Guessing someone’s age

Posted on September 3, 2013

The media has distorted people’s perceptions of how old someone looks. That’s what I think. I’m always frustrated to watch shows about high school kids played by actors who are in their mid-20s. College students are portrayed by 30-somethings. Thus, when people meet normal sophomores in high school, they think the teen is in middle school. Or when they see a college senior, they think that person is still in high school.

Maybe people are just really bad at guessing someone’s age.

Based on looks, I usually am perceived as being younger than I really am. My neighbor was stunned to discover my age. She thought I was six years younger. I don’t mind that now. I did mind it when I was working as a youth ministry intern and people mistook me for being one of the youth. I blame it on the media.

Except … today someone told me she thought I was older. Thank you? Or … how rude? Not sure. Maybe perceptions are largely based on the setting. Perhaps this girl thought I was older because she knows my husband (who is older) and because she’s seen me in a leadership role at church.

How do you guess someone’s age? Do you think the media has influenced people’s perceptions? Do people usually get your age right?


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