At first, we were both super confused, but then we understood: This nutso woman actually thought my sister was my mother! Yes, my sister did look older than she really was–at that point, she was one of the tallest in her class, and she had developed early, too–but I also looked way younger than nine. In fact, with my insanely short stature, round cheeks, and a lingering cushion of baby fat, I seriously looked like a baby.
Growing up looking younger than I really was wasn’t very fun. I’d go out to eat with friends and they’d offer me–only me–the kids’ menu. It was even worse when I’d go on a date with a guy and get offered the kiddie options. Oy! Or my friends would want to sneak into a rated-R movie, and know they couldn’t invite me along, because I’d blow their already precarious cover just by looking as young as I did. I hated it and wanted desperately to look older.
I teetered in platform shoes. I got “sophisticated” wire-rim glasses. I started painting on dark lipstick–and yet, nothing ever worked. The more I tried and tried to look older, the stupider and littler I felt.
My mom would tell me that “one day” I’d be thrilled to look younger than my real age–so I waited and waited for “one day,” but it never seemed to come. During college, cute guys would ask my friends if I was their little sister visiting for the day. Talk about sucksville.
That said, I’ve come to embrace some of the awesome things that come along with looking young. Not only can I fit into some of the cutest outfits in the kids’ section–but I can pull them off, too, since I don’t look too old for them. And, once I got over the embarrassment of being offered the kids’ menu, I realized that all the GOOD stuff is on that menu! Mac and cheese? For half the price? Oh HELL yes!
I was worried about being taken seriously when applying for jobs and stuff after college, but honestly? If you’re smart and can show that you know what you’re talking about in your field, it doesn’t matter how young you look. Yes, a few people have mistaken me for a college intern, but once they realize what I’m capable of and get to know me, they realize that these baby cheeks can be deceptive. And my mom was right. I think I’ll look AWESOME when I’m 80.
Do you look younger than your friends? Has anyone ever thought you were the little sister in the group? Tell me in the comments!