy weight and now i am up to 170 and have big arms, very broad shoulders and a weightlifting appearance- also my face is more chizziled. This definetly added years and years to my appearance but still today i was miastaken for 21-22 but like i said i believe this was haircut related. Most of the time now i will get mid to late 20's and sometimes 30 and i believe its due to my big build now.

P.S. there are alot of bodybuilding supplements that increase testesterone and boost production of Human growth hormone which will probably help out alot too and they are all legal.

IF ANYONE NEEDS WORKOUT OR SUPPLEMENT ADVICE TO TRY TO GO THIS ROUTE I WILL BE MORE THAN GLAD TO ASSIST!

Thanks for reading.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (8 July 2010):

Hey everyone,

I am a 29 year old male pastor and I really have been encouraged by all of your accounts/experiences.

I go through the same thing all the time as I am often mistaken to be around 20-22, sometimes even 18,19.

What drives me most nuts is the 'boy' reference. Just the other day I was over at someone's house and this older man said to me that I should be given alot for lunch because I am a 'growing boy'!!! I think this guy is great and has a good heart but his comment just cut right to the core of me.

I exercise and workout and so I have a decent build and am by no means skinny. Plus I have a light beard which makes me a look a little older i.e. 22 instead of 19 clean shaven I would say.

Like many of you have said I am also convinced that it is a genetic issue, maybe even a lack of testosterone.

For all the trouble I could have in my life, looking young is probably the least of all of those things.

I will just encourage you all by saying that you just have to be confident in yourself and do your best to ignore the comments that people make.

You will have bad days but just keep your head up and know that you are God's creation and highly loved!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (7 July 2010):

I'm 29 and sometimes I ask people how old they think I am or if they just ask me I'll ask them to guess. Just recently this girl thought was 22. When I was 14, 15, 16 and even younger I wanted to look older. I remember lying about my age. If a girl was in a higher grade in school and I was attracted to her I'd just say I was a year or two older than I actually was. One time when I was 17 and this female was about 29 I lied and said I was 22. She said "you're 17" but I was told her it wasn't true. She would have gone out on a date with me but for some reason I didn't (maybe because my car had just broke down). By the time I was about 19 or 20 I decided it'd be better to look younger. People may say things but you just move on. It's life as someone else said. Anyway when I decided looking younger was better was about the time when I heard of someone who was 45 but he looked 25. The point is that if I can look 25 when I'm 45 and just slowly age imagine when I'm 75 not having a bunch of wrinkles and sitting in a rocking chair or hunch backed (all the stuff that comes with age.) I'm sure I'll really love it then. Just remember at least everyone doesn't act stupid when comes to how young we look.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (2 July 2010):

Hi everyone,

I'm about to hit 29. Pretty much everytime I meet someone they assume I'm around 21. I sent someone a photo recently and they were like "you must be younger than me right" turns out I'm 6 months older. It's very hard with women as most of them want a "man" not some young looking guy - they feel like people will judge them or whatever for being with me so most women tend to stay friends with me. I end up getting a little over eager and pushing people away. I used to laugh at people who clearly judged me, but I must admit it's get very lonely as I find younger girls very childish most of the time - yet no older women have wanted a realationship - not a proper one. They hide me away from thier friends. Its always affected me and my life is perhaps half of what it should be. To be honest I dread the "how old are you question" people react like I am a freak or something. Oh well thank God I am fairly well off. Lol.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 July 2010):

I feel a bit better, knowing that I'm not the only young person whom people treat like a kid. I'm 25, yet everyone (adults and kids) assumes I am a teenager, 14 or 16. It annoys me because I always speak respectfully to people, say, "Hello," "Excuse me," "Thank you," etc.; but that doesn't seem to matter to anyone.

Dressing nicer seems to help earn me a little more respect, although, I'm not happy that I have to worry about the clothes that I wear.

I wanted to have friends and help be a part of the world; It hurts to feel as though society has rejected me.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2010):

I'm 26 and get this all the time... It's truly frustrating, and to agree with some of the other posts, it makes you wanna just sock people in the face. I work for a fortune 500 company and was on a business trip to LA in March of this year... I was introduced to a business associate who said "I didn't know they were hiring high schoolers!" What a fucking bitch faced cunt.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2010):

To the guy who talked about never going out or having a relationship, - just keep going out regularily and talk with lots of women and just try to have a good time, regardless of how old you look. I'm in the same boat age wise but i can still find many women who are interested because i have a good time. Odds of probability are that even if you are unsuccessful with 99% of the women, there is the 1 woman you will find who will want a relationship with ya. trust me bro. And for added motivation, hit the gym if your skinny! makes you feel more like a man when your pumped after a gym workout!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 June 2010):

I know how it feels too! I'm 28 turning 29 in like a week and I get id'd all the time. In fact I get id'd to buy lotto tickets as well. I was at a store giving samples and the lady wouldn't give me one because she couldn't give out samples to people under 15 if their parents weren't present. Luckily my mom was there, HAHA!I'm a teacher and have 2 degrees and when people meet me they usually ask if I'm in school when I say no they and find out I'm a teacher they figure I just graduated and I' like 21. I think it is funny. Everyone in my family looks young though my dad is 57 and people think he's in his late 30's or early 40's, same as my mom. My cousin is 40 and people think she's in her 20's. So lets keep the fingers crossed that the good old genetics keep it up.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (21 June 2010):

Like others, I'm relieved to here others having the same problems. I am a 25yr old secondary school teacher. I've always been mistaken for younger, and constantly get asked for ID for cigarettes, alcohol, entrance into clubs etc... In a recent 'experiment' I look around 17-18. People who know me, friends/family etc... don;t underatand the problem. They say young looks will eventually become a positive. They also know me for me, and don't judge me on how I look - which doesn't help them empathise! I recently joined an internet dating site, took a photo of myself (age 25) and was 'banned' because I was underage!!!! Society really does discriminate against those who look younger. I'm also a gay man, and find I get 'chatted up' mainly by older men (who think i'm much younger). I'm not even bad looking, just young looking. It puts most people off having a relationship.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 June 2010):

I can seriously relate to all of you, i am on the verge of turning 21 in about 2 months and i constantly get mistaken for a 15 or 16 year old. I hate the fact that when i go places, people tend to treat me like a kid and being rude comes with the territory, they see a "child" doing "adult" things and they automatically believe they have the right to look down upon me. I have a hard time finding the right guys to date because they usually do not like the fact that i look jailbait. I tend to wear tons of makeup when i have nights out with my girlfriends, which sometimes helps..but what about when i don't want to wear tons of makeup? I understand that when i get older, i'll look younger, but i just hate the fact that i'm looked down upon just because of my physical appearance.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (12 June 2010):

Hey all i feel all of your pain.

I'm 26 and i still look about 16. All my life i have got the awkward comments about how young i look and have had people laugh in my face. Its hard to deal with and its probably the reason why i haven't moved forward with my life. I don't go out anywhere, i haven't been in a relationship, im unemployed and i live with my parents still. To someone else it must seem like i'm just a lazy layabout but i'm not i just dont want to be in them awkward situations anymore with people laughing at you. It doesnt help that i'm skinny aswell.

I understand where people are coming from with the suicide thing i have considered it myself but i don't think its the right option. We live in such a vain society that these things will never cease its just a matter of having the courage to deal with the constant criticism which you have no control over. I've just avoided the situations my whole life to give myself some peace but when i catch a glance in the mirror i tend to put myself down and i know its wrong.

At the end of the day, its something that is completely out of our control and you have two choices, deal with and live life or become a recluse and suffer, i have yet to gain the courage to move forward. My advice to the younger members dont let the negative comments get you down and into your head otherwise you will suffer the rest of your life.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (10 June 2010):

i am 28 and looks like 16, wheneva i try to act my age, people think i'm rather being rude. even at my age people see me and say "hey small girl how r u"? anyway I always ignore them, nobody accepts me as a woman. Recently i felt so much embarrassed by some nurses i met at the clinic, anyway i put them in their right places and they got so much offended, as i was leaving the clinic i heard one of the nurses say this in a form of an insult "a small girl acting like an adult" lol, i did not blame her because she hasn't seen my folder yet. i will be going there again and am just going to treat those who wont accept me for who i am, like they don't even exist.

I see no reason why someone wouldn't respect you because they feel you are underage damn respects must be given to all irrespective of their looks and age for Christ's sake how do i walk in with an age tag on ma forehead? lol.

The next time she or anybody gets offended by my presence am gonna tell them 'if they can't stand me behaving as an adult just because they feel i am not an adult, they can just pocket and bath coz am always gonna be me. I am indeed beautiful and blessed a lot of people can't stand me and because i look 10yrs younger than my age they think i am competing with them (ie.those who are around my age and don't seem to know) ....hahahahahahahaha they have to learn to cope with us Baby faced women/men with petit bodies because we gonna be around for a very loooooooooooooooooooooooong time to come. Don't ever think of ending it all because u r not being given the respect and attention you so deserves as ur peers, don't give room to mediocrity, when they show you disrespect because they think you don't deserve to be honoured just pay them back with disrespect and they will learn to accept you.

Wishing us all God's favour

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A male reader, Octavius Czech Republic +, writes (8 June 2010):

Good to read your posts and to know there are others with similar issues. I am 26 but, yes, people often get surprised about my age. "Oh, but you look so youngish!" I regularly get called a "boy" by ""adults"". I'm in the 2nd grade of college now and my classmates consider me as their age peer. They are also very surprised. "Oh, but you look our age, actually." On one hand, it may be considered an advantage since I am not the "old one" in the midst of 20-year-olds. But my younger looks do not change much actually: I am several years older than my classmates and mentally, I don't feel like I have a lot in common with them.

Curiously, people think I'm very young even though I do have facial hair. I let it grow a little - I only shave like every 2 or 3 days. Still, people think I'm a "boy". I don't know, it seems like I have a very young face (I cannot tell myself when looking in the mirror, don't know if it is a boy face or not). I also have chest hair but that's probably the only masculine thing about me. I have narrow shoulders and am slim. When I was buying a suit, the shop assistant told me it's not easy to choose the right jacket for me since I am in the midway between a boy and a man. She probably thought I was 17 or 18. Another time, when I was trying to buy a new pair of trousers, the lady just couldn't find the right size for me - the waist was way too loose for me. She looked at me and she said kind of desperately that my waist looked like that of a woman. It kind of hurt. When people have surprised comments on my age, I feel kind of flattered and hurt at the same time. It feels very strange. It makes me feel very unsure, insecure.

And yes, I feel a terrible lack of respect from others. Even from those who know what my age is. I also get told that I look anxious, that I have frightened looks, which does not help in making a dominant and self-confident impression, I guess. Maybe I look like a frightened boy. I have always had serious self-confidence issues which are a result of a despotic family education. At least, that's what I have always thought. I have always had the impression that people treat me like a nothing, without respect. Before reading this site, I didn't even make any connection between people's lack of respect and my presumed young looks. I just thought that I am simply like this, that I am a nothing and people somehow sense my insecurity. I have the feeling that other people always feel superior over me, that they are always ready to humiliate and berate me. Even some college teachers do so. My colleagues at work think they can do anything with me. I guess my younger look is not the only thing involved in this trouble with people, but it may be the starter.

Please, if anyone of you is willing to share his experience with me, do not hesitate to do so! I would be very glad! I hope there's a way to send a private message, I have seen e-mail addresses are being deleted.

Take care! And be positive about yourselves if possible! Do not hate yourselves for looking younger!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (31 May 2010):

Wow glad I found this thread. Just spent 2 hours reading it and I know exactly what you all mean. I've had practically identical experiences in my life and I can tell you one thing - it really sucks. I'm 22 (turning 23 in a month) and I constantly get remarks about how young I look. Everyone who doesn't know my age gives me 15-16 max. Also I have high metabolism so I'm skinny and it's impossible to gain any weight as much as I would love to. I get asked for ID at bars, clubs, shops etc. The one thing I hate most of all is that look on peoples faces when I go somewhere I "shouldnt" belong. For example I'm doing my senior year at university and I get that look every day, like "what is that kid doing here, shouldn't he be in school or something". The same is when I go to a club. And no, it's not my imagination. My friend's girlfriend once said that even her 14 years old brother looked older than I am. I just laughted at that moment but deep inside it really hurts. The problem is, I really take this stuff personally. Also since I'm guy it's even harder. You know how guys are supposed to be strong and mature and all that stuff?

My self confidence is practically destroyed thanks to this "gift". I know some people said that you should act more confidently but how in hell can I do that when I look like a skinny 15 year old kid! :(

As for dating, I haven't had any real girlfriend. Ok maybe once - we kind of dated till she told me that she wanted a more grown up man....lol (thats what she actually told me).

Crazy thing is that I actually feel younger too, and so I find that I'm rarely attracted to girls my age, because most of them look umm... old :D I would love to date a girl 5-6 years younger than me but then again I'm afraid what would they think of me when I tell them my real age.

Overall so far it's been real nightmare for me :(

Sorry for any grammar errors - english is not my native language.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (27 May 2010):

haha its so good to see that there are actually other people with the same problem, im 19 years old and i look about 13 or 14, its a good thing i have a deepish voice or i would probably be guessed even younger. my dentist even questioned my age! so then i decided to go to the doctors to see if anything was wrong and it turns out i got an underactive thyroid which slows metobilism so maybe some other people with this same problem have this too so i recommend to get it checked out guys by having a blood test. im nt sure if an underactive thyroid affects looking young but it does control thyroxine and stuff which i think has something to do with it.

also it could just be to do with gentics ask if your parents looked young for their age when they were younger, and ye it totally sucks when people question ur age i just feel like hitting them for some reason, talk about state the obvious they tell me like i dont realise i dont look young haha, i only look at myself everyday in the mirror yet i realise i dont look young? i dont think so, fucking idiot people.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 May 2010):

Hey I'm 16 but look about 12-14. It doesn't seem like much, but it kills me when I'm out with let's say...my boyfriend and people ask if I'm his little sister. (Sometimes I say that I am and then make out with him right there...watching people's reaction is really really funny.) Lately it hasn't been so bad. I've taken to getting my nails done (simple nude colours with french tips) and I cut off 15inches of hair, leaving me with a chic bob. I also have been experimenting with tailored blazers and jackets, paired with casual tops, skinnies, and flats or heels (I'm only 5'5'). Wearing a pushup bra (I'm pretty much straight up and down) and showing a little TASTEFUL cleavage has also helped. As for makeup, I have always been very conservative. I wear a little powder blush, black eyeliner on my upper lids (I'm asian so I have very dark hair/eyes), a neutral eyeshawdow, mascara, and red lipgloss. It sounds like a lot but it literally takes 2 mins and works wonders. I am also trying to act my age, or a little bit more mature. I have been to etiquette school, and I model and act, so I fake it to make it. :) I hope my experiences help. Good luck. 3A-C

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A male reader, floduh United States +, writes (15 May 2010):

hi, i'm 22 going on 23 male here. My facial hair never filled in all the way and it has left me looking 16. I'v learned to live with it, that is all I can say...

Just for the record females shouldn't be complaining about looking young.

In my opinion, it truly is a living hell for us guys that all you girls cannot even imagine.

,,.,.,just my 2cents

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 May 2010):

I'm 18 and look about 15. Although I have a lot of friends and haven't gotten many comments on my appearance vs. actual age, I'm incredibly self-conscious about it all the time. (I wonder how much of it is in my head...) However, I'm starting college next year and am incredibly nervous about sticking out like a sore thumb because of my appearance.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (8 May 2010):

I totally understand where you guys are coming from, im 19 years old, 2nd year in college, Im asian and im 5'4. I met this girl for the first time the other day, and one of the first things she said to me was "you look really young" I was soo frustrated and it bothered me endlessly.

Its a total drag, I wish I was a bit taller, or had a more masculine face. One or the either.. not both in deficiency.

I've had that crap where they say "Oh you will appreciate it when you get older", all I got to say is F that cause im not waiting 40 years to get a date just to appreciate myself for once.

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A male reader, eddie12121277 United States +, writes (6 May 2010):

Hi Ya All: I am (44) years of age and Male. Most people think that I am (20~25) years old. It is really amazing. I have asked so many people, (How old do you think I am). Most say (20~28) years old. I do take care of my skin, but I have smoked since I was 15 years old and drink Rum and Diet Pepsi each and every day. I walk about (2) hours each day, Eat lots of Veggies and stay away from Butter, All Breads, ALL fried foods, All Fast foods and mainly eat Baked Chicken and Baked Pork Chops with (NO) Breading. I also drink lots of water and Green Iced Tea with Ginsing ! I don't know what it is, But I keep getting younger looking each week. It may be a combination of many things, BUT at (44) years old, most people think that I look like a little kid. I know that many rich people spend thousands of dollars to look young, but this is my (TRUE) every day life story. Praise God !

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (6 May 2010):

I know i have dealt with this problem but I believe that this issue is probably genetic but I really don't mind this issue I mean it could get embarrassing but I try not to let this burrow I look younger than all my friends who are 17-20 I am about to be 19 and i get ID weekly I was asked last night if i wanted something off the kids menu for 12-13 The waitress could not have been older than 15-16 i was really embarrassed because I was treating my friends because we hadn't seen each other in a while. It made my evening crummy but i put on a charade of it not bugging me I joked and said "well I look young so when I am 50 I ll look 35. My dad looks young for his age he has a strong body and looks 33-35 His actual age is 48.

The thing is that we should not worry about it I don't mind and I socialize with people much older than myself 35-44 They say I am bright and smart for my age I like they give me something better to talk about than my young adult friends that only care about girls skirts. I only date a few girls they are always older than me funny story when I was introduced by a friend to someone their 13 year old sister asked me on a date I was 18. I have always been the youngest in my class even now when I am in college I have learned to deal with it and I really show them that I might look 14 but I have the wisdom of a 64 year old man.

My advise to everyone if you like yourself than their is no problem and people thoughts you should care about are the ones willing to get to know you regardless of what you look like.

Oh I made it worse I shaved my beard so now i am smooth

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (5 May 2010):

It can be hard to have confidence in yourself when you continually have an onslaught of others questioning your age, let alone your competence. I am a 23 year old finishing an internship at a well-respected NYC hospital. Every 3 weeks I have to switch rotations and convince doctors, nurses, social workers, patients, parents, and whomever else I come in contact with that I am a professional. I can speak well and hold my own in most social situations, yet I get frustrated when someone questions my age. My initial reaction is to say "that is a personal question, would you mind telling me how old you are?" My general response to you look young is "I take good care of myself: I eat my fruits/vegetables and exercise." What bothers me the most is the silent looks and whispers with eyes in my direction. Usually I pick up the conversation but it is rude let alone inappropriate to make such accusations in a professional environment. My advice is to be happy/confident/satisfied/comfortable in your skin. I know that no matter what others think, say or imply, that I belong and their objections are reflections of their insecurities of themselves. I am who I am and I like me. All 23 years of me (even if I have a fresh 18 year old appearance) can run with the bulls. Most of the time people have to keep up with me. Looking young doesn't mean you have to act or feel that way. At the end of the day I am satisfied with my own company.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 May 2010):

Mate I'm 25 and still get checked for ID, facial hair helps. my ex-girlfrient prefered me with a gotee but i've gone back to clean shaven and now i've had people thinking i'm 18-19 again.

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A female reader, brg245 United States +, writes (26 April 2010):

Finding this site was a wonderful surprise. Its comforting knowing that we're not alone. I am 21, around 5'1, weigh around 105 lbs and am constantly harrassed about my age. I look like i'm 13. Whenever people say "how old are you?!" I always ask them to guess. I make it into a game for myself... no one can guess right, mwhahah! Usually people guess anywhere from 12-18 (mostly in the 12-16 range), but occassionally i'll get the oddball like 23 or 26. Some people have actually been spot on, but only after having a conversation with me. It is extremely exhausting and often frustrating always feeling the need to overcompensate for ones appearance. Getting asked for ID is such a pain. I'm always afraid someone won't believe me and take away my drivers license. I'm currently studying abroad in Italy, and have gotten asked for my ID 7 times... the drinking age is 16, and its not really inforced, yet I got asked. I always feel as though people are judging me, questioning why I'm there. i often feel invisible, or not respected. And i'm so sick of hearing "you'll appreciate it so much when you're older". Such bull! So what, I'm supposed to wait until I'm older to be happy? Ever heard of emotional scars? they don't go away! People are so oblivious to the effects of ageism and how hurtful and degrading their comments can be. I know I look young. I can't help it! I am what I am. Why do people always feel the need to state the obvious?

In terms of dating, for some reason I attract older guys. I have no clue why, and often I find myself wondering if they are pedifiles. Seriously. My last boyfriend was 30, and I was hooking up with 34 year old for awhile. Occassionally I'll get hit on by 40-somethings, and once a 50 year old dude gave me his business card. Usually I meet guys in the 26-33 range. They flock to me for some reason. I don't get it. Currently though, I've been seeing a younger guy. He's 18. I've never dated down before in my life. It feels so strange, but for some reason, I can understand why he'd be interested in me. I don't question his attraction. Although he originally guessed I was 13 when he first met me... I wanted to punch him in his b-sack. We met at a bar. I had a drink in my hand. Now I ask you: what would a 13 year old be doing in a bar at 11pm on a Wednesday night?! Come on now, use your brain people!

The really frustrating thing is that there is nothing we can do except try to not take it personally. It just hard because there is always gonna be that a-hole that just HAS to point out how young you look... which basically is like them pointing out that you look like you don't belong. F-you, buddy! We shouldn't have to prove to anyone that we belong somewhere. Unfortunatly society puts a huge emphasis on age in terms of: respect, rights of passage and limitations, jobs, responsibilities, etc. I think the issue of age is one of the most overlooked, mainly because most people look their age or older and have never had to worry about being questioned for being somewhere, or feeling insignificant, or like an outsider, or like an adult trapped in a child's body.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 April 2010):

hey, its so nice to be able to relate to you all. Im 22 and always have people think that I am anywhere between 16-19 i often get asked 'hows school?'-i finished school 6yrs ago!!! then you get the weirdo's that are ten yrs older than your actual age and thought you was 16-17 hitting on you!eww! i find it frustrating because I've never been one one of these people who wanted to older but just my age-or wants to focus on my outward appearance-but being made very aware of it. It makes you feel like a little kid, then you fall into the trap of acting like a little girl because you thats how you feel around others-I dont really like wearing make-up and when i wear dresses i feel like a kid playing dress-up-When people actually talk to you they realise you're mature and confident when Im on my own-but jus feel like a non-age little kid- tryin so hard to act and feel my age but when Im around others especially females my own age i feel like an idoit and aware of how young i look especially when those that are the same age or younger talk to you in a voice they use for little kids! Where i was working i was 20 but every1 thought i was 16-you could see the surprise on their faces when i told them-in the end i hand my hands ready to catch their eyeballs when they popped out!lol its also hard because i like to have a laugh and but also am mature-but you tend to hide you're silly side because you think it will validate even more the view you're younger. sometimes you wanna let them know what you've been through and that you're probably more adult than the lot of them! Never feel like you're being yourself. Well best advice I can give is be friendly with all and friends with few- your friends should be those that make you feel good and be yourself-cant worry about what others think because im sure they dnt care- although does drive you crazy!lol

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (13 April 2010):

Hey everyone, I just wanted to post since I've been dealing with this issue and certainly feel your pain.

I'm 29, look about 20-21 tops. It's really problematic and uncomfortable at work, as I'm a Collegiate Track & Field Coach and often get mistaken for one of my own athletes!

I've sporadically sought medical advice for why I appear so young. I had testosterone injections at 16 which helped spur my growth, but I've always looked young. I'm a little embarassed to admit, but I've recently talked my doctor into letting me go back on Androgel in hopes that it helps.

My advice to anyone younger is advice that I wish I would've received myself. Try and be confident and carry yourself as such. And if you're not confident, use the old "fake it 'till ya make it" adage. Don't make a joke about how young you look (or lie about your age, as I found myself doing in my teens), but don't let anyone see that it bothers or embarasses you.

I agree with the poster who mentioned about dressing older, etc...it has definitely helped my own confidence.

I'm a little curious if anyone on here has been given a medical explanation for their young appearance, as I'm convinced there has to be SOMETHING behind it.

I'm going to wrap this up since it's late, but thanks to you all who have already chimed in, it's great to know I'm not alone!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (11 April 2010):

I am happy to know that am not the only one with this problem. I am 14 gonna be 15 on August.

Once I was walking at night around 8:00 p.m with my mate and a cop came and asked my age I said I was 14 and he said that I looked younger than that.

That offended me so much. =[

Man I wanna look like my age.. someone help!!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 April 2010):

I'll be 23 years old in a month, and I constantly get mistaken to be much younger than I am (anywhere from 13 to 19). Around a year ago, I went to the embassy to renew my passport and the lady behind the counter told me that I needed my dad there because they can't renew passports for people under 14 years old without a parent there - how embarrassing!! Bouncers at clubs also usually seem surprised about my age when they ask for my ID.

To top it off, my younger sister (who is three years younger than I), usually looks three years older than me to other people. When we are out somewhere together, people have even asked her whether she is babysitting her younger sister (i.e. me).

I have always been quite thin, have young facial features, and small breasts (A cup), whereas my sister has a very well-rounded body (think Beyonce).. I think that my physical appearance, in combination with the fact that my sister has always been more extrovert than I, might have something to do with it. I'm constantly trying to gain weight, but find it very difficult because of my high metabolism (I can literally eat loads but not gain any weight - which to ME is a curse).

On a side note - my mom has also always looked younger than she is. When I was a toddler, people were always very shocked to find out that she was already a mom. When she was pregnant and at home one day, a mailman asked her whether she was on holiday from school (this was when she was 26 years old!).

The only thing I can recommend is to be (or at least act) confident, by, for example, walking with a good, strong posture (straight back), smiling at people when you approach them, and taking the initiative. Try to make it clear to others that you want respect, to be treated like an adult, and that you are not inferior to them.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2010):

Haha looks like i'm not the only one who considers this a "problem". I'm 22 almost 23 and everytime i go in a liquor store or gas station to buy any kinda alcoholic drank, I get stupid looks and can't even look the people in the face because it only makes me look like a lie. i was told by people that i look 17, someone even said i looked 14. the people that hired me thought i was 18, yet they had my ID checked and everything..

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (29 March 2010):

I think its worse for a male if you have this problem...especially if you're a short male. I'm 16 years old and look around 12-13? not as bad as most but i have still been put in a LOT of embarrassing situations.

Whenever i go to the movies or other places that require ID to say you're over 15 i would be the only one to get checked. We've all been their and so you know how terrible it feels. My friends mother even got into a fight with me in front of all my friends because she thought i was lying about my age...

Starting the two best years of high school have been terrible so far and i'm pretty sure its only going to go down hill from here...

No girls ever want to be with you at all...i don't exactly blame them.....But they look down on you and join in the teasing which really gets to me.

All my friends now are guys, iv never had a girlfriend and i don't think i ever will.

Suicide can't be the only option but lately that choice just keeps on creeping up at the back of my mind...

I'm loosing friends and hardly ever hang out with anybody outside school, i get laughed at and questioned if i drink any alcohol at a party and now this loneliness is only adding to the pain....

how could this possibly be a gift?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 March 2010):

I thought as well that I was the only one going through this. I am almost 33 with 2 kids, 13 and 10, and I get people telling me that I barely look 18 or 20. It is very degrading. You don't get the respect that you want. People that I know at work ask my age and they don't belive me. It's funny, because after I tell them they do treat me with more respect. It is hard to go the Dr or school with my kids. People look at me as if I had my kids when I was 10. There was a post earlier that suggested gaining weight. That's exactly what I have been trying to do. I am 5'1" and weigh 112. Anything will help.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 March 2010):

Bless all of you who commented! I know your pain! It is wonderful knowing that other people suffer from this situation as well. I am going to be turning 25 in less than a month and I get told I constantly look 14. I have lost about 20 pounds becuase I am so busy with work and school. It just happened over a period of 6 months. When people talk to me they know that I am mature for my age but I just look young. Having braces does not help lol. I got hit on by a 16 year old recently and people look astonished when they discover that I am 24 unless they know me. I have laughed at some of these comments because I know how you feel. It depresses me and makes me feel really horrible as well. People just need to keep their freaking traps shut. You know the nice thing about looking young and being thin is that most of the people who are the same age as me have gotten fat, and aged drastically. I am still maintaining my youthful appearance, which can be a blessing and a curse. Don't let it get you down seriously. You won't have to worry about all of those anti-aging products and many different hairstyles and clothes to make yourself appear younger. Nice thing is though is that I actually had a guy my age ask me out. Boosted my confidence a little. Just remember that you are not the only one suffering from this, and only you can take the experiences and find something humorous in the situation. Turn the negative into a positive, and remember this to shall pass. Take care everyone!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 March 2010):

Hello, it is very refreshing to read everyone's comments about looking young for their age. I am a 23 year old female who is 5"2 and 112 pounds. I too get constantly told that I look considerably younger than my actual age. Whenever I went to vote last year this woman said, "you don't look old enough to vote, you look 14." That hurt me so bad because this was my first time voting and I was very excited about being part of helping to make a difference in our country. I get told that I look 14-16 a lot and some people even tell me that I look 12. I know I shouldn't be sensitive and focus so much on my appearance but when people constantly tell you that you look so young for your age , it gets depressing for some. I feel that some people treat a person by how they look. I noticed that I often times try to wear heels a lot, even makeup and wearing hairstyles that might make me look my age. However, most of the time it still doesn't help but at the end of the day all I should be focusing on is being myself and focusing on the things that truly matter in life. Like many of you I still can't seem to get over the comments that people make.

Also, it doesn't help that I am dating a 33 year old man. While he looks around 25, it still doesn't matter because some people have mistaken me for being his daughter. It also doesn't help that his 13 and 14 year old daughters are taller and some may say that I look their age and think that I'm their sister. My boyfriend doesn't have a problem with it but I know he is tired of me talking about looking so young all the time. Anyways, I could go on and on but I've already written enough. I just needed to vent to people who truly know what it's like. It really is ageism that we are facing.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 March 2010):

PLEASE READ: Hi guys, Im nearly 22 in may, and I get mistaken for 16-17. When I was 18 I looked like I had just turned 14.

At my college the 1st day they thought it was a joke I was there and thought I must be the younger sister of a college student.

Every new person I meet thinks I'm in high school and especially my parents friends have younger high school sons and when they bring them over they start hitting on me thinking im 16. When I tell them my age, they are shocked and act differently around me, although they still like me.

No guy my age or older is ever interested in me as they think Im much younger than them, so I've never really had a boyfriend its that bad.

I'm also asked for ID wherever I go and sometimes they dont believe me and I have to argue to get in, which doesnt work, while my friends get in to have a fun night I have to go home!! So I stopped going to clubs as its always a problem, however once I did go with my cousin and her older boy mates and I got in with them. Well it does help a little when a friend helps out to do your makeup and that makes me look 18 sometimes.

HOWEVER I have learned TO ACCEPT IT!! GUYS!! think how lucky you really are in the future you will look younger!! you will be 40 and look 5-10 years younger. People as young as 23 are getting plastic surgery and doing everything they can to look young.

In fact you get a lot of compliments for looking young, which is a boost to your self esteem and you can get away with things for looking young and cute.

Some of my best friends are much younger than me, because of how I look and they love me and I actually have more fun with them. Believe me the media even emphasises about youth.

COnsider yourself lucky!!! to tell you the truth I get jealous now if a girl my age or older looks much younger than me. PLEASE BE HAPPY WITH YOUR YOUNG LOOK YOU ARE SOOOO LUCKY and I hope I stay looking young for a long time.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (15 March 2010):

Hi I have the same "problem" as all of you guys here. I am 22 (23 in may) and I look a lot younger. When I tell people I am finnishing university this year they never believe me and say that they thought that I was 18 at max. Last time I was at the dentist he was talking 5 minutes about how young I look. It was so horible to listen to him. I am always quiet when I meet new people for a couple of first minutes and it might be because of this. I dont have low self esteem, but sometimes my look keep me from enjoying myself as much as I would like to. I am so glad I found out that there are so many other people like me.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (14 March 2010):

I am so glad i am not the only one going through this.

I am currently 21 years old, and i always get carded anywhere i go. Even rated R movies! People say i look like 16. i once heard someone say that i looked 10 years old. I hate looking young so much. My confidence in dating, or anything social has gone down the drain. Everyday when i go to work, i feel it's a drag since guest are always staring at me. One time, a guest whispered to someone, " i cant believe they give jobs to kids before they hit puberty...". Life's such a drag. At school, people just stare. Trying to figure out how old i am. I hate when people make stupid comments like "when you're older, your going to young/thankful". I usually give attitude to those who say stuff like this. I'm so sick of tired of people saying stuff like this. Hearing it everyday.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 March 2010):

This is something that happens to everybody in my family.

When My aunts were like 30 and they looked like 20, my and my sister we both look so freaking young, i understand your pain. Am 26 and last year i got ask for a freaking ID.

Showing your ID is no problem but i agree with the people that says dating is an issue.

Now is not just finding someone you like, you have to consider the age and how you look together.

As a male is very troublesome for me because if i start dating 19 year olds is just weird and creepy and for dating older women they usually like older looking guys.

Thats the other thing, for men this condition is far worse considering women usually like to date older guys.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 March 2010):

I feel the pain of alot of you.I am 23 nearing 24 and get asked for i.d for alchohol ,cigarrettes and even recently ,a scratch card.I have a girlfriend who is 25 and isn't bothered by it ,or so it seems ( who knows).But i feel like i am not a man in the eyes of her parents and friends.I just feel like a pathetic kid.I don't know if this is common with you guys aswell but my facial hair never fully developed.I'm a man everywhere else ,hair on my chest ,stomach ,arms etc.I get hair on my chin and above my lip, like i could grow a pretty lame goatee if i wanted,the hair isn't thick though and i only need to shave every 2/3 days.But i don't get any sideburn hair at all,which i think is the biggest killer in looking way young.It doesn't usaly get to me this but i tend to avoid buying cigs and scratch cards now..like i don't mind getting carded for booze but i take real offence at being treated like a 15 year old.I think a big problem is confidence with me now to.I have so low self esteem i feel and look really unfomfortable when buying age restricted things the shop worker probly feels that i have something to hide.It has been comforting to hear that i am not alone in this and have taken some postives from reading this page

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 March 2010):

I can't tell you how much reading this thread has helped me! I'm so glad there are other people out there suffering from BFS. Baby Face Syndrome.

I'm a 20 year old college junior that is constantly mistaken for 16 or 17. This isn't that bad, and usually doesn't bother me too much. I has definitely gotten better now that I've grown; I'm now 5'8 after growing 4 inches in college. What does bother me, however, is that my younger sister and cousins have always looked older than me. And I mean always. My sister, 2 years younger than me, has been mistaken for the older sister since we were like 7 and 5. It just gets to be really depressing after a while.

Another problem: I'm still underage, which is fine, not a big deal. Except that all my friends go out to the bars and clubs with their fakes. Even if I had the most legitimate fake ID, no one would ever let me in. I have such a baby face, and lack the confidence to act like I'm older.

I guess I have all the same problems and grievances as the rest of you. Hopefully I will soon hit that magical day that my family, friends, and complete strangers keep telling me about: the one where I finally appreciate looking young.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (5 March 2010):

I'll be 27 in June, but people still believe I'm 16 years old! One guy had the audacity to say I looked 13!

I'm a big woman...and I certainly don't look like a child!

3 years ago, I got into an argument with a Greyhound employee because of my age.

I almost missed my bus back home because he looked at my ID and said that it couldn't be me, that I must be using my cousin's ID because I look so young.

I get hit on by guys younger than me, but I don't date anyone under 30 years old.

I guess when I hit 30, I'll look like I'm 20...

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 March 2010):

Wow. It's nice to know I'm not alone. I'm a 22 year old female. 5'0", 100lbs. I was last told that I look about '15' by my hairdresser. (Thanks.) I knew he was thinking young when he asked me which school I attended and whether or not I had a boyfriend yet.

I tell my friends and family, who insist I'm "blessed", that I'm constantly discriminated against. Jobs, mostly. We all know the saying about first impressions and when a seemingly 15 year old walks in for a full-time teaching position at your school it doesn't bode well. Even if I'm a college graduate and highly qualified, the taller applicant is going to get the job. Research shows shorter people get paid less.

I've tried everything! I've worn my hair both short and long. Both up and down. I'll never be able to wear a dress without looking like a little girl playing dress up. Honestly, that is how I feel about applying make-up. I still look like a teenager in the end. I suppose wearing heels constantly helps.

I don't mind being carded. Well, that's a lie. My friends never understand why spending a week in Vegas isn't appealing to me. Sure, it would be fun for them but meanwhile I'd have to wear my ID around my neck like a dog and put up with security every 10 seconds.

It's a hassle! I don't think they understand that even after I show people my ID they seriously do not believe I'm 22. The one time I agreed to "go have a beer" with a friend at a club the security determined that my ID was fake and kept it. I had to go get a new one.

It's mostly the dating aspect of it that bothers me though. It's not necessarily the high school guys hitting on me (yes - that's awkward!) but I point out I'm older and that chases them off. It's that I'm paranoid about any guy my age that actually DOES take an interest in me. What was he doing? Trolling the streets looking for his next victim? Is he a pedophile? Even if he's not and he's normal, how soon before he is going to want me to dress up like a Catholic school girl?

Yeah. I'm just not interested. Anyone else feel the same?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (28 February 2010):

Hello I am 20 years old and look about 16 or 17 years old

Looking young makes me self conscious and I worry about it a lot but i know that we have to love ourselves and appreciate whatever blessings we do have. So everyone I know it will be ok for us. Its refreshing to know im not alone and so many people feel exactly how i do. And sometimes it is difficult but there are a lack of tips on this page. So i will give some of my own tips to look older

Males:

Dress more mature and fashionable, dress stylish, dress like a grown ass man, wear sunglasses, try and really work out a lot, wear dress shoes, and this may be weird but put stuff in your shoes to make you taller like socks or shoe cushions or whatever you can to make u taller

Females:

Wear makeup, wear heels, wear boots with heals or stylish leather or suede boots, dress very mature how a woman in her 20's would dress or older, get a mature or sophisticated hairstyle, dress stylish fashionable and mature

If anything you can email me at

(Mod note: Sorry we can't publish e-mail adresses. That would have to be sent through a private message)

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (24 February 2010):

i have the same problem. there is one solution though

i noticed when iagained extra 15 pounds that my cheeks grew out more wich made me look much older. i use to get comments from people that i looked like a kid when i was 21 but when i gained weight i stopped getting those comments. so if you would rather give up ur facial looks to look more older gain an extra few pounds

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 February 2010):

I'm so glad I found this! I'm a 28 year old woman and I've been told that I look 12-13. Mostly I get the 18-22 range once someone talks to me for a bit, but it still hurts. People say "oh you're so little" and "are you old enough to work?" all the time. I find it very rude! I'm very self conscious and I don't tell other people they are fat or ugly so don't point out how young I look! It's very hard to meet someone my age to date, and when I do find guys my age they usually stop dating me because they get uncomfortable looks when we are out. I get carded multiple times in bars and casinos, even got asked for my ID last week to buy some Ibuprofen at my local drugstore. Just plain old Advil, nothing else!

The only things I've found to help me appear older is actually doing my hair and make-up. Which I hate because I don't need to wear make-up, but feel its needed for me to go out and look older. Also what I wear can make me look older. I find that my uniform helps people take me seriously (I'm a Paramedic) but I obviously can't wear it all the time. Anyone have any other suggestions?!?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (20 February 2010):

Wow, I was really surprised when I found this site because I didn't know there were this many people pissed about looking young. I'm 18, will be 19 in July and am in my second semester in college but I look 14-15. It's such a pain in the ass because at work, at school, at parties, any social event, I'm judged and thought of to be 3-4 years younger than I am. When people learn I'm 18 they laugh and often don't believe me. I often feel I am not shown any respect because everyone (often times even people younger than me) treat me like a little brother. I've desperately tried to alter my hair/clothes/posture/facial expressions to make myself look older but it rarely makes any difference. And it makes me more upset because most of the girls my age look through me and I don't want to date a girl 4 years younger than myself. Some people look for an anti aging cream, but I'd like to get some that aged me a few years...

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (18 February 2010):

I too am supposedly "blessed" by this condition and I'm both surprised and happy to have found this page. I'm 21 but only look around 16 and am sick of being the only person who gets ID'd when I go out anywhere. Add that onto the lack of respect people give you due to them thinking you're younger and it all adds up to this being anything but a blessing.

I've sat here for a good hour reading some of these comments and a lot of them have read as if I wrote them myself. It's great to know there are a lot of other people in my situation who know how I feel. People who look their age could never understand and just think it's great, often coming out with the generic line I've read many times here: 'Oh you're going to really appreciate it when you're older'.

I always smile and hopefully they are right but I would much rather just look my age. I'm sick of having to date girls 3-4 years younger than me because 21 year old girls just aren't interested in me, understandably, of course.

Anyway, I don't know if I'm supposed to do this but if anyone wants to email me that would be great. I don't know why I'm doing this to be honest but I guess it would just be nice to actually chat to some people in the same boat as me so to speak.

I'm from the UK, near Manchester to be more specific, but any messages would be welcome.

I'll definitely be bookmarking this page though and thanks to everyone for making me feel a little happier knowing I'm not so alone with this problem. :)

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (16 February 2010):

Fellas, you are not alone. I jsut turned 19 in college and regularly get told i look like im 15 and in middleschool. It really sucks, but i guess its the hand we were dealt. I've had girlfriends before, but having a baby face definitely gets in the way of things. Im 5'9" 145....im small but not drastically so. I'm glas to hear im not alone. Every damn party/social situation i go to i AT LEAST ONCE get reminded by some jerk that i look 4-5 years younger than i am. Yeah, thanks!...like i didnt know. I think everyone in this world needs someone that they can feel superior over; and if pointing out that someone looks wway young for their age makes someone feel better...9 times out of 10 ther gonna do it! People naturally need to feel better about themselves....don't let these jerks rain on you/OUR parade. Fk them.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (7 February 2010):

Wow I was surprised when I found this site. I've searched this a few times on Google but I've never found this before. I got the same problem too, but for me there may still be time for it to solve itself. I'm a 16 year old guy. But I look about 12 or 13. Once I was with my friend who goes to another school. Some of his friends were there too, and we'd never met before. I heard one of his friends whisper to my friend "Is that your brother?" I pretended not to hear but it got to me inside. I've stayed looking about the same since 11. I've barely changed. My voice isn't even broken or anything. I think puberty is only starting to kick in but if my voice never breaks and I'm stuck staying like this then idk how I'd be able to stomach it all my life. I don't have that many friends because of this, and I've lost all my confidence. I'm not very outgoing. I gotta feeling that if puberty is just kicking in now, then it might not be over until I finish my school life. I'm British, and I'm doing my A Levels. Life has considerably improved since I've started my A Levels because all the people around me are more mature and don't remind me how young I look. They treat me as an equal. When I was in high school, all the kids were meaner and stuff because that's just how kids are at that age. I'm kinda short too, and to add insult to injury, my friend is one of the tallest people in the school so it makes me look 10 times smaller than I really am. So it just really gets to me.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 February 2010):

Hey, Guess im having the same problem.

Im 15, 16 in april and people think im 11 or 10

its really upsetting. it sometimes makes me feel like not going out to partys or if me and my friends meet up with boys im afraid what they will think of me. Im not ugly. Iv been told im pretty, But i feel like if i ever go to a party and want to meet a boy they will think im 10 or somthing.

My mum shouts at me saying stop moaning! just dont worry about it you'l be greatfull when your older, But will i? id rather look my age now! i couldn't care less if i looked nice and young when im 30 or 40.. Because its making me ill, my mum just thinks its nothing...she doesn't realise what effect its having on me. I went out last night with my friend. everyone got drunk there was a bunch of 14,15,16,17 year olds at this party. and people was saying ' How old is your little friend' ' Is she 10?' I just ignored them and said ' no im 15 actually i just look younger and i smile'

But deep down it hurts me makes me unhappy, on the way home i even got into an argument. a girl said ' how old are you?' i said 15, She laughed and said dont lie its not clever liein your about 9 or 10. I said no its posible for someone to look younger than there age,, all tho she was drunk, i was about to kick the crap out of her but my friend just said leave it lets go. i feel like i cant dress older or wear makeup because SOME RUDE PEOPLE make me feel 10, so if i feel 10 i kind of makes me want to act like that... i left school in year 9 because i got depressed after my dad died. i dint go to school for a very long time. then i decided to start going to school again.

when i did i got anoying remarks and comments. so i left for good, now i get home tutoring. i still go out alot but every now and then i get comments about how young i look :/ just when my confidance builds up.. it goes straight back down. guess theres nothing i can do about it now tho.. :( guess il just have to get on with things try to stay positive some how.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (6 February 2010):

I am in the same boat- I am 28 and still look like a teenager (in my head at least). It has frankly destroyed my self-confidence my entire life. Although I know rationally that I probably look around 22 or 23, I am still plagued by insecurities that I look around 16, mainly caused by teenage experiences of being in bars and being told by random strangers that I looked 12 years old. I work out all the time and am pretty well built now but still can't shake the hang ups. People always say that I'll appreciate it when I'm older (i.e. 30s and 40s) which I think is absolute bullshit. I would swap my young face (and all of the shit I've had to deal with because of it) for looking my actual age in a heartbeat. This is a curse that has genuinely wreaked havoc on my life.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 February 2010):

I know how you feel, I have been treated like a child my whole life by people who dont know me, sometimes people I know quite well forget I am 22 years old. I know I have a baby face and I am quite petite, I constantly have 18 year olds in clubs trying to pick me up and its really awkward. People always asume I am lying about my age. Now I have fallen for a 19 year old after guys my own age and older rejecting me. I keep thinking it is wrong and I put myself down about it everyday, but when I look in the mirror I wonder if this will ever change. Sometimes I wish I looked my age and other times I wish I was just younger. I guess this will all be the best thing ever when I am over 30 and look like Im in my 20s but for now being stuck looking like a teenager is just annoying.

You could try dressing older, but then the fashion isnt too mcuh different for late teens as it is for early 20 year olds...I know I look ridiculous when I try to dress older.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 January 2010):

I feel you guys and gals. Im 26 still look 16 and it sucks. So hard to meet anyone when they all think your still in middle school. Tired of dating 19yr olds i want to find someone more my age more mature and at my stage of life. god its so difficult. oh well right? its a blessing so im told

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 January 2010):

I can't tell you how relieved I feel reading all of your awnsers! I'm in my 20's and ma constantly told I look twelve. The other day I actually had this older guy give me a really dirty look of disbelief, like I was some stupid kid pretending to be a grown up. I've also had people argue wit me and be like"no you're not! You're joking! SeriouslY?"

It used to deeply offend me but now I'm just annoyed. One of you mentioned how being fat or ugly is taboo and people would never comment on that but looking very young is fair game. I don't feel my age in the least . Sometimes I just want to lie and say that I have a medical condition and watch people squirm, lol.

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A male reader, Alex stone United States +, writes (25 January 2010):

when i was around 20 . i usually go to clubs or watch nirvana live im a big fan of nirvana and people always lookin at me thinkin why this goddamn boy is here . but when i started to realize what my personal appearance was i became weak

im 38 now 5'4 105lbs people always think that im a goddamn boy

because i look young like 19 with this ugly face . i didnt have the proper face thats why im so fucked up

i already accepted that im just a crap , i couldnt get jobs , no wife . thats why i usually get some prostitutes if had money to fullfill my needs

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 January 2010):

I get ID and I am 30 lol... Half the time it's not even the way you look- in my case it's a lack of confidence that makes people in a shop think 'ohhhh she must be young'. I don't think it's worth trying to make yourself look old- life goes too quickly anyway!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (23 January 2010):

I personally have no idea how you can make yourself look older. One thing you certainly can alter is your physical attributes, slim down, put on some muscle bla bla bla.

I too look very young for my age. I'm 20, yet a year ago I try to buy a DVD and get asked for ID. This film was a 15 by the way. I was shocked! On countless occasions I have bought a 15 and I never thought to take my ID. To really add insult to injury though, the idiot behind the counter goes,'you look VERY young for fifteen.' Now to be honest, I can't help but laugh about this, we've all got our shortcomings, this happens to be ours, no pun intended....

But guys and gals, seriously, don't let it get to you. The trouble with the world is too many people say too many things off the cuff with little reflection on how it could be interpreted, we're all guilty of that I believe. Suicide is certainly not the answer, you've got to rise above and enjoy everything that life has to offer, like a cup of tea - beautiful. Here's a quote to finish from the fine Bertrand Russell:

'I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated but he replied " the big hit me, so i hit the babies; that's fair'. In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.'

Isn't that awesome! Rise above the bullies and the nasty comments, understand that these things only matter if you let them and sooner or later you'll realize you have a lot more than you originally thought. Who gives a crap what others think eh?

Over and out folks, take care.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (21 January 2010):

Im 21.....look 15 or 16.....which basically means Im 15 or 16, because I feel like you are only as old as you look since that is how people treat you. The only bar I go to is a small one in my hometown where I know everyone, otherwise if I go to a bar anywhere else I have idiots coming up to me telling me I look "twelve" the entire time. Noone will ever tell someone they are fat or ugly, but for some reason everyone thinks its perfectly fine to harp on the fact that someone looks young. Ive come to accept the fact that I will never be respected as an adult, but o well....what can u do.....

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 January 2010):

I'm almost 30 and can pass for a teenager. Even though I get it all the time, I am still speechless when rude people ask my age or go on and on about how young I look. This doesn't just happen at stores or bars. It happens at work all the time. Any good comebacks that will make them feel dumb for being so rude but not come across disrespectful?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 January 2010):

I have the same problem im 18 years old and i look like in 12. I known im going to grow soon but in getting so tried of people telling me your going to love it when your older because, im not. I want to look old now, high school was suppose to be the best time of my life and it turned out to be the worst. My friends think im immature but im just outgoing and a guy hasen't asked me out once. then i have my 12 year old sister who looks like shes 16 and she and family says wear makeup and dress older and people will treat you older. But im not like that im not a makeup fan and im sporty so i don't like dressing up and why should i act like someone i am not. I know a lot of girls who dress in sweats don't wear makeup and have boyfriends. I wish this world didn't look at looks so much its not our fault we look young. Im fun outgoing and will try anything but people barely give me the time of day. Also the thing i hate the most is when people pat me on the head im not a dog and when i wear makeup and dress up people tell me i look cute. Cute is not in my dictionary anymore. As much as we all want to change im glad im me in a way i learned a lot and one day im going to rewarded some how. Also i pay five dollars at the movies instead of ten. So hahaha to all the people who have to pay ten.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (19 January 2010):

Welcome to the story of my life.

Ever since day one I've been the short little kid, but in my head I've felt years older then my peers. Once high school came around, I started getting use to the shortness, but it was really then that I realized how I didn't fit in. I'll be 21 in May, and I still look 15. It's caused me to have a severely love self esteem and low confidence. Sometimes I short change myself and won't even apply to a job cause I can easily get out done by some older looking peer that is easier to the eyes.

I don't know guys, it just sucks. Maybe dwelling on it has made it worse in my head, but the evidence is still there. What's worst is I have two little sisters, 12 and 13 and they already look older then I do.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (15 January 2010):

I'm 25 and I am totally lost in life. The oldest I can pass for is 16 or 17.

Before I continue, I'll say, this is not intended to be a response to any specific question or comment by anyone, but just my thoughts right now.

Some people say looking young is a gift.

A gift to some, is a CURSE to others....to me....to any person who was social in times past, but now often hides from the world outside, tired of the cold that it brings. I've tried to keep the fire going....my fire...our fire, but the constant disrespect from people who judge a person by their looks (which is everyone) is wearing me down.

Trying to pretend to be positive and listen to the idiots who tell me "I'll appreciate this young appearance later", just doesn't work for me any more. And yes, those people ARE idiots! Don't EVER believe them.They think they're helping but here's some REAL help/advice for anyone who looks younger than their true age and suffers because of it: FORGET about the future. Hoping for some magical time when you can say "I'm so glad I don't look old" is only going to drag you down more. Why should I have to wait 20 extra years to be treated as an adult? Now is what matters to me.

My father is now 63 and he still passes for 45-50. If I'd believe anyone who told me to enjoy looking younger, it'd be him, but he never has, because he knows the pain that those kind of hopeless statements inflict. I can see some satisfaction in his eyes when we joke to one another about how everybody else is looking older and fatter, but then, dispite him trying to hide it, I can see a saddness come over him. I've never told him that, but I know he can see it in my eyes as well.

Often these sympathetic souls (who offer a pat on the back) are the very same bastards who would insult you and embarass you if they didn't know you personally. They judge by age just like everyone else.

I toally agree with all of you who REALLY know what it's like to live like this. Sounds like a lot of you here do.

This society rewards the clowns who "look" mature, when the rest of us who don't age correctly have to work ten times as hard for respect.

As a man, looking much younger than you are is a major battle. I've never felt REAL respect from anyone without having to prove myself, and even then, I still don't trust it.

. It was not as bad when I was a young kid. I always looked younger, but kids are not expected to compete with adults....that is until your mind ages, but your body does not, or at least not as fast as everyone around you, and you find yourslef to be a man TRAPPED in a teenager's body.

Women who are 25-30 don't want to date teenagers, and I don't blame them. But I don't want to date teenagers either, obviously. And yet, those are the only females that seem to be attracted to me. Even after building up my physical body, I still get the looks like "is that kid old enough to be in this club/bar?" or after I go up and talk to women I hear things like "you're really nice, but I graduated from high-school a while ago honey" I laugh and say, so did I, but I can tell that it's going nowhere. They want a man not a boy. If I could just look in the mirror once and see a man, every other problem in my life would seem like nothing. I say that with all of my heart.

I can't seem to find any reson to keep waking up in the morning. I'm serious...and NOT just trying to get attention. Attention solves nothing, only respect. If anyone knows any secret to help me, or to help anyone reading this, PLEASE share it. You'd probably save a few lives...mine included, which is probably not going to continue for very long after I write this. I don't want to live anymore like this.

I've tried so hard to stand up for myself, even getting in fights, but that never seems to solve anything. It's nice to see pain inflicted on those who hurt me, but in the end their bloody broken faces don't help them or me. I've certainly gotten my ass kicked too for refusing to be treated like I'm stupid because I look so young. Stupid, or sometimes just invisible.

Why is this such a serious thing? I tell you why: It's serious because without honor, what does a person have? I suppose the honorable thing to do is to continue living like this from day to day, but I don't think I'm strong enough anymore. And we (people) are just dumb animals, and as we all know, in the animal kingdom, it's survival of the fittest....or the strongest..or whatever.

I've also tried to balance the lack of trust and respect (because of my young looks) with a great carreer. I've been working as a professional published artist for about 6 years now. Since I was 19. I've work on major hollywood properties, sold paintings through gallaries for thousands of dollars as well as drawn comics for DC comics, Marvel, Image, IDW and more. None of this seems to help. I'm still treated as a child. Any success has been a struggle. That struggle has taken it's toll.

I've always had a passion for art and painting and ,despite my hatered for those with big egos, a talent that is seriously on the level with some of the greatest arists of our time. This is usually the person I feel like most of the time and believe myself to be...until I'm reminded that everything important is "before your time kid"

F*#k that. Most people who say that are younger than me and they just don't know it.

Thank you to anyone who read this. I bid you a fond farewell. I've never met any of you personally, but I care more about you than you will ever know. Why? Because you've you been in my shoes, and I've been in yours. I'm setting those shoes aside now, though, because my run is finished, and now I await whatever comes after this world.

-N

[Moderator's note: You should post this as a separate question. If you do, your post here will be deleted and your qustion will stand. Thanks]

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A female reader, museic United States +, writes (8 January 2010):

If anyone's interested, here's a link for applying makeup to help you look older: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9WCGlpLd9Q. I guess this doesn't really help the guys with this problem!

I have the same problem and find it very frustrating. It affects you mentally because you don't quite feel like the adult you actually are! I have started wearing more makeup and dressing up on a daily basis. However, it doesn't seem to help. I am almost 28 and was mistaken for a 17 yr old the other day. Whenever I am out in public I feel like people are staring at me wondering, "Why is this teenager shopping alone in the middle of a school day?" I have a master's degree, but feel I have to constantly prove myself to people because I look so much younger.

Don't really know what the answer is!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (3 January 2010):

Hi just wanted to say 19/20 and still being asked for I.D. isn't bad try being almost 27 and being asked for two peices of I.D. its sucks but once I talk people usually know i m not 18/19 which is how old most people think i m. I am a teacher and i think being around kids all the time keeps me young:)

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (31 December 2009):

hey guys like everyone i have the same prob.

im 19 (turning 20 soon) and people say i look about 13-16. i understand where everyone is coming from, but i just learnt not to let it upset me anymore. i aways get asked for id and stuff. but as the saying goes 'if you act like an adult people will treat you like an adult'

wat you need to remeber is not to let people make you feel bad for the way you look or hw young you look, nobody has the right to do that to another person.

there are more important things in life than appearance.

xxxxxxxx.

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A female reader, HeartBrokenGurl United Kingdom +, writes (25 December 2009):

omg, im so happy i found this page, im 19 and will be turning 20 in august. people never believe me when i tell them my age, the other day this lady at the gym told me she thought i was 15. im 5feet 3 and weight 120punds though im told i look thinner. i do have a baby face but it so annoying, i too am worried about the male side of things, guys my age think im younger and get hit on by spotty little teenage boys. i've joined the gym to get a little bit of muscles so i wont look so fragile as i do now so i'm hoping that helps. i'm really not in to make up and cant walk in heels to save my life and i would just look silly in them. i like my hoodies and flat shoes so i dont wanna change my appearances for these people.

dont u just hate it wen random people enquire about ur age and dont even hide their shock and just grill u and call u a child. i tried to get my ears pierced and they wouldnt let me because i had no proof of age. granted i was getting a trajus piercing but still.

hopefully a few months at the gym will help and when i get more toned up i might try wearing classic fitted clothes and see where that gets me. hopefully a man my age or older will spot me- an unfound treasure. :-) keep smiling my youthful looking folks.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 December 2009):

Wow, I can't believe how many people have the exact same problem I have. I feel a little better knowing I'm not alone. I'm a 25 y/o girl but I look more like 16. I'm only 5'1. It always hurts me when people act all surprised when I tell them my age. I have graduated from coledge and I have a master's degree but people think I'm still in high school. The funny thing is that almost all of my friends, who do look 25, have also had people think they were much younger. So I guess, unless you look REALLY mature there will always be some people who will think you are younger. I'm doing my best not to let this bother me and to feel grateful that this is the biggest problem in my life.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 December 2009):

I spend forever comparing myself to girls my own age (31) trying to see what makes them look older than me and studying the faces of girls who are the age ppl say I look(17). I really can't see what it is.

I'm not a skinny girl,(not overweight either, UK size 10/12), I'm 5'7 so not that short, I have huge boobs and I'm careful to dress my age (31 not 17. lol)I have longish hair so did wonder if that was it but when it was very short I had the same.

Cant ask people either because they think its mad to want to look older. I have resorted to wearing a I am 30 badge sometimes when out shopping and pretending it's my birthday. Cant do it in same store twice but it is quite effective. Definitely get treated better. I do know that doing that is a little crazy but I was desperate.

Ok no advice I'm sorry. I'm just venting. It really really gets me down and until now I've never heard of others who think the same.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (16 December 2009):

Ive just spent an hour reading through these messages, and as everyone else has said its really comforting knowing im not the only one out there withese problems. Ive just turned 22 and am male and get told i look 15.

My self confidence is at an all time low because wherever i go, whether it be the shops, cinema, university or clubs, i always seem to find that i compare myself with every male that i see.

The worst is going to bars, as i always get ID'd without fail, and sometimes i even get random people come and tell me that i look too young to be in there.

As im male, and at university, it seems impossible to get any attention from females because at the end of the day what 22 year old wants to date a 15 year old?

I would love to find it funny or at least come to terms with it, but i cant. My life truly does suck.

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A female reader, Iam30FFS! United Kingdom +, writes (15 December 2009):

Oh thank goodness I'm not the only one. I am 30 but get told I look 17. Really getting my confidence down to the point where I avoid people,(particularly shops), some days because I can't be bothered with how they treat me.

It's awful to be treated like a child all the time. Apart from being embarrassing, you don't get any respect from people. There's a lot of ageism from strangers. I hate it!!

Try telling that to people though. They don't understand at all. "Oh your so lucky!" Really? I can't see the benefits to looking like a child myself, (no offence intended to those who are 17 and under but you know what I mean x).

It makes m aking new friends very hard too.

I think it bothers me in particular because my husband is 10 years older than me. He doesn't look it, but if I look like a college teen then surely that means that to outsiders, we look a bit of an odd couple. Don't want people thinking he's a weirdo for going out with a 17 year old when he isn't!Bah!

Really wish I knew how to look older. Even if I could look like I'm in mid 20's. That'd do, just not a teenager. Glad to get that off my chest.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (20 November 2009):

I am 21 yr old male and I often get remarks from others who assume I'm as yonge as 16. Its embarassing when you head out to a nightclub or an of age estabilishment and you pull out your wallet hoping you brough a valid source of verification. Here are a couple theories I have heard laying around that may help out with your body development and appearances.

A) Shave Daily!! ( Low on facial hair you could have a testosterone deficiency. It's a possibility but best not to assume unless you get the proper results from a family physician)

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_can_you_grow_facial_hair_faster_and_thicker

B) Competive Bodybuilder's who train daily are reliant on supplements(and some many other illegal substaneces) to gain an edge over the competion. Most of the illegal substances on the market help bodybuilders dramitically increase their muscular development to achive desirable results, yet there are many health risks associated with this technique. There are many different types of anabolics available but be sure you do some conclusive research before you make any considerations, the health risks associated may not be worth the risk. There are alternatives to taking steroids such as whey protine powder, creatine, etc.. Look and ask around your local heath store and do more research. ( Im getting at daily exercise routines with the use of supplements) ( I have heard that steroids do make your cranium larger, then again its best to ignore this as I havent found any conclusive reseach revolving around this myth)

C) Now this may sound silly but it is a theory and it sounds logical to me. Now I have heard that amphibions will grow proportionate to the size of their enviornment. Your pet red bearded dragon will grow larger if you placed him/her in a larger aquarium. Havent found any research around this but what I am suggesting is that you need to get some fresh air every once in a while.

D) Alot of ectomorphic body types have fast metabolisms. Your body's metabolisms will slow down with age, I have read that it may slow down around your 20s-early 30s. http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=169896

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/body-types-ectomorph-mesomorph-endomorph.html

E) A costy procedure but if you hate the way you look so much you can always get reconstructive surgery. Check around for a good plastic surgeon and remember to read any review lying around as your going to have to live with your decision for the rest of your life.

F) Apparel and accessories.. A combination of both can instantly change your appearance based on your demeanor. If you want to look older just make sure that you dress casual and always have an eye for trendy wear. Just please stay within your bounds..

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 November 2009):

What a relief that so many people have the same problems. I guess I have no right to complain though because I am twenty one but I don't drink, smoke, or go clubbing so I don't really get asked for ID. However, I was asked the other day at Wal-Mart if I was just entering high school by the cashier. I have heard people say it's a good thing to look young just like everyone else here. Goodie, then I can be a cougar when I grow up and no one will know. But right now I'm tired of looking in the mirror and seeing the same short and pudgy person I was looking at in high school. In the comments I've read some of you are tall and slender or skinny and it makes me wonder if my age appearance is harder to escape from because I'm short. I don't know. Anyway, I'm rambling. Sorry.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 November 2009):

i know exactly how you all feel :(

I'm 22 and constantly get told i look about 16, it's so offending, especially when they patronise me and treat me like a child, and then give me the dreaded "when you're 40 you'll look 20" crap. Yeah great, but I'm not 40.

Today at uni for example, I asked my teacher about applying for another course next year, as a mature student (23 or over, I'll be 23 by that time), and she looked at me like I was insane and said "how are you going to be able to apply as a mature student?". Then she was surprised when i said I WILL be 23.

I hate feeling embarassed and shy to go anywhere, just because people are so shallow, I should ignore their comments but they hurt so much, I have no self-confidence as it is :(

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A female reader, ImNot10 United States +, writes (7 November 2009):

Wow... that's really funny to read so many stories I relate to.

I'm 20 and most people guess I'm 10 years old... a few say 7.

I don't enjoy attention very much, but I admit I've been entertained by people's reactions most of the time.

The only thing that bothers me is that I doubt many good guys would want to date a girl who looks 10... but I'm waiting on God. : )

Nice to see so many people relate to the so many reactions I get!

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A male reader, hisfirstime United Kingdom +, writes (27 September 2009):

Ha... I'm a 37 yr old male, and I STILL get asked for ID to buy cigs or beer. Bouncers in clubs laugh when they see my ID and say things like "Thats not you mate!..."

I just tell them it's in the genes...

The worst part is when people treat you like a teenager and try to rip you off at shops or Audio Visual retailers thinking they can pull one over you because you look so young.

My solution?: buy online, or over the phone.

my mates get mistaken for my dad or my older bro... which makes things awkward sometimes...

The good thing is I still get interest from 25 year old ladies, and I once got admitted to the Eiffel tower at the child fare!

My most bizzare?: getting asked on the street by a teacher why i was skipping class?. I simply said, "I'm 32 and run my own business, so I really don't need to go back to school at this stage in my career... thanks."

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 August 2009):

it feels so nice that im not alone! im 15 and look 12. its not as bad as some people here but it still makes me very self-conscious. I hate it when at parties all the guys hit at my friends and ignore me, or when a new person goes "ooh you look so young!2369" . a week ago i saw an old friend i hadnt seen for years, and the first thing she says is "you have such a cute tiny face" as if i needed the reminder.

I wish i wouldnt care but i just cant bring up my confidence!

looking young is NOT a blessing

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (9 August 2009):

Hey, I just recently found this site as well.. ya. I'm an 18-year old male and I look like I'm a tall and skinny 12 year old.. It's so embarrassing I can't even drag myself out to do my daily cardio because of how self conscious I am of it. I am lifting weights, have been since April, but it takes awhile to get there..

To anyone who says "Well when you're 40 you'll look like you're 30!" ya, blow me. When you're older and you look young, that's awesome. When you're young and you look young, it's the worst blow to your self consciousness.. Reading that other people have this same people though makes me feel a bit better.. BTW, as to how skinny I am, I'm 5'10 at 130 pounds.. Ya.. I don't try to eat fatty foods k..

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 August 2009):

I'm a 30 yr old male and I've always looked way too young. It's great reading these posts since I've been in all these situations. People treat you like a teen, give you weird looks in bars, cashiers and bouncers scanning your ID like there searching for waldo and examining the hologram in several light angles...lol... even guys hitting on my girl as if to say I'm the brother or friend b4 I get livid.

Anyway, here are a few tips I found that helped. When meeting new people or going out to the bar, always try to dress up and ditch the hoodies, people will give you more respect for it. If your worried about going to bars, choose one that you like alot and frequent it enough so the bartender and regulars recognize you like norm from cheers It kicks ass to just walk in and say give me the usual instead of going through the doubtfull stares and questioning.

If you can, GROW A BEARD!!! For 27 years I never bothered but once I did I noticed a huge difference in peoples perceptions. I still get the 'wow' look and comments when people find out I'm 30 but it happens only half as much as it used too. Guys aren't nearly as quick to make a stupid comment and girls take a strong interest and stare me down to come talk to them which rocks since before that I'd get passed over all too quickly.

Whatever you do in life always believe in yourself. It's like the movie The Never Ending Story where he has to get passed the oracle statues or get zapped and killed, HAVE CONFIDENCE!!! If you walk into a place and carry yourself like you own it then people tend to just buy into it.

Lastly, HAVE FUN WITH IT :) These days I just play into it and feel more like the jokes on them. Just a month ago some bar patrons were trying to 'school' me, the 'young man' on how to play poker and get quick service by pre tipping the waitress.... I just laughed and played along then found out 15min later all 3 'teachers' were younger than me.. haha.

- Youth may be wasted on the young but we get to live it up twice - woot!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (5 July 2009):

I'm the same as you guys. Im a 28 year old guy but I guess I look about 22 / 23. I was a late bloomer and it has had a knock on effect. I know people don't mean any harm but for some reason I feel crap when people are shocked at my age. I have always looked a lot younger than my peers and I have very boyish looks. I am lucky that I have a good bunch of mates but I have become reluctant to meet new people as so to avoid the subject. I do think my girlfriends parents and there friends think I'm not a real man, but I treat her right and don't seem to get the respect for it. I'm looking into professional help to improve my self esteem as I think this would probably improve things.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 June 2009):

Hey guys it's really comforting to read all these stories and I empathize with everyone. I'm 5'7, thin build, really young face. I 22 now and look about 17, even though I keep a decent amount of facial hair. High school was the roughest because it's really hard to get respect from guys and attraction from girls when you're graduating and you look like a child. (It's funny because I was hanging out in a high school gym recently and some of the high school girls were hitting on me, so maybe in a few years 20 year old's will hit on me. :P)

I've found several things that have helped me a lot with regaining my confidence, and a lot of these relate to the beauty of being a guy.

1) Put on A LOT of muscle. Wish I started working out when I was in high school, but none the less I've put on about 40 pounds of muscle since I started and it makes a huge difference. Since you will almost never seen a 17 year old with as muscular and well developed physique as I have, they assume you're older despite the face. It's hard work and takes years but I've NEVER regretted the effort I put in.

2) Speak and carry yourself with mad confidence. Loud, having fun but still dominant. Don't react to bullshit about how you look young or small or whatever, it's meaningless if you don't care. This is a lot easier to pull off with the added muscle. Napoleon Syndrome? Whatever, they can deal with it. Maybe I just choose to respect myself in spite of the box people want to put me in because of my appearance, and women find that sexy.

3) Use what you have going for you. I'm short and have a cute, young and fairly face and nice body, so women find me less threatening but still attractive. A girl my age or slightly older gets the feeling she's being hit on by a young and suddenly they feel like they're in high school again. I just roll with it and give of young, free, positive vibes and allow them to feel young and carefree around me.

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A female reader, BB1217 United States +, writes (24 June 2009):

Wow, do I know exactly what your going through! I'm 22 and people always say I look like I'm 13. Its even worse because I have a 15 year old niece that people always have to point out that she looks older then me. It's so annoying. I hate when people say oh well when your 40 you'll look like your 20, Yeah that will be great then, but not now. I'm short and thin, so I have nothing going for me, it's horrible! Its the worse feeling to be so self conscience all the time, everywhere I go I compare myself to every female, I even hate going to the movies because the whole movie I compare myself to the actress. It makes me feel a little better reading all of these comments,and seeing I'm not alone in feeling this way.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 June 2009):

It's always interesting going somewhere new. When I move to a new city people ask me what school I go to and when I tell them that I already graduated from college they all look shocked. The other day in the airport I was mistaken for one of the 7th graders taking a trip to DC. It's always somewhat funny and somewhat humiliating. The worst part however is trying to meet MEN (not boys) my age. No one wants to approach someone who looks 13... even if they are 24! I keep thinking "i'm never going to get married." I've been trying to dress older and wear make up but nothing seems to work. You guys are all preaching to the choir!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 June 2009):

hiya! well i found this thread because i was still bothered when the other day a cashier asked me how old i was. it didn't help that i was shopping with my mom since im home from college. Usually if i'm alone i won't be asked or if i do i just ignore it and move on. But ugh! not this time. Oh wow thanks i look 13. seriously what are you supposed to say. that's ten years younger than my current age.

I can't always spend an hour in my bathroom to make sure i look at least 16.

My first semester in college i took this approach: i kind off put this "dead in the eyes" kind of look on my face, like i had no emotions just as precaution i wouldn't get picked on in the halls of my dorm. lol. Yea well i also didn't make very much friends that semester ah hah!

It also doesn't help me very much that im short..... But then again i kind of love this body. I should appreciate it much more. You just have to think of the positives to looking young. Screw what everyone else thinks how you are supposed to look like at a certain age. The only opinions that matter are from loved ones and people you respect. And im pretty sure they could care less. And if anyone questions your ability to do something, tell them either to shove it, or to "not underestimate me by mere appearances"

And randonm people in public who ask you and try to solve their own mystery at why you look so young. First of all they are idiotic and you should feel bad for them for thinking that some stupid question of age is to such importance and really have never learned any ounce of maturity. sigh.

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A female reader, Chelsea United Kingdom +, writes (6 June 2009):

Chelsea is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Chelsea agony auntThank you to everyone that answered. I totally forgot I asked this question or I would have thanked you all sooner! I'm heading for 23 now and I don't think I looked to have aged at all in almost four years, and it definitely doesn't seem so bad now :). You all gave amazing advice though. Thank you so much x

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 April 2009):

Finally! A place to complain where the only thing you don't have to listen to is, "oh be glad, you'll wish you looked young later." I am 40 years old this year and FEELING it. However, my face/body apparently still scream "card me" whenever I go anywhere alcohol is served. What is worse though, is at work where it's a constant battle to be taken seriously. Some days I feel like just giving up. And the thing is, my folks are 75 and 76 years old and can easily pass for early 50s. When my grandfather died at age 94, people were shocked to find out his date of birth. Then they look at you like someone is trying to pull the wool over their eyes. Hey - as if it's my fault I have great genes and that they haven't taken care of themselves to the best of their ability?

Someone mentioned about this image obsessed world - I agree. It's horrible and it's a constant reminder that prejudice will always run deep, no matter how we try to cloak it in being politically correct.

Maybe by the time I'm ready to retire, people will stop giving me that look that they give me when they are trying to figure out how I can POSSIBLY be 40.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 April 2009):

i guess we're all different, me on the other hand, im a 28 yr old dude and very aware of my baby face...when i ware a hat (cuz my hair is thinning) i look like a teenager...im in good shape, im healthy, i feel good and i thank god every day that im aging gracefully, if im aging at all...im not conceited, on the contrary, it is good however to be aware of your "beauty"..after all, every1 wants to look young, so what are we complaining about...youth is a kind of beauty...in this world is sure doesnt hurt to look young, ultimately better than looking old..which will happen eventually, so enjoy it while it lasts and stop your griping all you baby faced adults!! ugh, it is so true...youth is wasted on the young ;)

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (26 March 2009):

I have the same problem. I'm turning 29 soon and I still get told I look like a teenager. One time recently some telemarketers came to the door and asked me if my parents are home! The thing that bothers me the most is the lack of respect I get at work. I was recently turned down for a promotion and told that they were looking for a more "seasoned employee." But the person they promoted was only 1 year oleder than me had the same number of years experience! I've tried everything from makeup to dressing older and nothing seems to work. I use to get the comments like "you'll enjoy looking so young when your older." Well, I'm almost 30 and still don't see the how this is a good thing. Maybe by the time I'm 40 I'll look at least 21!

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A female reader, l1o0u72 United Kingdom +, writes (25 March 2009):

im 17 nearly 18 and look so young... family friend just said, o don't you look so young! no older than 13. do you get asked for ID when you go to the cinema? .. i do but said that i didn't... i find it so offensive :(

all my friends look around 19 and can get into clubs with no ID, i feel so left out because i know there's no point me even trying...

i have a baby face, any helpful hints?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 February 2009):

ooh I'd also like to add, don't you hate it when you have cousins or siblings who look their age, and you're the odd one out? All my cousins are 6 foot something and look like men. I have some fur on my chin and I'm praying for a full beard quickly, hopefully that'll solve my problems

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 February 2009):

Man, you guys are singing my song. All my life people have been saying I look young for my age. Not just people I regularly engage with either, random people on the street would ask me how old I am then go through this whole process of dumb questions when I told them. I'm 18 now, a freshman in college. Its better than high school I suppose, but it still holds me back in social situations. I go to parties regularly and have always been asked my age. The bad thing is I look at myself by how others see me, specifically girls, and thats something that can really hold you back. I went on a blind date with a girl and had a good time, and amongst all the laughing and joking I'm pretty sure she did too, but the fact that she thought I was joking when I said I'm 18 kind of spoiled my courage for the night. And I always only get so close with girls, and I don't know if its my appearence that causes this problem, that question mark is madening as hell. Some woman came up to me on campus and asked me if theres a high school around here. I acted confused on purpose and told her I didnt think so then she went on the whole "oh you look so young" bit, and the even worse "don't worry, you'll love it when you get older." She even said "you make up for it with smarts"...wtf, make up for what? so I have a disability now or something? I agree that its much worse for guys because we're expected to be tall, manly and muscular. I don't really have any advice, just showing my support. People have told me to dress older or to act older, but I guess what you need to do is just be ok with yourself. I'm extremely self concious about my baby face and feel like beating the crap out of the people who mention it like they're the first ones to do so, but the days go by easier if you focus on the positives. Again, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one going through this haha

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (20 February 2009):

I am 20, I love to drink, but even when I turn 21 Im going to be aprehensive when buying beer or going to a bar because I know everyone in there is going to say something to me about how I look young. They might even try to call the cops on me or something...(yeah, that wont be embarrasing) I look EXACTLY the same as when I was 16....nothing has changed. I hate how people are so quick to point it out as if we dont know. I mean its not like I can help it. It infuriates me...

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 February 2009):

Being about to turn 20, I finally look 14 -16. I always joke that I spent 6 years of my life 12 years old. In high school, I wasn't five feet tall and a hundred pounds until my sophomore year. I spent years being embarrassed at movies and in restaurants when the waitresses would ask, in front of friends, if I wanted the children's menu. It was really hard for me to deal with, and I built up a lot of resentment and sensitivity about it. I came to the realization though that in the end, none of it matters, and as long as people got to know me for who I was, they stopped seeing me as a young child. I still wince when I say I am a sophomore and people assume I mean high school, but why spend my life agonizing over it?

And yes, I am sick of hearing "you'll sure like it when you are 40!"

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (4 February 2009):

The internet has a lot of options for women who look young. Changing makeyp or clothing, etc. The same issue is much harder for men. I am 25 and look young. When I was 23, I actually got hassled at a PG-13 movie because the ticket women said that I needed to be with an adult! That was the worst instance I can think of. Anyway, a few years have passed and people beleive I am now atleast 19-20 years old and I will tell you the three ways a man can help his appearance.

1) Attitude is everything. Doesn't matter if they think you look young, you must change people's minds with your eye contact and attitude- I'm an officer in the Army so I know how it feels to have people not take you seriously unless you show them you have balls and will kick some.

2) The most Important Thing!!! Work out hard!! I have a baby face, but I am very strong and muscular. When I wear baggy or loose clothing, it makes me look much younger because all people can see is my face. When I wear jeans and a t-shirt, I look prison jacked. It doesn't matter how big you are. I am short and it is very hard for me to gain muscel, but I just did it. Take alot of protein and hit the free-weights. Focus on your chest and shoulders and neck and arms.

3) Get into a couple of fights. Get your nose broken, get a few facial scars....People may thing you look young, but if they see your not playing around, they won't be laughting at you. And if they do, they'll loose a few teeth.

[Moderator's note to the poster: The comments here are fine but please take point 3) as a joke!]

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (3 February 2009):

I'm in the same camp as pretty much everyone here. Just turned 23, and this past summer was carded for an R rated movie. I don't mind it all the time; I feel like certain girls can think I look "cute" or sweet, or whatever, but it still frustrates me. I think people underestimate how much more difficult this is for guys than for girls, just because our society puts a lot of expectation on men possessing masculine qualities than on girls. But it also helps me that I'm a bit on the tall side. My cousins are similar to me, young faced and even older than I am, but theyre both quite short, and I know they've had an even more difficult time than I

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (2 February 2009):

I'm 26 and most people think I'm about 18 now. I'm actually starting to feel old because of it. Fortunately, I never let other persons perceptions bother me. Enjoy your youth and use this to your advantage. If you truly want to ruin yourself and look old all you need to do is be very stressed, smoke, sleep less, and go out in the sun as much as possible. The cellular damage should be bad enough to ensure that you look old. Only problem is there is no going back to looking young.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (27 January 2009):

I can definitely relate to this. I am a 23 year old male, 5'6 and thin. I'd say I look like i'm about 19-20 max. You definitely feel insecure sometimes, especially around friends who actually look their age but their are some things that do indeed help. I did a little experiment over the summer/fall and this is what happens.

I go out one night, dressed casual - Sneakers, jeans, t shirt and zipped hoodie and a baseball cap...I don't change the way I am personality wise, so after a while and a few drinks I start asking how old people think I am...the consensus was right around 18-20, mostly because I ACTED older.

The next weekend I get dressed up like I am going to work on casual friday. Nice jeans, good looking frye boots, a dress shirt, pea coat and took more pride in my appearance with my grooming...The consensus at the end of the night was anywhere between 22-28...Yes some girl said I could pass for 28 based on my maturity and the way I was presented in my clothing choice...So I think what your "Style" is, can affect the outcome a little bit, but msot is based on how your personality and matuirty level comes across...I happen to like to look nice and dress up most of the time, and that can certainly raise your confidence level up quite a bit, making you seem a little older as well.

I hear that this will be a blessing in the long run, I struggle with it at times, but the only thing you can do is try and be comfortable with YOU, because as soon as that happens things will most likely just fall into place. Hope this helps.

Liam

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 January 2009):

I am 26 and recently (last October), I was at work (Intel Corporation, I am a product engineer there) and a girl asked me "do you work here" as I we were both waiting for the elevator. I replied, "Yes, I have been working here for a little over 3 years now. I had an internship here in 1999." She seemed surprised. When we got on the elevator, I asked her, "How old did you think I was?" She paused for a moment and replied, "About 20." Obviously, the information that I told her probably affected her guess. Obviously when I was working there in 1999, I heard some other funny comments. Once when I was on the elevator, two older ladies, (age 40) said, "They keep hiring 'em younger and younger." When I was 20, I checked into a hotel room and the lady at the counter, as I handed her my driver's license, replied "How long have you been driving?" I the legal age to drive here in the US is 16. I have always looked young for my age. This bothered me a bit in high school. In college, I did not care about my appearance as I studied all the time, I did not care how I looked and was only there to get a degree. I was not interested in partying. The downside is that I find it harder to pick up girls in clubs. Most girls my age clearly want older (and older looking) guys. Also, I have 5'7" and I consider the height disadvantage to be a bigger issue. Although, maybe not quite so big. I thought it was a big issue until I created a match.com profile in both my city and another city of similar size. Same exact profile, in one I listed my height at 5'7" and in the other, 6'1". I still got the same amount of responses in both cases. So in summary, in bars and clubs, I will be at a disadvantage because the girls there will think I am out of their age range. However, I think things only get better from here. Aside from the height issue, I consider myself pretty attractive. I have been told by family and also by strangers (dental assistant told me last year) that I look like Tom Cruise. I also want to remain young (not just look young, but age slower both mentally and physically) and I try to eat healthy and take supplements to promote that goal. But yeah, I think things will only get better from here. What I have learned is that looking young or being short is somewhat of a disadvantage in terms of meeting women in random places such as clubs, bars, grocery store, etc. However, if you look in the right places, such as meeting girls through an activity that you both enjoy or through an alumni club, the connection might matter more (depends on the girl) than the physical abnormality. And the right girl will even come to appreciate your youth if she does not already. Your friends who tease you are probably just jealous. In the long run, it's a lot easier to look older than younger. Take care of yourself. Also, I learned that dressing is very important. You can make yourself look older based on how you dress and groom yourself.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 January 2009):

I'm 32 and have a bit of a laugh with people serving me in shops. I don't drive and don't have any ID on me. It's always been fine once I've told them my age and I usually say I've got a couple of kids.

Anyone who asks has to.It's such a crucial decicion they have to make.it's a real resposability to sell alcohol and I think It's great to ask people who don't look old enough.

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A female reader, am3lia United States +, writes (19 January 2009):

I'm so glad I found this! Forever I've been told how young I look and it's starting to piss me off. I'm almost 20, entering womanhood, except people tell me I look about 12-14. I feel like the guys I'd be interested would never approach me (especially since I won't date anyone under 21). And when no one thinks I'm the age I am, I'm having a hard time with accepting the "identity" of womanhood. I used to be very sensual, but now I have a hard time thinking of myself as sexy.

I work as a hostess in an upscale restaurant with generally snooty customers. So often customers inquire about my age that IT PISSES ME OFF. If someone gets upset about a long wait or something else I can do nothing about, they'll sometimes ask. I think it's to somehow validate for them how incompetent I am and how right they are, which is funny since I work there and they don't. And even more embarrassingly, customers ask the other employees my age, wondering how I can be old enough to work there. I find that the best response to, "Oh, wow, you look like you're 13!" is, "Yeah? Well you look like you're 50!" Oh, how offended they get! :D

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (24 December 2008):

Yeah I'm in the same position and it sucks really hard. I'm only 5 feet 4 and 1/2 inches tall, and I'm an 18 year old guy. I have very minimal facial hair, and a baby face. You guys that are complaining about looking young while being tall haven't seen anything yet.

My whole entire life I have never looked even close to what age I actually am. I hate it so much. I wear thicker shoes to push me up to around an inch or so. I havent snapped at people for comments, but I definatley feel the urge. I too wish I could fight over the things people say, but that is not an option at my size.

Try dressing more professional and wearing makeup, put on some heels. Goodluck

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A reader, anonymous, writes (17 December 2008):

I'm 32 years old. I'm a returning student at a college. It's the PIT's. At the begining of every semester each professor of each class ask's each student to state our names, major's, our former high school's and age. I'm alway's honest and I say I'm 32, and graduated in 1994. At that point everyone's eye's get real wide with shock, they begin to whisper to each other or they just scream out loud "No way! Get out of here... You look 20 or 21!"

During the middle of the semester when I become friendly with some of my classmates I end up repeating my age and some poeple go out of there way to make me feel comfortable and say... oh don't worry (as if I were) when your 40 you can say you're 30! I've never been sure if what we go through is a biological defect.... Although I'm much more accepting of it now, It took me about 15 years to accept my appearence. Yes I still get carded but raerly anymore. I enjoy not being bugged of it. So for those of you that struggle with me on this, I say... just give yourself time, and know that we are truley unique. Not in a freakish, sarcastic way... but truley unique. And we shouldn't feel embrassed. Beside's baby faces are sexy for many people. So let's work with what we have. :)

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (8 December 2008):

I suffer from age discrimination it and it has put me out for a few years (I'm on disability allowance through being diagnosed with severe depression and schizophrenia). I got my first part time job at 20, and the scorn soon came from a88hole work colleagues thereafter. They thought I was 15 tops and said "is he old enough to work here", I regularly received the remarks "boy" and "gayboy", "hahah...he looks 14" and "paperboy age" comments. This was at a supermarket chain, Banbury, Oxfordshire, England in the late 1990's YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!

One customer even took it further and inquired whether I was old enough to be working there, by which time I was 21 (it was 16 for this line of work). I got the stares from 16 year old boys working there who looked older and stronger than me, and 16-year old girls commenting "he's bullshitting if he say's he's 21 - no way!". I eventually snapped and left. This type of condescending treatment continued until I was 24 and I've not worked, or bothered finding work since. I'm 30 now (as of 12/2008) and generally get college age estimates - no older than 21. Cashiers, shop assistants, takeaway outlets, volunteering work - you name it they talk down to me as if i'm inferior and not a man yet or a youth/ boy-man intermediate. It's the tone and manner of their voice and general quick, dismissive attitude. They avoid conversation, interaction or smiles and groups generally 'ice' me out when i try to fit in. People laugh in my face when they realize I'm 30 and are generally very rude and obnoxious as though I'm a freak of nature or a lesser man than others my age and much younger. I get aggressive now.

I don't need to shave, have a young, undefined face, small facial features, no forearm hair, slim build and smooth pale skin. I'm really, really angry but the waiting games all I can do and try and keep healthy and active, which is difficult as I avoid situations where there's crowds and stuff; staying indoors/ being a recluse and avoiding those places was part of me dealing with the miss treatment.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 December 2008):

I feel your pain. I'm 24 and people think I'm 16. I get hit on by high school boys- men my age won't even look at me because they think i'm still a kid. It's effected my self esteem a lot . I feel like I can't grow up because when I look in the mirror I don't look like an adult and no one treats me like one. I won't go to bars or even buy liquor really because the bouncers and bartenders always embarrass me a lot. The only thing that has worked for me at all is dressing like i'm going to the office- wearing "professional" looking clothes. But if i'm in jeans and sneakers- forget it everyone thinks i'm still a child.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (4 December 2008):

I can feel your sentiments. I am 20, will turn 21 next week and i look as if i m just 16 or something. The biggest problem i think is weight. My weight is just 92 lb. Rite now, all i want is to gain weight. i often hit at the gym and have protein powders but still, no use. Anybody has better suggestions?

I, many a times feel too depressed coz no one around me has this problem. Everyone looks of his age.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 November 2008):

gosh i hear ya.. i just turned 18 but everyone thinks im 15/16...i think i look 12 LOL

i went to have some tops printed out for my birthday and the man just kept laughting saying your never 18. i just made a joke about it but it was really embarrasing in the middle of the shop.

to even have the confidence to go out because of it now i have to be drunk.

i always get the you will be thankful for it when your older. doesnt change how we feel now. im trying new hairstyles/clothes ect. im short too so that doesnt help lol. considere 'living' in heels but i have dogs and i do alot of walking so not a good idea i will save the heels for nights out.

i only go in 2 pubs but i am too shy to even try to get served because i know that i will be asked for ID. i wouldnt mind if i actually had any lol.. im too shy to get my first job because people are always saying how young i am ect and also to learn to drive... i still feel like a kid because im too embarrased to just get on with the things people my age do, like work n drive.

i am desperate to look a little older just so i can have the confidence to do things.. worst bit is people say how mature and grown up i am for a 15 year old lmao. when i tell them im 18 theyre shocked and apparently im even more mature than most teens my age. strange really coz i am such a kid at heart lol

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A female reader, 81605slygurl +, writes (27 November 2008):

I feel you. I'm 24 and I'm constantly looked at as fourteen! I think it's partly because young people look older than they are nowadays or dress older, like you see Miley Cyrus, she's 15, just turned 16, and yet if you look at the clothes she wears, it looks like for adults! Maybe it's also the face. I have a babyface they said.

However, they are right in saying that down the road, you'll learn to appreciate it.

When I turn 25 in a couple months soon, I hope they'll say that I'm 15. (at heart!)

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 November 2008):

Oh my gosh I know how you feel. I am 18 and a freshman in college and I am constantly being told "you're not 18!" i mean, some people actually don't believe me. i had my first job when i was 17 and a girl asked my age, when I told her she was so amazed that she said to her friend, "she's SEVENTEEN!!" and I always had customers tell me I looked too young to work there, which made me like crying because the age you had to be was 14. one old lady was like "are you 12?" I don't get why people even say stuff like this, it's like they don't even think before they speak, either that or they just don't care if they hurt your feelings. Those are just a few times stuff like that has happened to me. At the movies, I got asked my age for a pg-13 movie- and I was 18! What really kills me is that I know I am more mature than most people my age, but I still am just seen as a little girl. The only thing to do is to suck it up and deal with it. Try to wear professional clothes.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (5 November 2008):

I have always looked young for my age. I still get asked for I.D and i'm 26! Friends just laugh now and say "you always get asked!"

But as you get older you really start to see the benefit of looking younger than you age. I'm not losing my hair or getting wrinkles. I never get asked "aren't you a little old to be here (clubs/pubs) or aren't you over this scene yet?" Whereas my friends do. People make concessions for you because you look young. How many times have you heard "yeah, but he's/she's only still young".

To me it used to be a hindrance but now as i'm getting older it's becoming a blessing!

And hell when we're 40 we will look 30 or late 20's. Everyone wants that, male and female. So I say just wait it out, and enjoy it for what it is! It won't last forever.

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A male reader, MCQ United States +, writes (1 November 2008):

Yesterday was Halloween and I went out with some friends at my school. We saw some German exchange students and I said "are you just Germans for Halloween, or are you really Germans" in a very corny way. well for some reason they got pissed (maybe stuff was lost in translation, or maybe germans are just assholes). Anyway, one of 'em says "take off that mask" I didn't want to because I'm a college student and I look about 14, but I did anyway. I knew he would say that brainless "you look underage" shit before he even did. Then he said: "you should put that mask back on" which is admittedly the only clever thing anybody has said about my young features. Everyone was drunk and not paying attention, and if I punched him I would have looked like a dick, so I didn't, but all today I've regretted not doing it. Anyway, I've taken a lot of shit for it but never fought back, and as a Christian I guess thats a good thing, but a large part of me really really wants to dropkick the next clown who says something.

I let it bother me occasionally, but I know that I shouldn't because i've still got plenty of friends who see me as their age (even when they're a year or two older). Plus the only people who make it a huge deal are drunk people and douche-bags. even if you have to deal with idiots thinking theyre better/smarter than you, there are some perks which are good to have: a lot of the time you can get away with being irresponsible (which is good if you are) or acting childish (if youre a kid at heart like me).

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (6 October 2008):

Oh, my gosh, I'm so with you. I'm 20 years old, will be 21 in April, and people think I'm 16 or 17 years old. I get it all the time.

I'd say just don't worry about it. I mean, we might change more slowly than other people, but eventually we'll start to look mature.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (5 October 2008):

I know exactly how you feel. I'm 19 and look about 14/15. I've been hearing from people that I look young for my age since I was about 13. When I went off to college last year, it was absolutely painful. I heard it so much there, it made me want to drop out, and I did. Within a couple months I was back home and going to community college. I figured I would go to school at home for a couple years and then transfer, hopefully this would give me a little time to mature physically. Well, my time here is almost up, and my appearance has not changed at all. But I never give up hope that maybe one day it will all change. Listen, don't bother trying to explain to others how painful it can be sometimes, because unless they've lived it, they will never understand. Don't change who you are, and never give up.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 October 2008):

tell me about it, im 17, i look freaking 12! i havnt got the confidence to learn to drive or do other things that people do my age.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 September 2008):

Im 20.....look about 15.....it sucks. people are so rude. its amazing how people are so quick to point something out like how someone is young looking, but its considered wrong to go up to someone and call them fat or ugly.

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A female reader, HintOfTheCentury Australia +, writes (22 September 2008):

I know EXACTLY what you mean... and im so so glad that im not the only one out there with this problem.

i turned 16 this year but i only look 14 at the most. the other day my friend told me that i looked 12. it just makes me SO angry when people say that you should be grateful for looking young, because they have NO IDEA how frustrating it can be at times! im sure that my little sister will soon be looking older than me, which is the ultimate punishment... it seems that everything about me looks young. im short, have a small face, am almost flat chested (which is a problem in itself)and low self-esteem because of all this, which only makes me appear younger, im sure. i KNOW that i wont get into clubs without having to show ID all the time. even then, theyll probably think its fake. i dont know...life is unfair

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 August 2008):

I'm 21 years old, about to turn 22, and most people think that I'm like 15 or 16. One time, i went to the dentist with my mom (coz we were about to buy some groceries) to get my wisdom teeth removed and the receptionist handed us out the consent form. after filling out the form and about to sit on the dentist chair, the receptionist rushed in told us that my mom forgot to sign the parental consent form. After a few seconds she asked, "are you 18?". Then i said "I'm actually 21". She was like, "no way!!!" and shared her amazement to her co-worker "veinte uno"(while pointing me out).

after getting my wisdom teeth removed, the dentist was discussing with her assistant what type of pain-reliever he's going to give me (dentists/doctors are hesitant to give teens addictive pain-relievers such as those with codeine or concerned if the patient is to young to receive the drug). he thought that i was still below 18 and the assistant replied, "he's alreday 21"

Whenever I buy games rated mature, watch movies, buy lottery tickets, I'm always being asked to show my ID and very often, they are amazed seeing that i was born in 1986. And sometimes, when I tell people i already finished college, people can't help it but to ask how old i am; but finishing college at 20 is still pretty young though.

there are tons out there searching for the fountain of youth but you must have had tasted a drop from it. Sometimes, you may feel being laughed at today but you'll surely have the last laugh in future. don't you think it's pretty cool doing teenage stuff in your 20's or even 30's without looking funny?

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A male reader, NZer New Zealand +, writes (26 August 2008):

I am a 16-year old male and I look about 13-14. I get so annoyed by my friends who mock me constantly about being short and looking like a kid. This one guy who is my friend mocks me the most yet I am far smarter than him. Being smaller than most of my friends they think I'm a pushover because I won't stand up for myself, but what I am a going to do?. I can't fight back without being seriously hurt. They blatantly point out my flaws, and I think sometimes they just exploit me for their own personal gain. I think that maybe they are not "just joking" and there is an underlying truth to what their saying. Mind my language but they are just assholes who think its fun to mock others. Of course, we mock each other but its nothing serious, but mocking me is. I know I look young, even teachers know it. At the end of the day, I convince myself its alright and just move along, but one day I know I won't be able to. One day I will just get fed up. There are times when I just want to throw my schooling and job in and just run away.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (13 August 2008):

I probably have this problem worse than anyone else. I am an 18 year old male, and I have matured already, but it doesnt seem to show. Little facial hair, and other manly features. Im about 5"10 and weigh only 110lbs. People probably think that I havent even hit puberty. Im at the point where I lie about my age just to avoid being embarrased. There are 14year olds that look older than me, and it sucks. People always ask if im old enough to buy certain things. Older people always tell you "you will be glad when your older." For some reason, I still feel like a kid even though I am mature and very wise. Sometimes I seem to forget how old I really am. Like I said, Ive always wished I looked my age, but recently I have realized something important. Ive started to realize how much im gonna miss childhood, and this problem has helped me have a few more years of childhood, and now im starting to like it. So just remember, its not the fact that when you get old you will look younger. Its the fact that no matter who you are, you will wish you could go back in time and be a kid again, so use this problem to your advantage and have a little bit more time being young, something you will wish you had when you get old.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 April 2008):

I've always looked young for my age. When I was in college people thought I was a freshman in high school. I'm 33 years old and just had a baby and people tell me "Oh you're too young to have a baby." I love to see the looks on their faces when I tell them how old I am! I still hate the way I get treated sometimes by people who think I'm a teenager (which is kind of funny because my husband is a teacher), I just sit back and think the joke is on them because I'm sure most people would love to have this problem. It is great when someone shows up on your doorstep and asks if your parents are home. I would like to say I don't know, would you like me to call them on the phone and find out for you. It is a lot easier to just let them believe you are young that way you don't have to deal with them trying to sell you something.

Best advice I have is to just go along with it and think the joke is on them!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (2 April 2008):

am 19 but look like im 15-16 i guess it is cause of my dad he looks young for someone his age.. but hey the best part about looking young is that we wont have to worry about aging or wrinkles when we are really old say in our late 50s and so on we will look young compared to the other old people

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 March 2008):

I'm a 17-year-old female (turning 18 in August 2008), and I get furious about the way people treat me based on my looks. They label me as someone who's between around 12-15 even though mentally I am far more creative, witty and mature than they could ever hope to be (though I think they're happier being dumb and ignorant). I don't mean to sound egotistical, it's just that I am so sick of appearance being the driving force of EVERYTHING.

People who have no idea who I am tell me "You're short" or "Oh, you're a senior? I thought you were a freshman!" That kills me. What kind of a thing is that to say to somebody, especially as a conversation-starter? It's rude and completely uncalled for. Think what you want but don't think you can shove something I hate in my face. And honestly, I don't think I'm short! I'm 5'2", which is about average height for an American woman (a bit on the lower end of average, but still average). I also have D cup breasts. My face is a bit young looking, but I would say I look AT LEAST 16 since my eyes have a nice catlike shape to them.

Also, I understand how a lot of people may say "Be happy, because you'll appreciate your youthful looks later in life." But by then...who cares?! It's debilitating to be in college and have guys/gals be embarrassed to be seen with you just because you look younger than them. And by the time you look old enough to have young adults flirt with you, you'll already be married! By then you don't NEED to look young anymore!

But alas, I still refuse to do anything to make myself "older," because wisdom rules all! Makeup is shallow and a waste of time and money, clothes are unimportant and high heels/tall shoes only remind you of how short you are after you step out of them.

Anyway, I would be perfectly fine with my height/face/whatever if it weren't for the insensitive ignoramuses who have to point out your "flaws." Sorry if I sounded angry, but this is one thing that I absolutely cannot tolerate.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (4 March 2008):

I have the same problem..it seems like a lot of people do here too. I'm 18 and probably look about 15, and i basically am reminded of this every second day by all sorts of stupid people.

People tell me all the time i look 15, at my campus, at work, and when i'm out. It really does piss me off, and a lot of the time i'll snap at them just because i'm tired of hearing it all the time. I totally agree with what another guy said, is that is can never understand what a person thinks in their heads where they would feel it's necessary to say such a statement.

I can't exactly prove myself physically when someone talks to me like i'm a 15 year old and is disrespectful because although i'm quite tall (6"1) i'm not built out yet so i have to just accept it, and after trying a lot i find it extremely difficult to bulk up and put on weight - It's genetic for me. Even though i am physically the size of an 18 year old, people still mistake me for a 15 year old..and it is really uncommon for people of that age to be my size. But they just can't seem to calculate that in their heads.

I just try to accept that i look younger then i am, because i feel better knowing that i'm past that stage of my life, who cares what other people think? If they choose to talk to you like that they are mentally and socially impaired and will usually have the maturity of a 13 year-old.

I think it's just something you'll have to put up with the time being, accept it in your head, and try not to let others opinions get you down, because no one is perfect, and you'll be better of in the long run.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (26 February 2008):

omg! this frusterates me soo much

I hate it. I look about 9-19 without makeup on and I'm going on 16, it's embarassing, my boyfriend is years older..(19) and is embarassed taking me out cause he looks like a cradle robber cause I look so little. I really would like help on how to look older.

I'm 5 feet 100 pounds pretty tiny.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (9 February 2008):

I'm in the same position as most of you here. 25 looking 15. I own my house and still get asked "Is the owner/Mum or Dad in" by salesmen. Its kinda great because I used to get annoyed but now I say "No they're not in" and they leave me alone. Bonus!

It is hard but I will say as you get older, you'll still look young but will find more strength in yourself. It shapes your charachter in a way that others without the same issue won't ever have. At least there's the power of the internet now and just by knowing that we're not alone surely should be comforting. I have a variety of health issues as well as looking young but still regard myself to be "healthy". Thats what's important, stay healthy and don't let the paranoia ruin every day.

Also I always think you only ever look stupid being asked id when you haven't got any and make a fuss! I put mine on the conveyor belt thing in the supermarket with my beer and wine. Don't give them the chance! Mmwwuhahaha!

It'll be ok...........honest! :o)

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 February 2008):

*sigh* what's sad is I've tried all the things that people in other comments suggested. I wear extremely nice, fitted clothes that belong in more of business setting than a college. I never go out without the right makeup,and usually I wear heels to add to my height (I'm 5'2 and weigh 98 pounds =/). Yet I still get comments from people saying that I look like I'm 12 and belong in elementary school. This kills me every time because I'm going to be 20 in less than a month. Honestly I would be happy with someone thinking I was 16- at least then I wouldn't look like I was pre-pubsecent! I don't understand how some people can be so ridiculously stupid- honestly would a 12 year old girl be wearing heels, makeup, be speaking coherently, and carrying a COSMO magazine??

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (5 February 2008):

I am 20 years old, and people tell me that I look like I am 14. I am not short or very skinny, I am just of normal height and weight. It is just that I have young looking features. I am glad to look young though because I know when I get old, I will enjoy it a lot.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (29 January 2008):

Aged 17 and I still look like I'm 13/14. The people who started high school would think I'm in their year and to make it worst half of them taller than I am. I'm skinny and short. I think I might have stunted my height somehow during my puberty, maybe it was my constant skipping of breakfast/lunch just to get to school in time.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (3 January 2008):

Being in your 20s, Male, blonde, young looking and short can suck. Girls get away with looking young. Us blokes have to go through hell for some years. Superficial, bastard, image obsessed society. We will get our revenge though.....

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (31 December 2007):

There is a gene that codes for young characteristics. Evolutionary speaking humans have evolved to keep their younger traits, such as less hair, a smaller lower jaw that no longer holds our molar that why they must be removed or suffer the pain. Biologically looking young is ok, on the constrast society has made it hard for most of us. I am 23 and look as if I was 18. I am a science teacher and some of my students look like me, but definitely are not mature. Regardless of my appearance I act my age and my students respect me and admire. My students tell me that they enjoy having me a teacher because they can relate to me, rather than having som old mean teacher. When I hit the clubs I sometimes get asked for ID, but sometimes a have a mean attiudea the door, (lol) and the bouncers dont say anything. If you want to look older, I am a guy, just dress more professional it helps, I always tuck my shirt in and dont dress to sporty with the baseball caps, nor wear baggy clothes. It helps. Cheer up !! We young looking people are hot anyways hahahah TAKE CARE !!!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 December 2007):

Hey I'm a 25 year old male and have heard my whole life that I look young. I would meet people and they would ask my age and then immediately say "really you're 22 you look like you're 16". It was always annoying and I would get pissed off and sometimes snap at them. If it was an older woman I'd be like "thanks, you look like your 60". I never understood what goes on in a persons head where they would feel it's neccessary to say that.

When I was around 22-23 I worked out a bit and put on some weight and stopped wearing a hat and stopped shaving the hair on my chin (cause it doesn't grow on my cheeks yet) and it helped a lot. No more "you look 15" and I stopped getting carded for cigs. Just recently I lost alot of weight and immediately started getting carded again and the lady at the security check in the airport told me I look 19 last week (which was the first time in over 2 years) so I'm gonna go get my weight back up.

People are not that smart. They don't like to think much. If you work out and put on some muscle maybe wear some boots with a thick bottom the brilliant brains of the people you meet will think "duh big = older". If you dress older it will probably help too. I still wear my baggy jeans and hoody cause I'm just gully like that but if you can wear some slacks or khakis or that type of ugly looking crap. Also be a little more aggressive than you want to be if you're at a bar or on the street (not at work) and you become aware of someone talking down to you or testing you stand tall and be firm and let them know you're going to demand respect by force if it comes down to it.

Probably being really rich helps too. I'm really broke so I don't know but I had a friend when I was in school same size and real young looking but he had a BMW and a billion dollar allowance and would date these girls who were a lot taller and older looking than him. But of course it was his "confidence" not his money that they liked.

Plus I dunno how much you deal with it but when I was your age I was constantly having to prove myself and getting into fights. Cause as a guy you feel disrespected when some guy starts talking to you like you're a kid or trying to be aggressive and dominant. And if you are with a cute girl sometimes guys will try to hit on her. Basically a lot of guys just approaching you or talking to your girlfriend like you're a bitch who isn't going to be a threat to them. At first it's like the guy isn't directly insulting you and it's kinda unspoken in the air and you don't want to just directly punch him in the face cause you'll look like a dick. But after a while basically I started just talking shit to the guy and not caring what anyone thinks about it. But I'm also gully with hands so if you really can't fight maybe you should learn to box first or something. If i was more clever I'd figure out some kind of way to indirectly talk shit back to him to where we both know what's up while people around don't.

Then people tell you when you're 35 it will be great but I plan on being married when I'm 35 not cruising around looking for 21 year old women. And most 21 year old women looking for someone that old are looking for a guy that looks like "daddy" not a young looking one. Unless you want to be a creepy 35 year old who's friends are all in their early 20's.

The reality is people will treat you with less respect or talk to you like you're a kid because we live in a superficial society where most people make assumptions about you based on physical appearance such as how old you look. You have to work a lot harder to command respect and to be taken seriously especially at a job or in a business environment. Someone your age who looks a lot older will be treated like he is a mature and responsible adult even if he is a clown. That's just how life is.

Basically when you meet a lot of people they will get an immediate physical impression that you are younger than you are. But the more they are around you and see you being an adult that impression will go away.

Also man, I don't know where you live that getting carded is a big deal to you. Most clubs and bars card everybody under 30 except slutty looking chicks.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 November 2007):

I'm 25 but look 19 at the oldest. still get stopped for ID in clubs/pubs. I usually find that telling them confidently that I'm 25 and making it clear that I'm surprised they're asking me my age works quite well.

When I was 16 and starting sixth form at school, I looked 12 or 11, seriously. It was a nightmare. being quite small, and thin, and young face was what did it.

I went to an all boys school but our sixth form was joined with a girls school and there were girls there in year 10 and 11 who looked much older than me and they would make comments all the time.

I got child fare on the bus/tube till I was 18 though!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (20 September 2007):

Im nearly 27 and have look about 19, tops. i get i.d'd all over the place. Its annonoying as its the only time i get reminded. Except when i meet new people, or look in the mirror. My brother is not as tall as me and 5 years younger, people still ask who is the oldest. I'm sure i'll appreciate it a lot when i'm 40 something, but right now it seems a bit 'Ground Hog Day'. I'm bored of looking like a teenager and having to deal with the attitude you get from people for it.

I'm sure its not as bad for girls. Most of the ones i know spend lots of time making themselves look younger, since they past 21, anyway.

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A female reader, LIL ONE United Kingdom +, writes (7 September 2007):

I am 43 years old and 5'2 tall even now i still look younger than i am.I suppose it is a nice thing looking that bit youunger.Obviously while growing up it wasnt nice having to take i.d out to clubs and that but never mind.Even at school i was one of the shortest kids in school also at work.

Just appreciate it.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (2 September 2007):

I think mine is really the worst. I will be 33yrs old soon, I met an old man through work, and to my surprise he said that I looked as if I had just gotten out of high school. WOW! What embarrasment!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (15 August 2007):

Just Act your normal age and that is about All I can tell you because I am 19 years old and people say I look 15 or 16 just ignore what people say because no one is perfect and that is how it is in this society thanks

1-224-659-0526 Dave

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (6 August 2007):

im 17 and i look 14,, its so annoying, no-one invites to party-it sucks. people always make fun of me. Any suggestions?

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A female reader, vina_101 United Kingdom +, writes (20 December 2006):

vina_101 agony auntI'm the opposite. I look older for my age. It comes in handy when going to clubs and stuff but...y'know. Anyway to look older it helps if you don't wear hoodies and trainers and tracksuits and stuff like that. I never wear that sort of thing. Not that there's anything wrong with dressing like that, I'm just saying if you want to look older then steer clear from them. I'm not saying dress frumpy either but you know what I mean. Go for a more classy look. Handbag, matching shoes and belt, some kind of formal/casual jacket and a skirt or trousers. Sexy but sophisticated, young but chic. Look in cosmo or one of those kind of magazines and get some ideas.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 December 2006):

I understand where you are coming from. You, like me probably don't get the respect that you deserve because of you look so young. Then I think why do I need the respect of people who havn't taken good care of themselves? Taking good care of yourself does not cost a fortune, eg drink lots of water with lemon juice in it. Moisturise!I love my looks and now secretly laugh at people who look so old in comparison to their potential.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 December 2006):

You should be happy you look so young. Just think of the benefits in the future. I am 25 and look considerably younger than I am. I love it. I take great pride in this. I am no prune like some women my age. Be happy!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 September 2006):

omg! err! im small i'm 15 and i look 11 it is in no way good to look young when you look this young !!! its not a blessing guys dont like me and i dont get invited to parties because i look so young and i'm never goingto get into clubs until i'\mm 20 something help!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (3 September 2006):

Hon, you should be flattered that you look younger than your age! I know I am! I'm 24 and STILL get asked for ID when I go to pubs/clubs etc. (Legal age here is 18) The only problem I have is when I'm out somewhere that I keep getting hit on by 18 year old guys fresh out of high school, because they think I'm the same age as them! Why in Gods name would you want to look older? Women everywhere spend a fortune on looking younger. HAving said that, though, keep in mind that appearance isn't everything in life, but your personality you will have forever. Try to see the flattering side of it, and more importantly - enjoy your youth. Heck, you're only young once! :)

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A female reader, emma H +, writes (2 September 2006):

How lucky you are to look younger than you really are. Be positive about it and just think that when you're forty you'll probably look 35 or even younger. If you really want to look your age or older try wearing make up and classic clothes. Maybe change your hairstyle, perms often make you look older. Try to deal with the situation when asked your age in a mature way by just showing them your ID very quickly and without a fuss. I'm sure that you're the envy of many people.

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A male reader, tux United States +, writes (2 September 2006):

tux agony auntDon't fret this too much.. like everyone has been saying... it'll be a blessing later :) I'm 28 and still get carded for cigs and alcohol on occasion... but i bet the harsher part would be on your boyfriend if you had one that looked older.. People most likely would stare *gasp* what why care about that?

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A female reader, DrPsych United Kingdom +, writes (2 September 2006):

DrPsych agony auntMy husband is 25...and he STILL gets asked for ID at bars and club doors. He gets all embarrassed but I try to tell him that I would love to be stopped for age reasons :-) Try not to worry about it...in a few years time you will be asking how can I make myself look younger!

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A female reader, bonym United Kingdom +, writes (2 September 2006):

bonym agony auntMy dear when you are 40 you will wish you still had the youthful fresh look!!!! If you have ID whats the problem, you are 19 so you are allowed in any bar arent you? Be glad you have young, fresh looks. xXx

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 September 2006):

I know I'm 4 foot 10 i'm 18 and look like i'm 12 and it's sux alot of the time, people always comment and it gets so frustrating but you knwo what think of things this way you can continue to pay child prices for everything it's pretty cool unless you have to show ID. So it can at times be very benefiteal being looking young.

Best thing to do is not to think about it, I don't like to think of myself as being as short as everyone else or as young looking, just cope.

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A female reader, kristinp +, writes (2 September 2006):

It is a good thing that you look cheares it and be happy with the way you look

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 September 2006):

It's okay. I'm nearly 28, and I've been checked for ID almost every time I go to a pub/bar, casino, etc.

Staying young, looking young, feeling young are things to try to cherish, rather than get rid of! 8]

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A female reader, brown_iz08 +, writes (2 September 2006):

brown_iz08 agony auntTrust me, I can completely empathize with u. I am 17, gonna turn 18 this Nov. & everyone makes comments how I look around 12 or 13!! It's soo frustrating & annoying, but it doesn't rly help that I have a round face & am only 5ft tall. I am the shortest in my ENTIRE family, parents, siblings, cousins, & other relatives alike. I don't know why I'm so short & young looking, sometimes I feel my parents took the wrong kid by mistake @ some point in my life & I'm actually a younger child but I highly doubt that.

Just don't let others get u down. Besides, it'll certainly pay off in several yrs=)

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A female reader, midgetgem +, writes (2 September 2006):

midgetgem agony auntI've always had the same problem, even now in my thirties I have people mistake me for someone a lot younger! Last time I got asked for my age to buy ciggies I was 27!

Needless to say it is annoying and there's no magic formula on how to 'look older'. Sometimes i get taken for my age the other times I don't.

Is it an old cliche to say just be yourself? If you're the mature young woman you sound that will shine through and say more for you than any make up or clothes.

And the best thing is ... when all your friends who you envy now for looking older, ARE older, you will still look young and they'll envy YOU!!

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A male reader, Mr S United Kingdom +, writes (2 September 2006):

Mr S agony auntHi

You are a very luck girl. There are hundreds of women out there that will read this question and think that you are very luck (they may even be a little avenues)

If it’s the boyfriend factor that worries you (What the Lads think) don’t be worried many men like women that are younger looking. Also any relationship worth anything is based on your personality and not looks. Personalities don’t fade like good looks. In most cases it’s your actions and maturity that determines your age to people not your outward appearance.

So brag about only looking a teenager tern it into a bit of a joke and enjoy your self and carry ID.

To yourself be true

All the best

Mr S

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