You Don’t Look THAT Old!


My first reaction when I hear that is, Why, Thank You!  But then its, Wait!  WHAT?  I am NOT THAT old! Really.  I don’t feel old. I am older than I used to be, but I am far from old!  I am sure, like many of you, I feel pretty much the same inside as I always have.  The only time I might ‘feel’ different is when someone reminds me that I don’t “look that old”!  Well, then there’s the commercials for “Senior” housing for those 55 and older.  I wonder, HOW is 55 a SENIOR?  Then there is that dreaded box that I have had to start checking this year. You know the one.  The one that wants to know how old you are.  The box that says 55-64. And then I see there is only one more after that.  Ouch.  And then there are mirrors.  Which for the most part, aren’t too bad yet. But then there are pictures.  Sometimes I will see a picture of me and be taken aback somewhat.  That person in those pictures does not look like me.  Not the me I see in my mind’s eye.  Not the me that I feel I am inside. Inside, I hope, I will always remain young!

But really, what is 55 supposed to look like?  Why do people think I should look OLD?  (And trust me, it isn’t always a younger person saying it! ) Maybe next time someone says that, I should ask them just that.  How old am I supposed to look? Describe a 55 year old face! What do you suppose, they would do?

Do you ever have someone say that to you?  How does it make you feel?


  1. I get, “You don’t look old enough to have adult children!” I never know what to say, so I just say, “Well, I am.” I think it is weird thing to say, but it doesn’t bother me or flatter me.

  2. Context! I used to work for a university, but I got tired of being treated in my late 40s as though I had one foot in the grave. Now as a gerontologist, I work with older adults. I’m now in my early 50s, and I regularly interact with people in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. I visit a woman each Monday who will be 102 at the end of this month. When I mention my age, they say, “You are a BABY!” I see decades of productive activity in front of me. I am very glad that I switched vocations.

  3. When I hear that I take it as a compliment..though I suspect they have this image of what 58 looks like and I don’t fit that. I’m very open about my age and share with ease to indicate that I’m not “Old”. I think we have to work harder at countering the societal notion of old.

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