Hate Looking Immature

Hello, everyone, my name is Joey, and for many years now, I've felt that I look too young for my age.  It all started a few months after I turned fourteen.  I quit growing taller, and I thought my body was just taking a break, but several months later, I noticed that I still hadn't grown, and I felt something might not be right.  Several months later, I thought I looked like a twelve-year-old even though I was fifteen.

I didn't have any major problems until I was seventeen.  There was one time when I was with my dad at the checkout, and the cashier apparently saw me and asked my dad, "Is this your little boy?"  Little boy!?  I was rather insulted.  I then told her that I was seventeen, and she seemed so surprised, and she said, "You look so tiny!" and then went on to say, "You'll appreciate it when you get older."  Not in my opinion.  Not if it means being looked down upon and treated like a little kid instead of getting a reasonable amount of respect.  I was irritated the whole time my dad checked out groceries, and I overheard her ask my dad in surprise, "Is he really seventeen!?"  I was so aggravated at the woman, even though she probably was not trying to insult me.  In my opinion, this was the worst thing that's ever happened to me in regards to being told I looked young.

Then, a little more than a year later, I went to the doctor's with my mom with hopes that I could get my "too young" appearance taken care of.  I didn't want to look super old or anything - I just wanted to look my age - a normal, mature eighteen-year-old.  I printed a sheet of paper with a picture of me when I was fourteen, one when I was fifteen, and one of me when I was seventeen.  I didn't think there was any difference (especially between the fifteen and seventeen-year-old pics).  Fortunately, the doctor seemed to agree that I hadn't changed, and he ordered some blood tests.  Unfortunately (for me), the blood tests were "normal" (I looked at them later, and on at least one of the things "0" was considered normal - if "0" is normal, then what is low supposed to be!?).  Even though the tests were "normal," some of the things (in my opinion) looked a little on the low side.  I was then referred to an endocrinologist, and my mom and I told him that I hadn't changed in height or physical appearance since I was fourteen.  More tests were done including another blood test and an X-ray of something on my arm.  Then, a little more than a month later, my mom and I returned to the endocrinologist, and I was eager to hear what the results were.  I was hoping (in a way) that the results would be "bad" enough for me to get some growth hormone.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.  Everything seemed normal to the doctor, and I even showed him the pictures that I showed the other doctor.  To my horror, he said he could see some changes.  My dreams of looking my age were falling apart, and I was horrified.

Since then, I have not been to another endocrinologist (partly because I don't currently have health insurance).  But to me, the news from the endocrinologist shattered all my hope of looking normal/mature for my age.  I've gotten a little used to it, but I can't stop but feeling frustrated, hopeless, and angry at my situation.  I'm tired of looking so young and immature.  I'm twenty (and will turn twenty-one in a few months), and in my opinion, I look exactly the same as I did when I was fourteen or fifteen (with the exception of being able to grow some facial hair, which isn't even all that much anyway)!  And I've got relatively narrow shoulders and a youthful, kiddish (not manly)-looking face.  And it's been like this for over six years now, and it doesn't look like I'm going to change anytime soon!  That's the whole reason I went to the endocrinologist, but apparently, he doesn't think there's a problem.  As far as the X-rays go, all the bones are at the correct age except for some radial bone or whatever.  If so, then why do my bones look so puny and not mature-looking for my age?  I'm 5'3" as well, and while that isn't that bad, I wish I were taller (although being taller hasn't been my major desire over the last few years, as many short people still at least look their age).

I guess the worst part of looking so young is the fact that with each year I get older, it is possibly even more shocking for strangers who don't know me.  It was bad enough in my teen years, but at least then, it was something I could kind of get away with.  But once I get further and further in my adult years, it's going to be even more of a curse unless I catch up some.  I look at Facebook from time to time and am saddened and discouraged when I see how some of my former classmates from high school look older and more like adults while I look exactly the same (even from middle school)!  It makes me afraid of growing up and makes me feel afraid of the idea of having friends as an adult, as I fear I won't fit in or that they won't accept me.  The older I get and the less I look like an adult (or young adult), the more afraid I am of being rejected and feeling out of place.  I fear that even if the adults don't reject me that they might look down at me, and even if they don't, I'll still feel self-conscious.  I'm also afraid that I'll never find love or get a girlfriend again.  It was hard enough for me when I was a teenager - I had only two "official" girlfriends - one was only my girlfriend a few days because I didn't follow up (she didn't break up with me or anything, the two of us just never really talked again, so the relationship unofficially ended, and another was one I had a little more meaningful relationship with but was still off and on.  So now that I'm in my twenties and look so young and not too physically mature, I feel it will be even harder.  Girls/women will be wanting to hook up with menly-looking people, not puny young teenage boys.  I just feel so bad about this and wish things were different.

Anyway, this has been very frustrating for me, and I wish there was something I could do about it, but unless some miracle happens, it doesn't seem I'll ever look "normal."  Oh well.

CompNerd89 CompNerd89
26-30, M
20 Responses Feb 16, 2010

Do you also have a small penis?

I don't know - it depends on what you consider small.

I stopped growing about 10 years ago. I was the first to grow in my year and then never grew again. I'm 21 and I look about 15. I can't help getting wound up when girls who are so young look so mature for there age. I'm just clinging onto the fact that when I'm 40 I'll still look youthful! It's irritating at work because everyone looks at me like I'm the work experience kid when I've been there 2 years and can actually help the person with what they want. You should of seen the looks I received when I was 18 working behind a bar ;-) but you just have to get use to never leaving the house without your id and trying not to get offended when you're asked for ID for a 16 age capped lottery ticket :-)

Yeah, I can imagine how "tormenting" it can be doing "mature" things while looking like a kid. It does suck, but at least we're not the only ones that have this problem. And yeah, once a person gets older, it could work to their advantage.

Have you had any luck with finding out why you look so young? I'm a female that is 27 (turn 28 in April) and I haven't aged since I was about 12. I actually haven't gotten any taller since then either. I now have 3 children of my own and constantly get asked if I'm their big sister! There are several connective tissue disorders that slow the aging process due to collagen fibers. Are you hypermobile at all? (Bend your thumbs to your wrist, bend your thumb behind the knuckle on your index finger, reach your shoulder blade with your hand, touch your tongue to your nose) I know all of those sound weird but they are indicative of some kind of connective tissue disorder. I am being screened for SLE (systemic lupus) because of all of my other bizarre symptoms along with my hand hypermobility.

Unfortunately, I don't know why I look young for my age (as far as I know, I look about the same as I did when I wrote this story six years ago). I went to a regular doctor and an endocrinologist, but neither seemed to think that there was a problem. I'm not hypermobile that I know of. For many that do look young, there probably isn't usually a medical problem - just an annoyance.

I'm a girl who just turned 19, going through the same thing as you. You might have celiac or autoammune like me. I'm a conplete introvert because I constantly get put down for how yound I look. I had sone one say as young as 9 this summer. Its hurtful and demeaning but I try to think of good come backs

I don't think that I have celiac or autoimmune, but I might check into it someday. For now, I've just accepted my appearance since I don't have the money to go to doctors. I'm an introvert, too, and while other reasons contribute to it, looking young is also a factor. Someone said that you looked 9? Wow. I'm sorry that you have to deal with it, too.

Thanks for your story. I was very small in school too and was always the smallest boy in school. I finally got to 5'9" when I was like 18-19 yrs old. Do you have a small penis too? or just small in height? Do you have pubic and underarm hair? I have only a 5'5" un-cut ****...so kinda small.

That's good that you finally reached a "normal" height. I have leg hair, pubic hair, and underarm hair - although I got them before or around the time that I stopped growing. While I've grown body hair in other places since then, it's been less dense. My **** is circumcised and probably similar in length. It might be at least 6" when erect, but I haven't measured it in a long time. Frankly, I don't care that much.

don't worry I'm 20 and get told I look 18 which I don't mind because I've always gotten girls an im cool with looking 2 years younger. last year and previous years especially high school and college I was bagged out by people for looking young like people would say I look 12 when I was 19 or were very surprised with my real age. It's made me quite depressed and even have pretty bad anxiety but I'm learning to live with it I mean at least when we are older we will look amazing for ages. looking around a lot of people look old for their or age or real young so you just have to remember there is heaps of people that also don't look their age. I bet half the people you've seen you've thought they look 15 and they could actually be 18. I still have heaps of friends at age 20 that can't grow beards and look young and I have friends that could grow beards at 16 and look 25 just remember when they're 40 they'll look 50 and we will look 30 and get all the women :-P

Yeah, looking young does suck, but it can also be good in later years. I hope that you're dealing with it well.

I know how you feel. Im 19 years old, young looking guy with "babyface". I have brother (15 years old). He is 4 years younger then me and he looks much older then me. It feels sux. Everybody who meets us thinks, that my younger brother is the older one.The most frustrating is, that I (19) can date only 15 years old girls (i cant get older, older girls want just mature guys) And my brother (15) keeps coming home with 18-20 years old girls. And once happened to me, that one of his girlfriend asked him, if Im younger or older. So, looking young is one thing, you can live with it. :)but when you have younger brother, who look much older then you, then... (you don't want to even imagine that)

That sucks that your younger brother looks older than you. Good luck finding ladies (if you haven't found one already).

I'm 15, male, Caucasian, 5' 7", 110 lbs, and with a hell of a deep voice -- people have commented on it with quips such as "Go into radio voicework!" or "Are you Morgan Freemans kid?"<br />
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However, I only hit puberty about last October. Which sucks, simply because I realize that my bones are still growing (My shoulder blades don't have the widened appearance of matured males, nor do my muscles grow despite daily workout regimens) and my self-conciousness is more present than ever. Nobody asks me if I'm 12 or 13, but I certainly have my moments when I feel it. I've still got maybe a year and a half to go until I reach full maturity as I'm a late-setter, but it's not too bad.<br />
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As for your predicament, rest assured, it WILL suck now but when you're in your 40's, 50's and 60's, people will be damned a-jealous of your appearances. Trust me. My father had the same hormone/bone growth as I did. He's 60 now, but he only appears perhaps 45 at most. Don't sweat the girl thing, either. From personal social experience, when you get to know a girl as a friend, they'll view the honesty in you. This is a quality to be coveted. As of now, I have a wonderful girl waiting for me back in Wisconsin, and two/three 'chasers', if you will. When people say that you look young, rejoice. They'll get wrinkles, arthritis, and alzheimers, whereas you will never experience any of those. Live life -- you're actually rather lucky! =]

Thank you so much man:) This made me feel much much better ^.^

Thanks for your comment. Yeah, it does suck, but hopefully, it will have benefits later. I'm sorry that you've felt awkward at times and hope that you're dealing with it well.

Hey, I'm 20 & EVERY TIME my boyfriend and I go out, we always get a comment of him going to jail because hes dating a young 12 year old girl, they laugh about it but it makes me so angry inside. My height (5'1) my weigh (100) my SUPER babyface!!! I feel like jobs wont take me serious because of how young I look, and it sucks looking like the little sister when I'm with my friends...but whatever I guess we gotta live with it lol. HOPEFULLY it is a benefit when we're older.

Wow, that sucks. I'm sorry you've had to deal with that. And yeah, I've also feared that I haven't gotten hired because the employers think that I'm just a dumb, immature kid. And yeah, hopefully looking young will be a benefit later.

I just had a crappy weekend because I thought I was getting over looking young but nope, people still told me I looked 15. I'm 20. Reading your story made me feel not so alone. Often I feel like I'm the only one with this and it terrifies me that I'll be stuck like this forever. I even grew facial hair in hopes of looking older but that didn't help apparently. I would really like to email you or others having this problem because I badly need someone to relate to and understands me pain. It's getting to the point where I can't even look in the mirror without cringing. Its made me such a sad person.<br />
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Oh and Yombull, your story gives me hope that maybe in the future I will at least learn to appreciate it.

I'm glad that my story helped :) I do feel a lot better knowing that I'm not alone, and I'm sorry that you've had to go through this, too. It's a real blow to self-esteem to think that you've gotten over something - only for someone to tell you otherwise. And yeah, I've grown facial hair. I do think that it helps - but perhaps not as much as it could. Also, if you still want to e-mail me, you can message me at jemascola at yahoo dot com.

WOW! While reading I was like "When the hell did I write this??!"<br />
It may sound repetitive because of the other comments, but really, I felt it was me writing your story, I was through the same stuff, with the doctors and girlfriends and everything, altough I'm a little taller (5'6") and one year younger than you.<br />
I remember praying for something to be wrong with me so I could fix it. But unfortunately, everything was just fine. I'm now lifting weight in hopes of looking at least 18. If there's one thing that infuriates me, is seeing someone younger than me looking older, like some boys born when I was 6 looking my age when I was supposed to look my age. Somethimes I imagine nine years from now, kids born in 2000 actually looking older than me.<br />
Good to know I'm not alone in the world.<br />
I hope we can feel better about ourselves one day :)

That is interesting that our stories are so similar. It sucks going through this, but thankfully, I've managed to put the issue on the backburner for now. I hope that you're dealing with this well, too.

i'm 18 and i know what u r tallkin about. people say i look 16 but i dont give a ****, i also havent grown since 14, i m 5,4 and asian and wear glasses. but none of that matters because i know i m 18 and i behave as such( atleast i think)<br />
true i stumbled upon your post while trying to find if there s anything wrong with me, but u( i) shouldn't let this get in the way of u(me) living exactly the way we want.<br />
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That's some very good advice. It's good to not let what others think stand in the way of living our lives.

I had the same problem growing up. I was told as a senior in high school that I looked like a freshman. It sucked pretty badly. I too started to hang around with people a few years younger to feel normal, I also found it a lot easier to date girls 2 or 3 years younger, because I was I didn't like being treated as a "cute little boy". You will eventually grow into your body like I did and become more manly looking, but you will probably always look a little younger for your age. Now that I am 33, I absolutely love looking younger. I would definitely weight train (and stay dedicated, results did not come quickly for me) that absolutely helped with my scrawniness. I would never be considered scrawny now, not huge either, but adequately built. Hang in there and try dating girls a few years younger than you. Try not to stress too much about it, and even try to joke about it. As you get older and see younger people in your situation, you will realize it's not a big deal as you thought it was when you were in their shoes. You will also come to realize that everyone has internal issues that make them feel different or isolated from everyone else.

Yeah, I feel you. Looking young does suck because it seems that people look down at you, but it's great that you look older now - and that looking young for your age is beneficial. And yeah, even though I still look like a young kid, right now, I try not to think about it too much.

Hey - I understand this completely, being currently 31 and looking like I'm in my mid-twenties. When I was in middle school and part of high school I got "stuck" at 5'3" and didn't grow for a while, and totally felt super awkward and puny and out of place all the time, as everyone else shot up in height around me. Then maybe late sophomore year I shot up to 5'8" but that is all I ever grew. I am constantly surrounded by larger people and I often feel kind of weird about it, and the fact that I have such a young looking face and attitude make people think I am much younger than I am, which is kinda awkward. The cool thing is, even though I am young looking and maybe a bit smaller, I have always somehow managed to get girlfriends who are proportionate to me and who understand me. <br />
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Right now things are strange because I have a lot of younger friends, and they are constantly surprised when they learn how old I am. It's kind of embarrassing because I never finished college and am trying to finish it up now, and I think people kind of wonder why I am not further along in my life by now...<br />
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I don't care though, I am glad I look young, I am pretty healthy and feel young, so its great, I am going to look at this phase of my life as a second chance to do college over again and do it right this time. It is tempting to lie about my age though, after getting all these weird reactions from people. <br />
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Has anyone ever lied and said they were younger than they really are to feel more normal?

5'8" isn't too bad, be glad that you managed to grow an extra five inches when all hope seemed lost. To answer your question, I once lied about when my birthday was - mainly because I hadn't yet gotten my learner's permit and didn't want people hounding me as to why I hadn't. Anyway, good luck with your life and in college!

this reply might be too late but what you said amazed me. i thought i was the only one with those dilemmas that you posted.it's like you were in my mind.<br />
i've went to the doctors so many times wishing that i'd be told i had some sort of ****** hormone imbalance. but every single time it turns out i'm okay. thats why i think i now have some sort of hypochondria, wishing something was actually wrong with me when i feel something weird and that i'd find an answer to all of this.<br />
it sucks big time.i hate it.i really do..its had a negative impact on my self-esteem.especially when i see photos of childhood friends who've all grown into young adults. i'm so happy for them. i wish there was some way of looking my age. I'm actually 21 now and people tend to think i'm 15.its a curse.i hate it so much. i hope all is better on your end already.

It's never too late to comment, lol. That is some coincidence. There might not be anything medically wrong with looking too young, but it sure seems like something wrong since it's not that normal. And like you, I hate seeing pics on Facebook of my friends who now look like adults. It's one of the reasons I don't go there as much as I used to. I've basically gotten used to my "condition" and try not to think about it - hoping maybe someday I'll look more "normal."

I feel your pain. I am 17 and only one inch taller from last year.( I'm 5'1") In the past 3 years, I have grown 3 inches, and,considering that most of my classmates have an average height of 5'5' or greater, I feel like a little person. Plus i only weigh 106 lbs. and adults always tell me how I look 12 or 13. They think it's a compliment but everytime adults comment on how young i look, I always want to knock their lights out because hey, adults are supposed to know how to control their tongue and not make such idle comments. <br />
Being the way that I am it dosen't make me feel like a woman at all.Even though i turn 18 next year, I'm not confident enough to say that I'm almost an adult. <br />
I guess you'll just have to make the best of it. Maybe think about the person who is rudely commenting. Like if they're old or grotesquely fat, think, " At least I don't look old like them," Or " At least I'm not as fat, ugly,and stupid like you,"( don't say aloud though) This is what I always do if people want to envy my youthful looks.<br />
Besides, I think a guy who looks youg for his age is a bit cute :3

I can certainly understand how angry you feel when people think it's a compliment to say how young you look, lol. On the plus side, 106 isn't a bad weight for someone of your height, and many people would be glad to be your size, though I understand how you feel.

Hello, again, and thanks for the comments!<br />
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MyDearMariee: Thank you very much for your post. I don't particularly want people older than me, it's just that I want to be normal and just feel like a kid and feel discouraged and uncomfortable around adults or adult-looking people, but yeah, I can see where you're coming from, too. Also, that's interesting about the "sense" thing you mentioned. I think I might agree with that (though I'm not sure exactly what you mean). I've found (shockingly) that a lot of my better friends have turned out to have more in common with me than I ever dared imagined - and I learned this later on into the friendships. Maybe we subconsciously know we'd be compatible friends. Is that what you're talking about? Also, sorry you've struggled so long and wish the best for you, and BTW, I've never been too crazy about football, lol.<br />
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chicago54: Thank you very much for your post as well. You're right that some may have it worse. But I'd just like to say that I'm really not bothered by my height anymore. What I've been concerned about is my youthful appearance (as in the width and maturity of my body). It puts my mind at ease that there are short people that still look their age, and also, like you said, that girls tend to be on the short side, too. I just hope my appearance doesn't get in the way of finding love - especially as I get older and change less and less. But yeah, like you said, I guess I should just go out and look. I suppose if someone really cared about me, looking young wouldn't really be an issue.

@CompNerd89: Don't worry, man. it may be a little difficult to find love. But trust me, there is someone situations is worse than yours. There are many males, that don't have the height. Unless the doctor give you a growth hormone, you are probably going to the same height. I have a cousin that is 5"3, and he complains about his height, but look at this, man, most girls are on the short side. Don't go outside, feeling sad, get groups of friends, and go places, I will guarantee you will find love. You will find her, and then you will never care about your height. Get to the gym, and put some muscle, or do it at the crib. Buy a weight machine, or do sit up. That would really get the girls going.

Hi, TheSquirrel, and thanks for the comment! Yes, indeed, there may be benefits to looking younger later on, but as you said, it sure sucks when you're in your twenties!

Over the long term, the benefits to looking young are enormous. It just sucks really badly when you are still in your 20s. <br />
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Most of my friends are around my age, and the ones who looked all manly-mannish when we were 20 look like Ernest Borgnine now. We are in our 40s. Ernest is 90. (Don't get me wrong. I really like Mr. Borgnine, and he looks great for 90.) <br />
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One of the best examples of baby-faced guys I know is a friend who is now 50, but could easily pass for 30. I am not kidding.