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I am nineteen years old, however whenever I meet new people, they assume I'm between twelve and fifteen. Do I take it as a compliment? No. I find it offensive, in fact. I'm an adult, almost twenty years old, and yet they think I'm a kid. Because I look like one, I'm then treated like one, which infuriates me. Often I am called "cute", and I absolutely hate it; I'm a lady, and if you find me attractive, search for something else in your vocabulary to express it.

There's been times in the past where I have been accepted into events for half the price, because they just assume that because I look like a young teenager, that I must be one. I mean, I suppose it's nice to get into places for half the price, and sometimes even for free, however considering I'm an adult, I'd still much rather be seen and treated as one, even if that means having to pay the top price for something—that's just the way it is.

What aggravates me the most is when I go clothes shopping in a store where the employee's attend to their customers. Several times, I've had the store clerks look me up and down before mentioning to me that "the kids section is this way..." I try to smile, laugh it off as a joke, but deep down it annoys me immensely. I understand that it's not their fault they don't know my real age, however I still can't help but take offense, because I don't want to be seen as a kid, and I don't want to be directed to the Kids Department.

Two years ago, I discovered that I needed to begin wearing prescription glasses. Even though they were to obviously improve my eyesight, I had also hoped that maybe they would make me look more sophisticated and more my age. I'm almost always seen wearing my glasses, and even despite the adult-style of my glasses, people still make the assumption that I'm younger than I am; someone once told me that my glasses even make me look younger!

I've also tried expanding on my clothing style, to seem a little more physically mature. I went from wearing nothing but trackies and hoodies, to wearing jeans and tees, tank tops, knit jumpers and denim jackets. Again, that didn't seem to help much. However, I'm now comfortable with my style, and I'm not willing to continue to keep on changing it just to somehow bring my true age across to everyone I meet. I've also refused to begin using make up simply to look more my age, or possibly a little older—make up isn't me, it never has been, and probably never will be.

I don't leave my house often, but even if I did, I wouldn't be the type to visit pubs or clubs. I don't have the issue of having to show my ID all the time, which is a relief. But I know that in the future, it's likely to come up at some point. I worry that if there is a time that I need to show my ID, the person still wouldn't believe that I am my true age; I would hope they wouldn't wonder if I've made a false ID, because even on my photo, I look quite young. But, maybe that's just me being paranoid.

People are always genuinely shocked when I tell them how old I really am.

Too many act like I'm fragile glass or an innocent kid who hasn't hit puberty. I doubt I'll be getting noticed as a nineteen/twenty year old anytime soon.

tianajade tianajade 22-25, F 32 Responses Aug 10, 2012

Your Response


Yes a compliment age soon comes

Tiana for now it's hard on you, but stay young as long as possible. One day later on in life you will be saying, " I wish I were a teen again. I said the same thing when I was your age. Cheers

I understand how you feel, Tiana. I'm hitting 24, and I often get it when people tell me I look like I'm 17 or 18, and I tell them my secret to that. They're actually shocked to realize what I do makes me look younger than my earlier 20's. They even tell me I'm handsome, good-looking, and a "Jake Gyllenhaal", and I take that as a compliment.

But you know what they say, we get old every day, but we're as young as we feel. Having said that, when we're older, we won't feel so old. By the time I'm 40, I'll look like I'm 27 or 28. That should be such a great feeling.

I'm 20 soon to be 21 and have exactly the same problem. People have always been shocked about my age. Last year at 19 I started at a job and they thought I was only about 14 or 15, and visitors assumed I was someone's daughter or something as they didn't think I was old enough to be working there. I've stood in pubs and they've refused to serve me, or let me in in the first place. Without ID I would be stuffed. At the present the average person guesses me as about 16-17 years old, but I've been told I look as young as 12 and I find it very insulting.

Enjoy it! It means when you are 30 you may look 25. The only way it may become awkward is if you date a slightly older person. I was 30 dating a 23 year old woman that if she wore certain outfits and no makeup looked 14-15, we used to get stares and comments but didn't care. At 40 I look younger than most of my friends and love it.

I just posted on on one of your other post's but then I saw this and just had to read it. Actually I have the same problem/blessing. Im 18 and people don't think I look my age either. Before it sucked but then I realised that it's a good thing. The reason being: right now we might not look our age, but as we get older well always look 10 years younger and get compliments :) . It's true because my dad has always got compliments and they don't belive his age but it's backwards for him now. So anyways, it's more of a gift( just take care of yourself) when you think about it.

True, it might be a gift when I'm older, but right now it's just frustrating. Ha.

Hey TJ just **** them off - why care what the peasants think! Live life and enjoy!

Yes I had that, but the BEST part is when you get into your thirties and people say that you look about 25 and it continues on with you becoming more and more of a compliment. When we are younger we want to look older and when older we want to look younger. The years fly by Tiana, don't worry too much as it's going to be ultra flattering for you later :)

Thank you. (:

I know the feeling. I'm turning 45 this year and I STILL actually get asked for ID at times.

It's turned into an advantage in my industry though, because everybody seems to think that only "whiz kids" get it, and it can be difficult for older people to find work. (I'm in IT)

Once they get a good look in my eyes and actually engage in a discussion with me, age assumptions tend to fly out the window though. There's nothing like knowing what you're talking about and being able to make a strong case for your viewpoint for shutting people up about age.

Just keep your chin up, shoulders back, hands in view, and look people directly in the eye. Body language is a large part of people's perceptions, so train yourself to act relaxed and in charge. (A word of warning though - if you maintain eye contact for more than 6 seconds people will interpret it as aggression or a come-on ;) ).

Haha. Thanks for the advice.

Also, you may have been getting looks around the pokies because you're attractive, not because of your apparent age.

Doubtful. But thanks.

You may doubt it, but as a male I can guarantee you at least some of those looks were due to attraction.

1 More Response

I don't really see it; You look 19 to me. Yes, you are young-looking (not a bad thing) but I would never mistake you for a kid.

I was the same way so I understand but now at 66 when I was guessed at 49 & 46 last week I like it!!!

it annoys me too =_= my roomate she is 24 and im 23(but i look 13) it was a thursday and i needed to get somthing at the pharmacy, i walked past a school and a secruity officer stopped me n asked what i was doing out of school. Im lik wtf?? she literally hauled me to the school cafeteria and asked wut class im in wut grade ect. i awnser none to all of them n told her im 23, of course she didnt belive me and i didnt hav any proof(stupid me)so i had to write a whole page on my "skipping school", it was terrible. i was there for about 30 mins until she moved me to a office. They kept asking my name and i told them but it didnt show up on the computer. They thought the system crashed. some bullshit =_=

I still get carded everywhere I go because of me looking like a teenager or someone in their early 20's. At first, I hated it as much as you do right now. But as I got older, I relished in the fact that people can't believe that I'm older than I look. And man, it sure is fun.

When I get older, I'd probably enjoy people telling me I look younger. However, at the moment, it's not fun.

I know I commented earlier, but I just wanted to share some other things with you. My entire family looks young for their age. My 28 year old sister, who was recently married, was told she that she "could pass for 12" by some waitress at a restaurant me and my family were at a few months ago. I actually couldn't believe someone would just say something like that. She's petite, nothing more than that. People make ridiculous and idiotic assumptions without thinking (perhaps out of jealously, insecurity or mere stupidity). My 23 year old sister has been carded for R-rated movies numerous times. My younger brother, who is your age (19), has been told he could pass for 15 or 16. On the whole, I'd say it's just genetic. Nothing me or my other siblings can do about it. Even my mother, who is in her late 50s has been told she looks early 40s at most. (almost a 20 year difference). Judging by your current picture (with your shades, wardrobe and hair) though, I'd say you look like an average college aged student, anywhere from 18-20. (you actually look a bit like a girl from my college) One last thing I just wanted to say is that there are a fair number of people who don't look their age, whether they're people I've met personally or otherwise. It's more common than most people care to think.

Thanks for sharing. It does kind of run in the family a little, from my Mum's side. I know that's it's not uncommon, but I just get tired of hearing all the comments all the time about how I don't look my age. Some may like that, but I don't.

Oh wow, judging from your profile pic, you don't look 12 or 13 at all, so it surprises me that people would make such an annoying assumption about you. I totally understand where you're coming from - trust me, I'd be beyond pissed to be treated like a child. Perhaps, you're on the petit side? People will mistake smaller women to be younger even when they don't look it, facially.

It may not be much consolation now, but in 10 years you will start to like it! I am 26 and have reached the point where I am flattered when people think I am still in my teens!

You need to keep this and I think you will enjoy reading this when you have a teenager. I know the feeling, and never minded Yes it can bbe furtrating always being told you are too young for that, but it's a whole lot better than being told you are too old.

Hey dont sweat it. I went to a museum yesterday with my brother who is under 17, I paid for our admission and told them that he was. The woman asked me how old I was to see if I get the youth admission...I'm 25.....true story lol

Nice. :P

Yeah,i feel u.i am just like you too,people always kept mistaking me like im stil in highschool although im 23.but I dont give a damn to them,i just show my id if they dont believe's tiring,really,plus with my petite figure.i have no best words to motivate u,but just ignore them and just act and be urself cuz thats what I do and it helped me survive.;)

I understand this completely. I'm 20 and work at a winery, and literally everyone who comes through to taste wine makes a remark about my age in some way, most commonly: "Are you old enough to be working here? I thought you had to be 18 to serve alcohol" and "You're 20? You don't even look old enough to drive!" also sucks is that most girls around my age don't really take me seriously :(. They flirt with me playfully, but just see me as jailbait even when I tell them my age. Ironically, it's only the 15-16 y.o. girls who are into me at first glance and really try to go out with me. It's a total curse! <br />
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But the absolute WORST part of it is when people say, "You'll be happy you look so young in 10-20 years." It's bullshit . Like yesterday, this 30 year old fox was telling me the exact same thing, and halfway through she started checking out my coworker, who's my age but actually looks like a MAN and not a young adolescent. <br />
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Anyways, I'm too tired to rant on so I'll leave it there. Good luck to you :)

That sucks. Guys don't take me seriously. And I definitely get the "You'll appreciate it in 10-20 years time." a whole lot, and it drives me nuts!

Hahah, this also made me smile, but in a good way. People always thought I was younger than I really am as well. But, I take it as a compliment even if the person was mistaken. It makes me smile because there's an irony with being young and being an adult. Lots of kids think that they wish they were older to do "grown up" stuff and lots of adults look back into their younger years in awe of their youth. When life itself had so much potential and they didn't have as many worries in life.<br />
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Also, I think it's beautiful to look young. There's nothing wrong with being proud for what you are and how you look like. Accepting something and dealing with it is a lot more healthier than changing something and hiding what it really is in my opinion.

Sorry, your story made me smile for a couple of reasons. First, when my big sis was 11(she is 4 years older than me) she would say hat she was 12 at movie theaters so she could pay the adult price and people (at he ticket window, I guess) wouldn't think that she was a child! Most of us tried to get in for the children's price for a year or 2 after we turned 12. I know it is very frustrating, but the 2nd reason that I smiled is that in my adult years, I have always look younger than my age - good genes, I guess, as my parents always looked younger than their ages. I have always been mistaken for 7-10 years less than my age, which as I get older is more flattering. Now, I am 62, and sometimes people think that I am aup to 20 years younger! So be careful what you wish for, tianajade,there are people yonger thanme that look 10-15 years older!

Consider yourself blessed. By the time your in your fifties( and some day you will) people are going to wish they looked like you. Who you are is far more than what you look like.......<br />
Beenthere Donethat

This sounds like something I would write. Anyways, I turned 21 about 3 weeks ago and people on my facebook profile tell me I look 17 at the most. I was a very late bloomer and actually grew a few inches between the age of 20 and 21. In person, I've been told I look even younger. Last year at college, I was sitting in a lecture hall and the girl behind me mutters something to her friend that I "look about 14." I also had a few other people there that would make inappropriate comments about it behind my back. Believe it or not, I didn't have my growth spurt until I was 15 or 16. Even at 21, I still have a small fr<x>ame, bony arms and small hands, etc. I tend to be very empathetic toward other people with this "looking young" issue. Trust me, I know how you feel. You're not alone. It really does suck sometimes. It's unfair. But with time, things change, and you'll learn to worry less about this issue. For now, just be yourself, live life for you and ignore those irritating or condescending comments/looks/gestures people give you. You know yourself better than anyone else.

Honey, I know what you are going through. I look much younger than I am. Most of the time people think I am about 18-19. I get weird looks when I go buy something that you have to be 21. I laugh at it and live my life.

You are on you way to the prom, dressed in this perfect gown, corsage on, boyfriend in his tuxedo. The limo door opens and you step out into a fresh heaping mound of dog ****. You wipe it off on the grass, but as you walk through the prom there is this eau de dog **** wafting up around you. People are making faces. You know it is you. You feel horrible inside. Hell on Earth<br />
<br />
You go outside your house in summer, you have paid the rent, all your bills and there is no money left over. You notice your rose bush is not flowering and there is no extra money for rose food, you are walking down the street and see this big heaping mound of dog ****, rush home get a shovel, scoop it up, run back home and mix it with a bit of water and place it around the ba<x>se of your rose bush, A week later the roses are blooming with a beautiful scent. Heaven on Earth<br />
<br />
But the important thing to know in this story is it is the same dog ****. The difference is in how you see it.<br />
<br />
When I was in school a friend of mine was dating one of the dumbest, airhead blondes in the school. The following year, during art class, I started working on a long term project. The teacher allowed me to use the supply room that held the kiln and connected the two classrooms.<br />
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Turns out 'airhead' was in the other class and quickly joined me in the supply room each class. At the end of the second term we got our report cards. Hers was lying there and while she was consulting with her teacher, I slipped her card out.<br />
<br />
Straight A student ranked 3rd in a class of 700 in a school ranked in the top 30 High Schools in the US.<br />
<br />
When she came back in, she saw and understood immediately. She asked me not to tell anyone.<br />
<br />
Her explanation: It is so much easier to get people to let you slide and do things for you when they think you are a dumb blonde.<br />
<br />
So you now get to Choose how to See you circumstances and how people act and treat you. I recommend practicing covert manipulation. Revel in their ignorance.

BTW I am 60 and look mid 40s. When I was 28 and with my 18 year old gf in a 21 year old state, I got carded (id) and she didn't. Waitress threatened to call the police, so I gave her the chief of police's home number (he went to school with my father)...Woman came back totally shocked. Last time I got carded I was 36. . Trust me having people think you are 21 when you are 36 especially when you work in the Health industry (different from doctors who work in the Sickness industry) is a positive...and of course parents thought I was such a nice guy...LOL..go read some of my stories and you'll see exactly how angelic I am.

Hey ,im 4'11 & im 16. Everyone thinks im younger. Just think. When your older you will look younger. Think pausitive about looking young :)

enjoy it while you can the years go by real fast... also some of us never got to be a kid we had to work then to war... just enjoy the way you are have fun with it and laught a lot......

I used to have the same problem when i was in my teens, I hated it too. My best freind, was an early bloomer and looked like a woman at like age 11. so we would go out and dudes would say why did you bring your little sister? So i feel you. I know it doesnt help you now, but, you will really appreciate this when you get older. Trust me. Oh, and dont just dump a bunch of makeup on to look older, you will just look the same age but with a crap load of makeup on. You dont need to get trendy hair or clothes to look older, just do you. Dress how you like, style your hair as you like, the one thing I can see might help is just try to act your age. not saying you dont now, thats the only thing I can think that will help you now. Just present yourself as mature as possible. F@$k what otheres think. or just write your age on your forehead, and point to it everytime someone asks or comments on your age. Good luck

Everyone thinks I am younger than I am also.

And that will never change until you get older.<br />
You should just tape a post it to you that says that you are 18.

You may always have a youthful appearance to you, but as you get older, you will start to not care as much about whether or not you look younger than you are. You might even start to see it as a positive. Yes, right now it sucks because you get treated like a child, but the people that don't look just at your appearance and actually get to know you will realize that you're a pretty mature and intelligent adult. Well, if you don't count the potty humor that you like so much, but then again, so do I. :P