I have had a Thought.
It is a Big Thought, so I might need a bit of time to work this out.
It started this way: Would you rather look the age you are, or would you rather look a different age? And if you want to look a different age, why do you want to look a different age?
Particularly with girls (I don’t know what the experience is like for boys, because I have never been a boy), there is a ridiculous amount of pressure from the time we are about nine years old until we are about twenty-seven to look older than we are. Then, there’s this massive pressure for us to look younger than we are. The next time you’re watching a movie or a program, think about how frequently there is a marked age difference between the leading man and the romantic interest. It’s not as bad now as it was, say, forty years ago, but you still see it.
And then take a look at how old the actors are when they are supposed to be portraying teenagers. As if there are no *actual* teenagers in the world who can act well enough to be in movies and on television. This is going somewhere, I promise.
Where it’s going is here: do we even know anymore what people actually look like when they are the age they are? Is there such thing as “the average 20-year-old” or “the average 50-year-old”? Is there a standard?
Because our bodies are constantly changing. So who gets to make the decision that, say, twenty-two is the perfect “face age”? What are the hallmarks of youth and vivacity? Is it bright, clear skin? Because I guarantee you, most people don’t have bright, clear skin until their mid twenties. Is it a wrinkle-free visage? No grey hair?
What should I look like when I’m 50?