When am I no longer “young”?

An interaction with a sales assistant and hairdresser this week raised an interesting question/s: When am I no longer considered “young” and when do people start separating me from being “young”?

First scenario:

I was jeans shopping and the lovely sales assistant was explaining the differences between the jean styles. During our discussion, she started to talk about the stitching: “There are two styles, each has different coloured stitching. The brown stitching is normally chosen by mature people while the light blue stitching is for younger people who want to make a statement… which do you want to try?”

Instantly I was in a conundrum over 2mm stitching. If I choose brown does that make me boring and old? If I choose light blue would that make me look like someone trying to recapture their youth?”

Wait a minute… I am only twenty-four and the sales assistant looked around my age or probably younger so it made me wonder how old she thought I was. Haha! :oP

I ended up choosing the Midnight coloured jeans which had midnight blue stitching :oP

Second Scenario

Was getting my hair washed before my haircut. The lady who was washing my hair was explaining the products she was using in my hair: “I’m using Age Defying shampoo which will help make your hair look more youthful.”

… Does my hair look old?  What does that mean… what does “youthful hair” mean?  The image that came to head was the infamous bowl- cut or pineapple hair a few of us fashioned as kiddies. Kidding, I know she meant “shiny”, “radiant” and all those synonyms. I do like my haircut by the way.

I guess the two questions are:  how does one gauge who is appropriate to start discussing “age-related” matters to?  What age do we start worrying about “youthfulness” or separating “youth” from our age?

I think I look my age…or younger?  I know at work I constantly getting “YOU’RE a Doctor?!” I guess it doesn’t help that I need a stool to stand on in theatre to see the operating table or that I’m a 5’2″ doctor (who is smaller than your twelve-year-old) telling you off for smoking. Also I get my ID checked wherever I go… but then I can’t get away with using concession anymore either.

Maybe it’s not about the physique, maybe it’s the “maturity” one oozes. Though I don’t think I really ooze “maturity” in my grey tee and jeans, but yet again maybe it’s all in the eyes. Those weary eyes, those eyes which have seen so much in these… twenty-four years… Hmm… maybe the thing is, I just don’t look like that awkward teenager anymore…

I don’t know, I just found it interesting that I’m at this stage or time in my life (or it could just be coincidence) that people are delineating youth for me. Suddenly I’m at the age where I can’t wear certain things anymore or I need to start using products to return the “youth” back in my physique?  I guess it doesn’t help that the market lives on making you look younger at no matter what age… we all want to feel like a baby’s bottom but not look like one :oP

What do you guys think?

  1. Manda said:

    I think it’s more about how you carry yourself more than anything else. I got mistaken for 23 when I was 20. I was also mistaken for a young mother (by the same woman). Once people get to know you, then perhaps personality plays a small factor. But for the most part, I guess it comes down to presence.

  2. Anna said:

    About not being able to wear whatever you want.. I think thats crap :P I think people should wear whatever they want. You see lots of japanese 30 year old girls rocking the princess style. I don’t like the fact that people feel constrained by what the society expects from them. But on the other side, the expectations are not just complete nonsense either. I doubt many will take a 35 year old who still wears a hot pink tutu to work very seriously..

    I’ve always been afraid of growing up and taking responsibility over my life. I’d stay 17 forever if I could.

    I’ve actually very recently been thinking about the same question too. When am I an adult? I don’t think the boundary goes at turning 18 or 21, or when you can live for yourself, have a job, get married or have a baby.. or how you look. I think it’s about maturity. When you can love instead of hate, forgive instead of holding a grudge, care for others but yourself, and all those things. But then a friend of me said something: “But that means nobody’s adults..” And that’s right. In the end I think it comes down to yourself and when you feel like you’re grown, not when society expects you to be. Is it important anyway to define oneself as young or adult?

  3. winn said:

    I started freaking out about my age at 24 when I realized I was 1 year away from being half a decade away from being 30 lol! I was also reminded that it’s been 6 years since I was a first year at uni… time really flies by fast.

    I don’t know how much that asians looking younger thing affects me but I guess I don’t really act that mature so people tend to guess I’m a few years younger than I really am…

    … but I realized I was probably an adult when I became financially independent and moved out of my parent’s place \:D/

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