I’m not a kid, so don’t tell me I look like one

On the flight to Dallas, I took advantage of my free drink tickets and ordered a beer. The flight attendant, a young black woman, asked for my ID.

I had it ready. I’m carded so often, that it’s normal for me to show my ID whenever I order alcohol. She looked for the year. 1980. That puts me well over 21.

“You look like you’re 10 years old,” she exclaimed in a surprised yet fake tone.

I didn’t say anything and took my ID back.

I know I look young. I hear that all the time. However, most times people simply say “you look younger” and leave it at that. That’s fine. However telling me I look like a ten year old — even if you are exaggerating for effect — is simply rude. It’s like telling someone, “wow, you look really tired today.” Even if it’s true, the person on the other end of that comment is gonna think, “wow, I guess I look like shit today.”

Here’s my advice: next time you meet one of us deceptively young looking people, feel free to express that you’re surprised about our actual age. Do not tell us we look like we’ve yet to hit puberty. After all, some of us probably already have a complex about looking young, not being taken seriously at work or having our competence questioned due to our youthful visage.


10 thoughts on “I’m not a kid, so don’t tell me I look like one

  1. I have that problem all the time too. It’s frustrating. Especially when colleagues say something about how I’m not supposed to be in the teacher’s lounge. Kinda makes me want to punch them. LOL.

  2. You say it, sister! I’m also one of those deceptively young-looking people. It’s rare that I don’t get carded, or that people don’t remark at how very young I look, and I actually kinda hate it. The fact that people usually try to treat me the age they think I look will probably prevent me from dreading looking older for many more years to come.

  3. Veronica says:

    I have the oposit problem… I’m always looked older..I used to go into 21 and over clus at 16 and never got carded… Everytime I tell my age whtere like woo..I thought you were like 30….grrrrrrr

  4. This is my problem in my professional life. I’m never sure if people treat me “odd” because I’m a woman, I look young, I’m a person of color or a combination of the three…I don’t know. I’ve actually contemplated wearing padding and a gray wig to get people to take me seriously.

    The only time people take me seriously is online.


  5. Julissa says:

    I’m sorry, but I let out a big carcajada. Sometimes people don’t know when to insert their foot in their mouth. Oh wait, I’m one of those 😉 But come on 10 yrs old??

  6. chispa says:

    i feel you cindy!! a lot of my clients tell me they thought i was the attorney’s assistant or the receptionist. gee, thanks.

  7. at work i get mistaken for a student by people who don’t know better. really, comments about looking young(er than i am) don’t bother me as much as being treated/spoken to differently because i am. once my boss invited me to the youth group at her church..! where it counts, my work speaks for itself, but the inability that a lot of people have to move past it is a problem for everyday interactions. since somebody who had access to my personnel file told people my real age (i was furious- that’s something i almost never discuss) i am starting to strategically smile less. which is bullshit, because i am a happy person.

    the worst/best part is,the baby face won’t go away with time. my cousin’s in her 30s and still gets angry about the weird treatment.

  8. I’m 30 ….Long hair, no children and with my lack of wrinkles ( I would like to take this moment to thank my mother and father) work conversations usually start with …”you are too young to remember when..” I’ve been there longer then 75% of my fellow members. Even worse… when I go to the main office I too have exprienced something similar to Chispa.

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