“OMG- Look at her.  She’s looks like she’s 17.” (referring to a 13 year old) “No.  She looks like she’s 21.” referring to 16 year old.

These are statements I often hear from people like my Mother and Father in law, and actually friends of my Husbands.  They are obsessed with determining how old females look.

This drives me crazy.

I do not understand the obsession with stating how “old” someone looks.

Whenever I hear someone make a statement such as this, I immediately get on the defensive.  I ask what determines how old someone looks. I ask what their baseline is in their thinking. I ask them why it is so important that they need to comment on it. When I hear comments such as this, I just can’t let it go.

This drives my Husband crazy.  He will continually ask me why I care about this issue, why it means so much to me.  We have actually gotten into fights about this, because he doesn’t think I should speak my mind on this topic. He thinks I should just ignore it when people start age judging.

But I can’t.

He doesn’t understand why this is a where I take a stand- why this is something I can’t stay silent on…

So let me explain it a bit…

I don’t like when people are judged by their appearance.

The minute someone makes a comment about how old someone looks, they are making a value judgement on them. They are intimating that by the use of make up or clothing, the person does not appear to be “their” age. They look older, or younger, or whatever.

Why are we doing this to people?

Aren’t we more than what our outward appearance dictates?


How about how our society deals with age and aging?

The more we comment on how “old” someone looks, the more emphasis we put on it.  Young girls will want to look “older” because they feel it makes them more attractive. To a 13 year old, looking 17 means they appear more sophisticated, others will find them desirable. Older women will want to look “younger” because they feel it makes them more attractive. A sixty year old might think looking 55 is the greatest thing in the world because no one is asking if they want the AARP discount.

Why are we doing this to ourselves?

Why can’t we wear make up or not? Dress a certain way, or not? Why are we constantly discussing people’s appearance?

When my Mother says to my daughter “You look like you’re 21 when you wear your make up like that’ it actually makes my skin crawl.  It sounds so creepy. I just don’t understand the need for these types of comments.  And I will continue to vocalize my opinion on this matter.

Stop looking at people, especially females, and trying to determine their age.  There is not good reason to ever do this, unless you’re a bouncer at a bar, or the ticket taker at a movie…

60 thoughts on “One of My Pet Peeves….

  1. Yes, this is pretty annoying.
    Why do people age judge anyway? Have you thought about that? Maybe it makes them feel better about themselves.
    The recent quote I posted was about people thinking about you from their own perception. “I am not what you think I am. You are what you think I am.”
    Maybe age judging, specially from the generation you described, makes them feel better or maybe they are trying to compliment these teenagers to make them feel good?
    I don’t get it. I don’t like to comment on how old or young people look unless they ask me to guess their age:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t know why anyone cares that much about how old someone looks. To me, it does more harm than good. How we feel about ourselves should not correspond to how others think we look

      Liked by 2 people

  2. One possible answer, especially when an older person makes the observation, is that back in the day, teens didn’t look as mature, either in dress or other attributes. It’s a commentary not only on clothing style and presentation, but according to a 2017 article at U.S. News, girls are entering puberty at a much earlier age than in previous generation (some as early as seven).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Which is fine, but then you jphave to think that the 13 year old doesn’t look 17, but that’s what a 13 year old girl looks like in 2018. And to be fair, I’m betting my fil can’t remember what 13 year old girls looked like when he was 13.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am loving your words a little bit too much. Society are stressing out people sometimes and people are all blinded by the talks of the town because the talks just won’t stop! After some time, people are getting more conscious of their weakness because society keeps on emphasizing it to the person itself. It is annoying that people can’t choose to live the life they want to be.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I totally agree with this…so what if someone is fat or skinny or older or younger…when I hear other people judging on appearance it makes you feel less free to be yourself because you know you are being judged as well!!! At the end of the day we are all unique human beings who want to be accepted and that’s that!!! Get over it!!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I’m with you one hundred percent.
    Plus, it’s pretty sexist. Rarely are men judged by age and what they are wearing. Females, on the other hand, are judged (in America especially), by how youthful and attractive they look. It’s an archaic view of women. People assume it’s a complement to be told you look younger. But, It’s an insult to tell a teen they look older. Why are we still judging each other anyway? Especially women who are always judged on their physicality? Even our current commander in chief insults women constantly by rating them on a number scale. Personally, I think it’s a mean spirited gossipy thing to judge others by their looks.
    And kids develop at varying stages. My oldest son always looked older and my youngest son always looked like a kid. I looked really young most of my life and hated when I was told that in my teens and 20’s. I tried to look older and more professional in my 30’s, I was content with my looks in my 40’s, and then was told I looked younger in my 50’s. Well guess what? Age catches up with everyone by the time you hit your mid 60’s. Some people age better due to genetics and others don’t. Who cares.? This ridiculous fixation on looks makes both sexes worry about getting old. The work place is ageist.
    In Europe they seem to appreciate women at any age as evidenced in their films. In America only youth seems to be valued.Few female parts are available for women over 50. It’s annoying!

    I say, stop judging people by how they look or dress. Enjoy each decade and let people just live their lives. Those who gripe about others can’t be content with their own lives if they have to gossip about other people all the time.
    This is a very relevant topic. Especially for women. I’m tired of women being judged our entire lives by how we look. Looks fade. Fashions change. How about just valuing us on our character and our intelligence for a change and stop judging?

    Thanks for sharing. This is a topic that has bugged me for decades!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It drives me crazy! And I think so many people do it subconsciously. My mother will still say to me “ what…no lipstick.” And we see references in movies and literature. Ridiculous!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! My late mother did that too. She’d say, “ You look pale, what’s wrong?” G-d forbid I had a day when I wasn’t feeling well and wasn’t pretty enough. I once asked her why she did that. I explained that I worried every single day about how I looked because of how she was always judging me. Her comment was that she was plain and I was so lucky to be pretty. Funny thing was that I never felt pretty enough because I was always being judged by her. And heaven forbid I got a pimple! . In my 20’s I modeled and acted on stage and it was ridiculous how directors would look you up and down and judge you. (Think of the play “A Chorus Line).
        I went into teaching and I was judged by my ability which was nice. But that insecurity was still there about looks. In fact, I almost didn’t go to my 50th high school reunion worrying that I wasn’t the beauty I was at 18. Sure I looked fine for my age but I wasn’t what I was in HS. I figured, the hell with that. So, I went and looked just as good as everyone else. Better than some, and not as good as two of the gals who had face lifts lol. When I walked in I jokingly said, “ Who the hell are all these old people?” Everyone turned, saw me and laughed hysterically . They all were thinking the same thing. People ran up to me hugging me and they thought I looked great. They recognized me at least and saw the real me, and I saw them. Age didn’t matter at all. Just friends together. I worried for nothing.
        Society has made women stress about looks. I was expected to always look good and felt guilty if I didn’t. That’s a heck of a burden to put on any female at any age.
        I wish I knew how to add photos to this blog. I’d put in a cute photo of me with my two best buddies at my 50th Hs reunion . We looked damn good because we felt damn good. ❤️

        Liked by 3 people

    2. There is a fine line between not judging people and ignoring their existence.
      I grew up in the Honduran countryside I saw real poverty almost daily. When I traveled between the city of Tegucigalpa and the country side with my grandmother. As we passed tegucigalpas slum, my grandmother said to me as I looked out the bus window and saw children my age rummaging through trash.
      ” mejor no mirarlos ” it’s best not to look at them.

      LA mentioned that judging people is subconscious and I agree, but then how do you change the subconscious, can you really stop judging someone? Next time you pass a homeless person, truthfully ask yourself do I not judge them?

      There is a term for a state of mind I’d like to reach unconditional positive regard . I meditate with loving kindness daily but I still find myself checking out an attractive woman as she walks down the street, and I feel nothing but pity to the homeless old woman that lives 5 blocks away from the lab I work at.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great comments. I think we are all human, and that’s why we subconsciously look at people a certain way….I admit that if I see at attractive person, of either sex, I will look. And sure, snide me will sometimes think some not so greet thoughts….I can’t help it. I mean, if you think about it, I’m judging the people who judge…..
        As I see homeless every day, I always think, wow…one bad day and that too could be me. I understand how easy it is to get to that point. Thank you for great observations

        Liked by 1 person

  6. This isn’t my pet peeve, but you make a very good argument against these type of judgmental comments. I think it might be an interesting study to ask people if they are purposely trying to look older or younger and why. We as a society are way too concerned about outward appearances. I’m guilty of worrying about looking old. My face has really changed since I hit 50. I mean the saggy skin and puffiness and spots. I think it is that I don’t want to BE old. I am afraid of losing my energy, mental sharpness, fitness, and yes, maybe my coolness. In our society the OLD are not valued as they should be. The thing is ,anyone younger than me has already put me in that category of OLDER lady. But back to your post. My pet peeve is when someone questions and comments on someone else’s ( mine or my kids) eating habits. It’s none of your business WHEN, IF, HOW Much, or WHAT someone else eats. Eating is a personal thing. The more you try to control someone else’s eating, the more at risk they become for disordered eating. I think this could apply to your topic. If we constantly comment on our children’s clothing or appearance, we make it too important. Just say, I LOVE YOU my beautiful/handsome/smart/funny/friendly/sweet/strong/artistic child! If someone comments on your child looking OLDer , you could say, Isn’t she wonderful?! I’m so blessed to have this awesome child in my life! In other words, redirect the conversation. ( sorry for the long reply. I need to write in my own blog! 😀 )

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No worries with long reply! Gives me more to this about. And you’re right…the same thing goes to weight. Why do we have so many eating disorders? Because people are constantly commenting on weight and food and such….

      Liked by 2 people

      1. So many of our deeply ingrained beliefs and prejudices are taught and reinforced daily by marketing through ads, movies, songs, magazines, signs, etc. Gotta keep people BUYING stuff! The almighty Dollar.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. PKAdam You bring up so many good points. I’m in my late 60’s. I don’t feel old, but yes, my 60’s have totally changed my body and up until this decade I looked relatively the same. I’m aging and I’m dealing with it. Inside,I am still that wild child, rebel, rock n roll protester from the late 60’s, it’s just that now That’s my age not the year. Lol. My friends and I are still protesting for women’s rights, but we’re grandmas now. And the older I get the less I seem to care about what anyone thinks. Everybody ages. And I’m not getting surgery so I better deal with it.

      I saw a Macy’s ad recently and one of the models was over 50, had long gray hair, and white boots with her jeans. I posted it on FB applauding that we older girls were finally being included. I don’t let my gray show, but I ordered the cool booties and I’ve already got a million jeans. So….I’m just going to embrace my age and who I am, and not give a damn about what anyone thinks. . I’m a groovy granny and that’s fine with me. ✌️❤️🎸

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Love it! Enjoy those boots! My sister is my mentor and role model . She’s turning 61 this Saturday . She’s doing all the cool stuff that I love! Hiking mountains, traveling, camping in her own little trailer, going to music festivals. Shes super fit and healthy and beautiful. She’s shown me , along with her friends, that age is just a number .

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Here is what gets me:

    After a prolonged absence, someone (usually male but sometimes also female) will say “You still look good”.

    This bugs me. Are they implying I’m making some sort of effort to appease how they perceive me?

    What’s this “still”?

    At the same time, my next reaction is to judge myself: did I touch up my grey roots? Do they notice I’m not as slim as I was during my flight attendant days? Crap, did I wear x, or forget to touch up y?


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Right! I know!! I went to book club yesterday, and usually I go to book club post gym/shower, so my hair is undone, no make up etc. yesterday I knew I was doing a lot of meetings etc, so I went to book club made up, hair blown out…and everyone commented on my appearance….crazy


    2. I know! They say that like the fact that you didn’t fall apart is amazing. 😬 Woman in America aren’t supposed to age or gain weight. Men get old and get a belly and nobody cares. In other countries they don’t look at beauty as only being 20 and therefore see women as attractive at any age. Let them judge men after a pumping out a few kids. Such a misogynistic world we live in. We cannot let it affect us one day more! And women have to stop judging other women too.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Occasionally I will comment on someone looking young for being in the position they are in (like a baseball player coming up to the major league or perhaps a youngish looking doctor, etc.) but I don’t want people to judge me so I try not to do it in others. My husband comments a lot on what girls wear if they are dressed somewhat provocatively (“If they dress like that they are just looking for trouble” or “They’re using sex to sell that product”). I just keep thinking of the old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I always comment like that when I see a movie actor/actress who has no lines, no gray, no nothing. I see this Eternal Youth fixation as severely unhealthy.
    And, come to think of it, I’ll comment if a really young girl looks like a skank -though not to her. That’s really more of a “her parents need to monitor that so some older boy doesn’t look at her” sort of judgement.
    I hate being judged by my age. And, as Lesley said, also hate my mother’s little comments about how I look. She’s diminishing me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t think all moms understand how their actions affect their daughters. I know I always tried to build up my sons’ confidence. When my oldest was a teen and I complimented him saying how handsome I thought he looked he told me, “You have to say that cuz you’re my mom.”
      I think sometimes mothers can’t win. It’s hard to always say or do the right thing. In a way my son was right. I did always think he was incredibly handsome. I saw him through a mother’s eyes. But when I’d say it to my younger son he’d smile and say, “Thanks, I get better looking every day,” and laugh. So each kid is different. Since I never had a daughter I’m guessing that perhaps mothers scrutinize more about a daughter’s appearance . I don’t know. But, I’m careful to let my grand daughter know that even though she is a cutie, it’s just as important to be smart, creative and most of all kind. I don’t want her obsessing about her looks.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Mothers can’t win. I have a blog coming up on Monday that goes to that point. And I agree with you. There’s nothing wrong with my daughter being attractive, but I make sure I mention all her other amazing qualities

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I have two daughters who brought lots of their girls friends home with them when they were in school and when we lived in quarters. I learned a long time ago that there are a number of times that it’s best if Dad keeps his mouth shut.

    I have zero problem with telling older women that they look younger. some actually do because they age very well like good wine and for some … well, a little white lie doesn’t hurt no one now does it?

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s