May 18, 2010

someone (anonymous) asked on formspring:

How old are you exactly? You look incredibly young yet you carry yourself (at least your online presence) so well. Is there wisdom that just come when you become a mama or were you always ‘with it.’

well thank you!

but, i wanted to talk about this more in depth because this has actually become quite an issue for me.

apparently i look quite young. i'm not sure how old this person probably thinks i am, but i am twenty-six.

i'm sensitive about it because at the office i am often taken for a ten year old.  you know, all those ten year olds who go to the office dressed in cuffed trousers and pumps checking their email on their iphones.  it's a career issue- i am often not taken seriously because of it, even though i work really hard at my job.  it drives me ca-razy.  more than a decade separates me from most of the people at my office and it has been hard to overcome.

add on top of that the fact that i am often mistaken in the store by old ladies as an unwed teen mother (while wearing my wedding ring) and yeah, the whole looking young thing gets old faster than you might think.  i want to yell at them, "i have a bachelors degree!  i own a home!  i'm married!  i have a baby!  i am not ten!  you go to hell and you die!"

and trust me, i've heard it before, "oh but when you're fifty you'll LOVE that!" i know they're probably right.

but i's seriouz adulté!

and telling me that in TWENTY YEARS i will be happy about something doesn't make me thrilled about it now.  we went to see the hangover at the theater the day before jude was born and 9 months+ pregnant with my husband i was CARDED for an R rated movie.  GAH.

i was so excited to turn twenty-six, like somehow that would make a difference.  as you can guess, i did not magically look any older on that fateful day.

damn it.

just had to get that off my chest.

hearts barts farts,
mrs. the grumbles



hand pecked debb


It was meant to be a compliment, not churn up an issue. I just feel like I'm shaking my fist at more whippersnappers shitheads than I have a strong wrist for. You seem veeeery composed and I applaud you for that (and why I've hung around here on this blog and made myself comfortable with your comment section).

I too get carded all the time and always get treated like I'm just out of school amongst strangers. I do like to think I win them over when they realize how much crap I know (since I've started working in my industry after HS) and the greys that creep in (wooooo street cred). Ageism is something i deal with outside of work as well as the dude looks like such a creep to strangers as well. It's a suckage issue I have yet to see be addressed yet i see it as discrimination. I've checked with law friends and they've told me it's an area near impossible to prove so I welcome, no, more like pray for my greys to cope.


I deal with this DAILY at work. Not so much in non-work situations because I do think as I've gotten a tad older (and let's be honest here, a tad bit plumper) I think I've started to look my age.

It's so very annoying at work. I work in the administration office because of the nature of my job (PR) and I am seriously 15 years younger than every single person here. It's so annoying. I can't relate to anyone here and I don't even want to. I'm just not on their same playing field. They're talking about age spots and aches and pains and their teenage or young adult children, and I'm trying to decide which is the best Kindergarten for my kids.

It's lonely, but I've just had to get used to it. I don't socialize or have lunch with anyone at work, nor do I care to. I go in, do my job, try to do it well, and leave.

I used to feel like I wasn't taken seriously because of my age ... for the most part I don't feel that any more. I had to work hard at proving myself, but I think that it's happened. What I started to do was approach issues and tout them as a "fresh perspective." I had to work hard at proving that my ideas were good, because they were new. It helps tremendously that a couple of my ideas HAVE been successful.

And another thing! 99% of the women in my office have children, and almost all of them worked full-time while raising their kids. Yet, they seem to have forgotten completely what that is like. People forget that I do have young kids. No, I can't attend three night meetings this week because I have a family at home that want to see. No, I can't donate $100 to your cause, because I need to buy my kids summer shoes and bathing suits. I don't have your expendable time or money.

AH, I could go on and on. You and I, us "youngsters", we need to stick together because we'll be running things in a few years as the old fogies die off! haha!


*sigh* I hear ya hon. I am 28 and still get this kind of treatment. Not so much because I look younger but more because most of the mothers in my area are older. Like 35-40. I had D at 26 and all anyone could say way how young I was. Never mind I had my shit together and had been married for 3 years. Even still the older parents in our 'hood treat us like little kids. Irritates the piss out of me.

Anyway, yeah, don't let them get to you. You just keep on doing what you do and let them stuff it.


I've dealt with this for years. It wasn't until I cut all my hair off last May that people started to think I looked more my age. I swear it's not the hair but the fact that I got married that aged me so quickly. :)

I always get carded and last summer when I went into the gas station in a baseball hat the clerk told me I looked 14. Ummm, thanks. I know when my hair gets longer again, I will probably get the same crap again.

Oh and those people who tell you that you'll appreciate looking young when you're older obviously never looked young for their age. Cause getting to 50 is a long ride!

Ky •

Ah, this used to bother me a LOT until I turned 30.

Now, if ANYONE wants to guess that I'm in my early 20's - it takes everything I've got not to kiss them.

And, in my work environment - I'm definitely the youngest - but I think I've changed my outlook over the years and try to make it appear as if I REALLY believe that I belong here.

In your design industry - does it pay to look and be younger? You know, since the young whipper-snappers have all of the good ideas?

Lastly, consider the alternative: Thank GOD people don't think you're 10 years older than what you are.

Ashley, the Accidental Olympian

I battle this DAILY at work as well. There is a person in my office who REFUSES to believe I can possibly run the marketing for our company simply because I am much younger than her.

Just because you are older than me does not make you smarter, OR better at your job than me.

Oh, now you got my blood boiling!

Sarah W

Oh yes, I've experienced the ageism. Man, it pisses me off! However, in the last year or so (I'm 29) this has significantly decreased. It probably helps that I am nearly the OLDEST person I work with (soon to be ex-bosslady is 31, everyone else is younger than me). I still feel like I need to prove myself with clients, though... and like you, Ky, I've gotten pretty good at appearing as though I belong where I am. I do really believe that though, and so should you!

I think that in the design industry, I'm pretty much in the sweet spot right now. Not young enough to be the newbie, but young enough to be perceived as having a fresh perspective... and old enough to be an "expert." Grumbles, I think that will be the case for another 10 years or so...and by then I figure I'll be THE BOSS and it won't matter if my perspective is stuck in this decade. LOL

I love getting carded. :)

the grumbles

oh! it feels so nice to not be alone. (and Debb, no worries, you sparked an awesome discussion and i wasn't at all offended)

i appreciate that it's a good thing, just challenging in the workplace. i've found the longer i'm here the more people realize that i do a good job.

it's mostly the people in public i want to smack in the face. strangers, you don't know how old i am! back off!


I get this daily. I use it like a secret weapon. Sure, I'll be sweet and remind you of your granddaughter and then WHAM! I'm all up in your business throwing around big words you didn't think the SAT had taught me yet. I've learned to take it as a compliment and roll with it. It sucks though...I totally understand!!!!

Ky •

(Thank you for adding the, "looking for something" google search thingy. You're awesome.)

Betsy B. Honest

Ha. I used to have that same problem when I was 26 -- but I didn't have babies yet. And I was much less mature than you. And when older folks'd tell me that I looked like I was 16 I'd get quite enraged.

But now I understand they are just shocked to see someone looking so much younger than them in an office -- it makes them feel incredibly old. And they are terrified of becoming obsolete. And that you know things they don't -- like about twitter and stuff.

Now that I'm a wizened old 35 I totally forgive that nasty woman who was fitting my wedding dress and snapped at me that she didn't think it was "legal" for someone my age to get married. (25!)

Anyway, now I'm 36 and when someone cards me I always thank them.

Don't worry, your kids will have you looking haggard in no time.

Stay young, babe! Moisturize!

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