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chinchin31's avatar

Why do some people think it is okay to make rude remarks when someone looks young for their age ?

Asked by chinchin31 (482 points ) July 13th, 2014

For example yes i am an adult and i look young for my age. I am 31 and do look at least 10 years younger no matter how much I dress like an adult. It is genetic.

I don’t see anything wrong with someone telling me I look young for my age but I find it really rude when people make comments like “you look like a child ” or “you look like a baby” or “you don’t look old enough to be married ”

Am I over reacting? I don’t think anyone over the age of 10 wants to be referred to as looking like a child, so why do people make these type of comments.

One reason why I think it is just downright rude is because if I was their manager/director they would never make a comment like that. Which mean it has to be rude. Am I over-reacting?

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11 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

I had a similar problem. When I was 12 I was 6’3” and had a full mustache… I could sneak into video arcades during school. I even snuck into university for one class.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m not going to judge – even from way over here – that you’re over-reacting. You’re reacting in the way that you feel. However, I would suggest that you can reconsider how you feel.

It’s one thing to look “child-like”, and I wouldn’t think it was a bad thing at all. It’s another thing entirely to be thought of as “child-ish”. I wouldn’t blame you for being upset at that vocalization!

All my life I’ve also looked much younger than my age – and still do, which is not a bad thing at 60. I was happy when my hair started to go gray at 26, because I could finally walk into a bar without being challenged. And for part of that time, the drinking age was 18, too.

As for the belief that some people are commenting “rudely”, well… some people are inelegant in expression, aren’t they? Pity them.

chinchin31's avatar

ha.
yes but when where you hear it over and over . it does start to annoy you. especially as i am someone that does not make assumptions about people by their external appearance and am over conscious of what i say to others.

it is annoying having to explain yourself continuously, because if you don’t people will continue to talk to you in a condescending manner. At the same time i don’t want to become a defensive person blowing up all the time. So usually i just ignore it but it does get to me.

zenvelo's avatar

I’d start responding with, “Yes, I am fortunate that way.” And then leave it alone. It is rude of them, so an accepting comment keeps you from being rude in return, but will actually make them think twice about what they’ve said.

When I was in my late 20s, one of the younger people on staff (he was 19 or 20) thought I was in my forties. That is much worse than looking too young.

chinchin31's avatar

ha.. yes i guess we all get annoyed by different things in life based on our life circumstances. i have met in my life people that look a lot older than they are but i was never rude enough to say it.

JLeslie's avatar

I can understand why it bothers you, but I think maybe you are taking it the wrong way. They might be using child for young, not to mean you look unlike a ten year old. To a 45 year old 20 looks like a child. That layer of baby fat or roundness in the face tends to disappear between the ages of 25–35. My sister until the age of about 30 was told all the time she looked very young. Many people thought she was 18. No wrinkles, only 5’2” and petite figure. It was because of her entire look, not just her face. Her hair style, her clothing, etc.

My husband looks ten years younger than his age and I am incredibly jealous of it. But, men have less trouble than women being taken seriously. There I can understand why you might be really annoyed or feel it is somehow dismissive.

I think just say, “thank you.” Most of the time the person saying it probably means it as a compliment. Or, they are just surprised when they find out your age.

chinchin31's avatar

ha… yes i am just like your sister… petite. i think most petite women have this problem. and yes i definitely have a round face and chubby cheeks and well being small chested doesn’t help either !!!!!!!!

dxs's avatar

I think I look young for my age too, although I get the occasional 22 estimate. I don’t care as long as they don’t judge my personality off of it. I hate people who shut me out because of my age.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Or maybe they are just jealous of your look. If that’s the case, leave them be.

JLeslie's avatar

@chinchin31 Honestly, it’s a gift in every part of life to look young except maybe professionally. Even professionally it will help that you look young when you get around age 40+. Being petite is a good thing in my opinion. I know short women all want to be taller, but most men like petite women, and you can add high heels, but you can’t temporarily shorten yourself; lthough, many young tall girls try. Some of the worst posture I see on tall female teenagers.

Probably you can make yourself look older with hairstyle, heel height, and make-up, and clothing. That is if you want to. You could wear glasses, which might age you a little. Men sometimes grow facial hair to look older or wear glasses.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

People used to say similar to me when I was much younger. My children also face these comments on a daily basis. However, now it’s me looking at people and misjudging their age. I’ve probably been guilty of saying ‘but you look so young!’ It’s never meant as an insult, although I can understand how frustrating it must be to hear.

On the flipside, I still look young for my years and I now NEVER feel disappointed when people say ‘were you a child bride?’ when I tell them how old my children are or look stunned when I tell them my age. So, if you can, try to enjoy your youthful looks and accept the comments of those who are perhaps admiring your youthfulness as something to be pleased about. It’s more likely your youthful face is a wake-up call about how old we are than how young you are.

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