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How can I make myself look older?

(50 Posts)
ThePetiteMummy Thu 22-Sep-11 22:30:15

This is not a stealth boast, but a genuine problem. I've always looked younger than my age, but just recently it's really started to bother me. I've just turned 30, but in the past week, 2 people have told me I look 18. Once was in a work situation, and once I informed the lady in question of my real age, her attitude towards me changed completely (started taking what I was saying more seriously!). The other was at a playgroup with dd, a lady there with her granddaughter said to me 'You look very young to be a mum'. When I told her I was 30, she almost passed out. When I was pregnant with dd, a man said to me that it looked immoral that I was pregnant, as I only look 12! (he actually knew I was older, but somehow didn't recognise that this was an offensive thing to say).

So can anyone put their finger on what makes someone look older or younger? I'm of very petite build, so I'm sure that's part of the problem. My hair's long (bra strap length), which I know might not be helping, but I work in a profession related to hair, so I'm reluctant to cut it short. For work I try to dress very smartly, smart dress/jacket, always heels, so I was particularly surprised by the comment when I was at work. Other times I tend to wear jeans and a plain t-shirt, with Converse trainers, so I appreciate this might not be doing me any favours. But I do have a toddler to run round after! I think I do decent make-up, but perhaps darker eyes or something would be better? I'm very pale, with mousy blonde hair with highlights.

What also concerns me is that I quite often have to attend work functions with my husband, who is 34, but looks it, if not older, and I worry what people must think when they see me.

I know it probably seems like I'm creating a problem out of nothing, and I know I'll appreciate looking young when I'm older (how many times have I heard that?). I don't mind not looking 30, but I just want to look like a grown-up!

Any advice much appreciated/views from others in a similar situation.

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Thu 22-Sep-11 22:32:18

Don't worry about it. In three years you'll be back asking how to look younger!

ThePetiteMummy Thu 22-Sep-11 22:35:33

Just the sort of comment I didn't need.

InstructionsToTheDouble Thu 22-Sep-11 22:43:02

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peasandlove Thu 22-Sep-11 22:48:00

I've noticed on here, as soon as people chop their hair off they tend to look a fair bit older. Maybe get yours cut into a different style, a bit shorter, maybe shoulder length or a bit longer?

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Thu 22-Sep-11 22:48:34

Sorry, but it's true! Enjoy it while it lasts!

Look around you. There's a big difference between 25 and 30; 30 and 35; 40 and 45. In your late twenties you don't notice it, but I've found once you start moving towards your mid 30s you become more conscious of age. Might just be me, but I'm in a job where I see loads of people every day and have their ages in front of me. I've found I can guess to within 2 years a person's age. It's not even to do with wrinkles most of the time, just a certain matureness that comes into your face. Maybe it's face shape...I can't put my finger on it.That's why celebs like Kylie can be completely line-free and yet you can guess her age to within 2 or 3 years if you didn't know.

I do think being small makes you seem younger, but you can always tell a person's age close-up. I don't think there are any 30 year olds that look 18. There's not many 25 year olds that look 18 confused

So what I said before still stands.

peasandlove Thu 22-Sep-11 22:48:50

and put some pics up so we can use them as an example of how to look younger grin

McTemp Thu 22-Sep-11 22:49:14

Same problem OP- am almost 30 too and can't remember the last time
I haven't been asked for ID when buying wine. It's a massive problem at work for me, I really feel like I'm never taken seriously. Have no advice at all I'm afraid, apart from to say I can sympathise with you and will watch with interest!

peasandlove Thu 22-Sep-11 22:50:34

women's faces seem to get more defined when they're older. You have full-cheeked face of youth, then the more sculpted cheekbones etc as you get older.

ThePetiteMummy Thu 22-Sep-11 22:52:26

Thanks for the reply Instructions, that's a good point about not feeling myself. I guess ultimately I shouldn't have to change anything, and out of work it doesn't bother me so much, but it does bother me how I'm viewed in a work environment. I'm sure that body language/behaviour has something to do with it, and whilst I wouldn't describe myself as outgoing, I'm certainly not shy, as I used to be. It's not exactly held me back professionally, but I work with the public, so how they see me matters.

electra Thu 22-Sep-11 22:54:09

I'm 31 and also look young. People often think I'm early 20s and can't believe I have 3 children. There is no way I would want to make myself look older, I find that a strange concept.

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Thu 22-Sep-11 22:58:42

I started my career at 22 and was head of a team of people all older than me, some of whom were in their late 50s to 60s.

I never once thought I needed to look older and always felt listened to/respected.

ThePetiteMummy Thu 22-Sep-11 23:06:30

I'm not talking about making myself look wrinkly electra, I'd just like to be viewed as an adult, not a teen mum! Mid twenties would be fine.

Thanks peas, I suspect a change in hairstyle might help, it's just my hair's always been long, so it'd be a bit scary! Don't want to identify myself with pics!

That's just it Mychilddoesnt, I can't put my finger on it either! I disagree about looking around at other people though, how do you know how old they really are? (asides from at your work). And these people who said I looked 18 were standing right in front of me.

I used to be a ballet dancer, and most dancers I've come across tend to look young for their age, still couldn't say why though. I think your life is written on your face to some extent, and to be honest, I've not experienced any tough times as yet.

Thank for the sympathy McTemp, I think there's a tendency to view this as some sort of joke-problem, but it's different when you've experienced it. Of course I'd rather look young than old, but not like a child. Should I start shopping at Boden?!

ThePetiteMummy Thu 22-Sep-11 23:12:21

X-post MyChildDoesnt, I've not found it a problem career-wise, but I think that's mainly because I've worked for the same company for many years, and my colleagues know me well. I'm thinking more about the way I'm perceived by people who come to consult me. Anyway, I didn't come on asking for career advice, I'd just like tips on what makes someone look older/younger.

MurunBuchstansangur Thu 22-Sep-11 23:15:41

You could try speaking in a lower register, that is supposed to make people take you more seriously Maggie Thatcher ?

MurunBuchstansangur Thu 22-Sep-11 23:16:47

x-post sorry blush

long hair is youthful, esp blonde.
rosy cheeks.

So foundation and dark hair?

ThePetiteMummy Thu 22-Sep-11 23:19:34

Is this a joke Muran?! I'm not changing my voice!

whojimmyflip Thu 22-Sep-11 23:19:59

What are your eyebrows like?

ThePetiteMummy Thu 22-Sep-11 23:20:06

Which isn't high anyway!

InstructionsToTheDouble Thu 22-Sep-11 23:23:29

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ThePetiteMummy Thu 22-Sep-11 23:26:36

Sounds scary Instructions, but you may be onto something! It's not currently the sort of blonde that blends into my face, but perhaps I should think about a change in shade.

InstructionsToTheDouble Thu 22-Sep-11 23:28:47

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ThePetiteMummy Thu 22-Sep-11 23:29:20

Eyebrows are dark Whojimmyflip, I guess more on the bushy side, but plucked into a neat shape. I can see I'm going to have to end up posting a pic! Don't even know how to do that, might look into that tomorrow. Has anyone ever done that and had someone say 'oh, hello so-and-so'?!

ThePetiteMummy Thu 22-Sep-11 23:30:52

No glasses I'm afraid! This is like 'Guess Who', no moustache either! wink

InstructionsToTheDouble Thu 22-Sep-11 23:31:52

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