I Don’t Age Either

After reading Liz’s post “I Don’t Age”, I was motivated to write about my own similar predicament. Liz mentioned a recent encounter where someone asked if she was at least eighteen. I have received that question more than a handful of times in the past few years. The one thing that irks me about that question is not that I don’t look eighteen – it suggests I don’t even look eighteen.

I’m twenty-three.

Liz is the same age as me, for the record.

I still get asked for ID in bars and other places. If I am with a friend, sometimes I don’t even get asked, likely because said friend actually looks like they are of legal drinking age, and people might as well assume that this friend is with someone who is roughly the same age.

I automatically get my ID out of my bag before I walk into an over-18 venue, and don’t just walk straight through, simply because I know they will check, and if they don’t check everyone, they will ask me.

Me from 2012, 2013, 2014 (photo taken last week).
Me from 2012, 2013, 2014 (photo taken last week).

I’ve made it into a bit of fun by saying “Guess!” every time someone asks how old I am. Most people are incorrect, for these reasons:

  • If they make a good attempt, they will naturally guess a few years younger. “Twenty? Twenty-one?”
  • If they make a joke, and then decide to put effort into their guess, they will guess even younger. “Ah… eighteen…? Nah, maybe nineteen, twenty.”
  • If they realise that my “Guess!” is an evil ploy, and that I have asked them to guess because people usually guess incorrectly and I am challenging them to guess correctly, then they will guess a few years older. “Twenty-five.”

It’s an interesting little game. The only time a stranger has guessed my age correctly is when I was in a taxi with these two guys I met at a concert, who asked how old I was.

“Ah she’s nineteen. She can’t be older than that. Maybe eighteen.”
“You’re wrong.”
The taxi driver said, “Ah I know. I’m pretty sure she’s… twenty-one.”
“… damn.”

This is a comparison photo of 2006 and 2012. I look more or less the same.

Me from 2006 to 2012.
Me from 2006 to 2012.

When people don’t realise my actual age, it always results in surprise or shock that 1) yeah I can drink, 2) yes I have a Masters degree, 3) yeah I am actually the same age as you and you were treating me like you were older and the boss of me.

People point out the advantages, such as: I will be complimented forever, I will look thirty when I’m fifty, I can get into children’s playgrounds and fit in.

To the latter: Um. No.

Maybe I don’t mind looking young half the time, but when someone makes a joke out of it (“Are you even old enough to drive?”, “I thought you were only sixteen!”), assumes your age (“Yeah, you’ll know what I mean if you decide to go to university”) or just flat out disbelieves you, it becomes a little infuriating.

I don’t want to get into a buffet as a twelve-year-old. I don’t want to get 10% off yoghurt for being in my school uniform. I don’t want to be asked for ID when I just want to have a good time. I do not want to be mistaken as “the younger sibling” alongside my eighteen-year-old brother. It’s almost self-deprecating, and while looking young may be a blessing, it doesn’t have any perks when you’re only twenty-three.

And don’t get me started on “but makeup” or “but Georgie, you said that people believe how old you say you are when you’re dressed like a punk”. I hate makeup, and people should look at how maturely people behave, not the fact that they have powder on their face, a suit, or look like they listen to metal music so must be over eighteen (what?).

Comments on this post

I get asked for ID everywhere! I got asked when I was buying a lottery ticket last year. (You have to be 16 to buy them here and I was 23.) /angry
I work in a job where I end up checking IDs a lot and it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry, but it gets annoying when it’s for something like that. I know all of the doormen in the town where I work, so I don’t have to worry about it there, but elsewhere you can guarantee people will practically pounce on me to check.
I might not look my age, but surely I can pass for at least 18?

I get ID’d all the time, I too don’t age at all, even though I’m only two years over the legal drinking age in the UK (I’m 20). I get ID’d on the university campus too, where I think over 99% of the students are over 18 anyway?! Which is very odd. Maybe it’s required by law or something here.

Annabelle – it might be the policy of the campus. I used to work at a store where we had to ask for everyone’s I.D., even if they were obviously an elderly person. I think it’s a dumb rule.

When I worked at Walmart, I carded literally everyone, just so I could make sure. I started doing it because a woman who looked like she was forty (heh) had told me, “I know you want to check my ID, right…?” I shrugged, and she continued on as she pulled it out and proceeded to flash it at me, “See? Just turned twenty-one.”


It’s mostly the special treatment that is annoying (for me, at least), like when someone cards a person because they definitely don’t look the required age even though that someone didn’t card others.

As I wrote in my comment on Liza’s post, I have this same problem and it is so aggravating. I am twenty-six. I often hesitate to buy beer unless my husband is with me, because it’s easier than dealing with cashiers who think my I.D. isn’t real. At past jobs, customers have asked why I am not in school.

Personally, I was raised to never ask a woman how old she is. I think that if you are holding car keys and are clearly old enough to drive, you basically qualify as a young adult and people have no business asking your age.

In our state, everyone under 40 gets carded. That’s the law anyway. Of course, some venues don’t always follow especially with regulars, but the police do regular stings on checking for ID. The fines can be brutal plus the venue could lose their alcohol and tobacco license. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

I don’t age either! I’m turning 26 soon, and I get mistaken for 16 all the time so I’ll officially look ten years younger. :P

You’ve definitely not age! I take that as a good thing. Since when you’re 35, you’ll probably still look 25.

I’ve aged :( Especially around my eyes. But some people still think I’m younger than what I am, but some think I’m older, too. O_o; I like it when people think I’m younger XD

I hear ya about the age thing. I often times get asked what’s your age? Most people can’t even comprehend the fact that I’m aged 31. One time when I went to go take the school’s entrance test…I was asked by a guy how old was I? I told him “What age do you think I am?” So I guess in a way, I played the game that you played. He guessed that I was at least 26. I was then age 29. Our generations, have it good. Yeah, it does get annoying and old quite fast, when they ask for your I.D. at movies, and at the bars. But hey, it should feel good that you don’t age and have the baby gene factor. Unlike our parents did. I don’t know where I got my baby genes factor from — but I’m glad I have it.

Because like you said when you’re 50 — you’ll look like you’re 30. Just like when I’m 60, I’ll look like I’m 40. I like the guessing game. But sometimes it can get old. But yeah, I dislike it when people think they can boss you around and feel “superior” to being older. And when they’re shocked to the core that you’re actually the same age or older — they treat you differently. It sucks, but what can ya do?

Jamie, you definitely look really young for your years! You have a young pretty face. :) It’s a shame when people judge you for how you look and think you must be pretty young. There isn’t much you can do – I remember my mum had a customer who kept bragging about how she was in her forties and looked great… in all honesty, she looked a decade older than my mum, who’s in her fifties, and looks really youthful.

I think my mum once had a conversation with some snooty person, and when she told them her real age, it shut them up for a while. Hahha.

I completely forgot about the younger sister line — when I would go out with my cousin Shane, I’d always be asked if hanging out with my older brother was “so fun”, and I’d be told how “lucky” I was to have an older brother who took me places with him… Uh, I drove, and I was with him and his friends because they needed someone over eighteen to be with them after curfew… 💥

Hm, you look the same, too.

I just wish I could be myself and look myself without having to change something about myself just to be seen as my actual age. 💀

I feel between that 2006 photo and the 2012 photo, you look younger in the latter one than the former one! :P

I usually get that younger sibling line when I am with my sister who is just 14 and well 5ft 8 inches tall. I’m just 5 ft so people think it’s good to joke like that! I so disagree!

I am only five foot two! We’re both pretty small. My younger brother is taller than me. I am surprised you think that I look younger in 2012, hahah!

But makeup /bounce

I initially saw on Liz’s post that you’ll write about this too and now I’ve found it! I feel I’m going to repeat myself a little from my comment on her post XD because I’m rather good at the age-guessing game. You do look young; you get a 20 from me in all three pics from the last three years! But I can see a defined maturity in the 2012 pic while the 2006 pic is cuter (you’re still cute of course XD). Otherwise I guess you didn’t age much – I’m not actually too sure what is supposed to change between age 15 and 21?

I think we might be pressured by a Western society where your teens and twenties are drastically different, but I’ve always felt for Asians there isn’t THAT much of a difference even between 12 and 22. I can still fit into some clothes I wore back then, and I’m the exact same height. It varies by people of course – you can’t compare someone who’s always looked old to someone who’s always looked young.

I’ve never felt I don’t age per say but I’ve heard people tell me I look really young. However, nobody has expressed shock after hearing how old I am. Guess people here are used to just no longer bothering to put an effort in guessing Asian ages.

It doesn’t help that I’m extremely short(I don’t even go up to 5 foot, I’m 4’10”) and have a very smooth face. I was told that I had a baby face. Lol

I may of gained some weight here and there, but I still look the same, especially in the face. Some people guess my age to be in the teens, which is surprising, but I don’t mind. I’d probably have to be carded everywhere I go too. I look that young.

It can be a good or bad thing.

I wanna say good thing, honestly. :)