Do you look young or old for your age?

I’m 39 and have a muscular build, and so far neither balding nor graying. People 6 or 7 years younger than me often just assume they’re older than me.

But…I think my face does show my age actually. So even though people can be shocked to know I’m 39, it’s also true that I often get asked questions that are fishing for my age (here in China being asked your Chinese zodiac sign is the classic method), so to some people at least my apparent age is incongruous in some way.

I was able to pass for 30 from age 15 to around age 50. Since what hair I have either turned gray or fell out I now basically look my age.

Whenever I am called upon to guess the age of a person older than . . . say . . . 32, I estimate a number based on looks, clothing, conversation (if any), then subtract 6 years in order to avoid potential insult.

I assume others are doing the same with me, so when I add 6 years to their stated estimations, I find that most strangers can peg my age within a couple of years.

I find that surprising. There’s a tv quiz that I watch and each of the contestants introduces themselves at the beginning and says their age. I am (pretty much) always surprised and think they look older or younger than that number. I don’t think there’s a way that you have to look to be your age, so comparing people to a non-existent “chart” is difficult. I find judging age hard to “guess right”.

As for not noticing on yourself, I saw a bloke up at the supermarket who I used to hang around with when I was young. I got a shock at how “old” he looked (I hadn’t seen him since way back). Then later, I remembered that he was much older than I am, like about 10 years or so and realised that he looked bloody good compared to me. In our heads, we see memories and not the old crone staring back at us from the mirror.

When someone asks me to guess their age, I know better than to give an honest answer. :slight_smile:

I haven’t read all the replies in depth, but does nobody look older than their age?

No meth addicts, no smokers, no malnourished people, nobody who spends way too much time in the sun? I’ve noticed in general, people today look younger than they did in the past. I saw some wedding photos from the 1970s, and the people in their 50s back then look like people in their 60s/70s now. The people in their 20s looked 40. I assume a lot of that is smoking and sun exposure.

I honestly do look younger than my age (not as much lately though with my hair thinning), but I recently met someone on facebook I went to high school with. he is 42 but could easily pass for 55. Drugs.

Only to other people. Along with everything else that “goes”, the eyesight does as well. :smiley:

Younger. Not by too much, I’m in no danger of being carded, but I am middle-aged now and people keep taking me for mid- to late-thirties. Even with salt&pepper hair and beard.

Yeah, well, as I mentioned upthread strangers regularly miss my age by ten years, or more. I’m well aware of the aging in my face - I mentioned three points in my prior post - but apparently not so much other people.

There is a WIDE range of aging in the general population. Since I sell things requiring ID (alcohol, tobacco, fireworks, ammunition) as part of my job I’m often asking people for ID’s There are 25 year olds that look 40, and 40 year old’s that look 25.

As a general rule - sun, tobacco, alcohol, other drugs, and bad diet will age you. So will gaining/losing weight like a yo-yo. Chronic health problems like diabetes can age you. So can stress and lack of sleep.

Some people avoid the above problems, some don’t. Even if you have to deal with some that are beyond your control (like health problems) if you keep the rest to a low level you’ll probably look better than some of your contemporaries.

Bragging rights.

People are much more likely to come here and say “Hey! I look GREAT!” than to come here and say “I look like hell”.

Also - my belief is that there is a correlation between being a messed up dysfunctional person and looking older than your years. We tend to prune out the most dysfunctional posters over time. Active meth addicts are far more looking to either be cooking more meth, trying acquire the money for more meth, or peering out the window blinds gripped with paranoia than posting here.

Yeah, I once guessed that a nineteen-year-old woman was thirty-two. :smack: I don’t play that game anymore.

Definitely younger, usually by 10 years of more.

I remember my mother at my age and she was old.

Younger. Sometimes by 10 years. Sometimes I think it’s because people are too afraid to estimate old, but I’ve never had someone get it really close, or go over so there must be something to it. I’d like to think it was due to clean living, but It was the same thing for my dad. Less than 5% grey, little hair loss, no resting wrinkles. I’m 46, a 38 year old guy recently thought I was younger than him.

I always give my guess in dog years.

Yes. How much do you think external things (like clothes and hairdos/haircuts, manner) impact how somebody is perceived? From the television, I get the impression that at least some others don’t see the wrinkles and grey skin and other consequences of the things you mention and only see the “window dressing”. Commentators will be going “this person looks FABULOUS” and I’ll be going “they look like the 80-year-old they are, with a lot of cosmetic surgery and layers of makeup” Am I weird for “really looking” or are we supposed to take the “window dressing” at face value? You’d be looking for the 15-year-old in mum’s gear looking to fool you, but otherwise?

When I was 19, people thought I was in my mid-30s. Now I’m 51 and people think I’m in my mid-30s.

Depends somewhat on the person, but for the average person quite a bit. Make up/hair, clothing, etc. can probably adjust age up or down a few years in most cases.

You’re not weird, but you’re probably focusing more on some things than average, and discounting others. When I judge age I’m not looking at the hair and clothes, I’m looking at outer corners of the eyes and the area between the nose and lips, also some along the bottom of the jaw to check for incipient sagging. Those are traits hard/impossible to fake for the young trying to look older, or for the older trying to look younger (you need plastic surgery, and even then you can sometimes tell the person has had “work”). You might be zeroing in on them more than average. If you aren’t aware of them, or haven’t thought much about these things, though, you might cue more off hair/make-up/clothing.

As for the Hollywood look - I sometimes think so many people in the entertainment industry have had plastic surgery that they’ve become habituated to the look of it and don’t realize how odd it looks to some of us in flyover country used to unsurgified human beings.

People tend not to talk about that. I remember Steve Martin talking about how in his family they gray prematurely, so his age was always over-estimated, early on.

A friend of mine started going bald in high school, and he’s had the same male pattern baldness look since we were 20. Back then, he looked old for his age, now he looks like a 40-something while being mid-50s.

Well into our 30s a friend of mine always bragged how she looked 20-something… until a 20-something she was flirting with called her old.

Here in KY there’s a lot of premature aging - people work outdoors, most everyone seems to smoke, and there’s more than the usual amount of obesity, even for America.

My grey beard adds ten years to my appearance, but I honestly don’t give a fuck.

A woman I know is flabbergasted by my attitude. Every time I run into her she points out I should ditch the beard and look younger. But why? I don’t get it.

There is something to going bald/grey young. It does seem to have the remarkable effect on some people (Patrick Stewart, I’m looking at you), look like they don’t age.

There’s a tendency, particularly among women I found, to try to look young, if you can. She’s either transferring that on to you, or has a little bit of a thing for you and is frustrated that you won’t adhere to her standards of attractiveness.