I Don’t Age

Er, much, that is.

At the POPSUGAR and Simple Tour Saturday, one of the ladies in charge of the giveaway raffle asked me if I was “at least eighteen”. She had a concerned expression on her face like one a teacher may give to a kindergartner when she thinks s/he may have wet their pants, or maybe even picked their nose and put their booger on the classmate next to them. That kind of face. The kind of face that says, “If you don’t tell me what I want to hear, I’m not going to believe you.”

Those who do age like everyone else I know tell me I’m “lucky” and “will appreciate it later” and “should be happy”.


Would you be happy if you were sick with strep throat and trying to buy cough drops to make it through the work day but you couldn’t because the cashier thought your driver’s license was a fake ID?

Would you appreciate being pulled over by a policeman for being out during the week passed the minor’s curfew?

Would you feel “lucky” to be excluded from doing things at events (kind of similar to the one I went to Saturday) because people didn’t believe your age?

It’s not fun, and I don’t appreciate it.

Anyway, here is some proof. Years 2006-2012 are iffy. I mean, I literally look THE SAME in all of these, so it’s not my fault.

Collage of Liz Lawson from 2006 to 2013
First Row: late 2006; late 2007; 2008
Second Row: 2009; 2009; 2010
Third Row: 2011; 2012; 2013

Do you see it? I look the same in all of those.

And below we have this year, taken recently:

It doesn’t matter what I wear — I mean, unless I wear makeup, of course — I always look below my age.

(That’s twenty-three, by the way.)

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Georgie’s gravatar

I think this has inspired me to write a blog post. I’m the same age as you (few months younger!) and I look exactly how I did in 2005. I believe I put a before/after photo on Instagram a while back. I guess, apart from a bit of puppy fat and creases, I don’t look like I have matured. I want to write a blog post on my own experiences as well – I hate makeup, but when I wear it, I look a bit older. When I wear frames (I don’t wear glasses) I look older… but all that is apart from my natural self.

I guess, yeah, I will be glad when I’m older since I will look young (someone thought my mother, well into her fifties, was twenty-six, before she said “well my daughter is twenty-two…” (the person was well embarrassed)), and that’s usually what people want. But… uh… no, there are issues involved, and it gets annoying.

I have learned to laugh it off, but I can see why it can become inconvenient, insulting, or uncomfortable.

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Sara’s gravatar

Okay, I’m not going to say, but given my age I am thinking it:~)

On the other hand, I felt much like you when I was young. I never looked my age and got carded a lot more than my friends, even with makeup.

We didn’t leave the house without makeup when I was growing up. Thank goodness, times have changed. It takes way too long to put on makeup every single day:~)

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Robin’s gravatar

THIS, THIS, THIS. UGH. I have this exact same problem. People don’t understand how frustrating it is. I am twenty-six and people frequently think I am seventeen or eighteen. Customers at past jobs have asked why I am not in school. Cashiers have thought that my ID was fake. One time, a cashier demanded to know who I was married to; she seemed to think I was a kidnapped underage bride or something (I reported her behavior to the store manager and the store’s corporate office).

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Stephanie’s gravatar

Yes, you do look exactly the same in all of them! As a fellow 23-year old, I find that how old people think I am had everything to do with my clothes, hair, and makeup. When I’m in a T-shirt and jeans, I look 18. When I’m dressed more formally, then I look like I’m in my mid twenties. -.-

I know that I’m about to suggest something that is very much not you, but if for some reason, you really need to look older (helps with job interviews and anything business related), then I’d suggest some eyeliner, thicker framed glasses, and business casual clothing. Parting your hair down the middle, or some other change in hairstyle might also help.

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Liz’s gravatar

In ‘casual business clothing’, I still look much, much younger than I really am. 😡 Black eyeliner seems to be all that works, but I’m allergic.

…The hairstyle will probably never change. 😉 I also used to have it parted down the middle, but it goes flat and makes me look uber young… I have photos of that look on my old laptop. The side-swept part is what makes me look older (it help when I have bangs, too).

I just have a baby face. 😐

(I also lack a full chest. That probably contributes greatly to the age assumption.)

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cantaloupe’s gravatar

I was going to suggest bangs!

I get carded often, but it’s almost entirely because of my style, or rather, lack thereof. I have zero style in my hair and usually wear it up. I wear minimal makeup because I am lazy. Jeans and a tshirt is my go-to outfit. And for whatever reason, people think that only young people could be so lazy as to not put huge amounts of effort into their appearances, haha.

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Darnielle’s gravatar

I have the same problem. I think it’s because I have a chubby face and insist on dressing like a teenager for as long as I can get away with it. I’m only three years away from 30, so I should probably start trying to look like an adult.

Good thing about this is, we’ll be looking like we’re 40 when we’re 50!

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Liz’s gravatar

XD Ah, the teenager clothes… Clothes from sixth grade still fit me (i.e. the Dessau Middle School shirt from the 2009 picture with the dog, Foxy Roo) — that is, unless I shrunk, which results in clothes being too big for me… Other than that, I’m the fairly same. I enjoy being able to wear those clothes, though, because they’re not boring, and many of them flatter my childlike body rather than making me look like I’m trying to fill clothes I’m not yet ready for.

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Hiro’s gravatar

I get that all the time. Just a few days ago, as I was going to register at the Volunteer Office at the medical school for my internship, the lady in charge asked me, “How old are you?” so that she could hand me a packet for parental consent for the internship for kids under 18. And people are always super surprised when they realize I’m not “on break” from college, but rather, just graduated from grad school.

BUT I’m getting to that age (25) where looking younger is not such a bad thing anymore, as I see my peers around my age starting to have a lot of health issues or skin issues and such… Who knows. I’ve grown up always being told by people around me “You’ll appreciate it when you’re 30!”

Let’s hope it’s true and it was worth all the times I’m looked at as a high schooler for the past 8 years…

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Liz’s gravatar

The “You’ll appreciate it when you’re 30!” line always annoys me, though. 😡

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Cat’s gravatar

Wow, you do look the same in the photos! I have the same issue where I look younger than my actual age. When I was younger, I was always afraid people would think my ID was fake, and I’d get a lot of looks of disbelief.

I’ve aged a bit where people now think I’m a college student. Last year, a college intern thought I was also an intern, and just today, someone thought I was still in school. To be honest, I kind of enjoy it because I’ll be 30 next year. I guess I’ve reached the point where I think it’s more of a good thing than an inconvenience 😉

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Christine’s gravatar

I could understand being annoyed by that! I don’t think I ever looked younger than I was (I was a smoker and a tanner in my teens), but now that I’m teaching at a university, I’m one of the younger people and if I don’t dress up enough…I get mistaken for a student. I’m 27 by the way. 🙂 The other day I went to work in jeans to grab some things quickly and the security guard asked “Where are you going young lady?” Well..gee..to my office?

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Bhairavee’s gravatar

Wow… you look exactly the same in all the photos… I’ve kinda of that problem at times, but not always… Sometimes people don’t believe me when I tell them that I am about to graduate! It’s very irritating to make them believe!

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Holly’s gravatar

I’ve been told that I don’t age, yet I never get asked for ID when buying alcohol, which must mean that I’ve looked over 18 for years!!

But then again I went on holiday a couple of years ago and got asked if I’d like to join the kids club – bearing in mind it only went up to 16 years!

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Liv’s gravatar

Are you sure all these photos aren’t taken the same year? Lol just kidding! This article might be of interest to you.

In my case, Asians think I’m in my 20s, while Americans think I’m 16-17. I’m not sure what they’re talking about because I looked a lot younger than I do now in 2006-2010 (high school), and back then I did look my age. But in general I am good at telling people’s ages so maybe to them I still look the same.

If I look at your photos more carefully you have a bit more of a mature vibe now than in the older photos, but you definitely don’t age at the rate most people do! XD Hopefully you’ll meet more understanding people who’ll let you do the things you’re legal to – I’ve never had an American be shocked at my age even if they had thought I’m a teen.

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Jenn~’s gravatar

Cute post. I totally know how you feel though. My voice always sounded like I was super young. One time after I ordered pizza they called back to make sure it wasn’t a kid just calling, lol. My dad’s side of the family all look really young for their age and I’ve also inherited it. I’m use to it now.

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Liz’s gravatar

Ah! I was trying to order pizza with my stepmother’s (Kim’s) card, as per her wishes, and the guy was like, “Yes, I see… sweetie, is your mommy home?” She didn’t understand why I couldn’t order the pizza for her.

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[…] if you look like you are older than nineteen, you will be treated with more respect. If you have a “baby face” (as Mimi calls it) like me, then other adults are going to treat you like you are still in high […]

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