I was in the store shopping for back to school supplies and a lady walked by with her two kids. She asked me if I was a teacher. I said no. She said, "Oh, I thought you were because you didn't have your kids with you. What grade are your kids in?"
I said I have one going into 3rd grade and one going into 11th grade.
"11th grade!" She said, "WOW, you look SO young!"
I know she meant it as a complement but it's still annoying to hear it for the 300th time. Like, do people think I don't know what I look like? Do they think they're just telling me something I've never heard before?
But I just said "Yeah, I get that a lot". She didn't say anything, I bet she probably thought I was going to say "Gee THANKS!" but no, it is NOT a complement to tell me I look so young when it causes such problems in my life. I'm 37 years old and want to be taken seriously.
It's NOT fun having to beg for help in the department store because the ladies that work there think you are too young to have any money.
It's NOT fun trying to talk to the school administrators about issues concerning your daughter and not being taken seriously.
It's NOT fun when you've taken your daughter to the doctor and he asks "And who are you?"
It's NOT fun when you're walking to work and someone says "Uh, is school out today?" or when the guy at the gym hassles you because he doesn't think you're old enough to have a membership.
It's NOT fun when you can't get a job because you don't look experienced enough. One time when I went in for an interview, the interviewer looked at me, looked at my resume, looked at me again, then finally asked, When did you graduate high school? Even though I explained to him that I had graduated ten years ago and had almost ten years of work experience, I didn't get the job. I get a lot of questioning looks when I go on interviews.
Of course, there's no way I can prove that looking young has affected my ability to get a job or that I was passed over for a promotion, but I have a feeling it has. A couple of times I have conducted a training session at work and people walk in the room and walk right by me saying "Where's the instructor?"
I always dress professionally, 4" heels, tons of makeup, pull my hair back, etc. I STILL get comments about my age.
And NO, I will NOT be glad I look young when I'm 50. That doesn't help me out any right NOW when I'm trying to deal with my daughter's teacher or trying to get people at work to take me seriously. And when I'm 50, I'll probably look like I'm 30 and have 30 year olds hitting on me. The only thing I don't have an issue with is when I get carded, I know they're just doing their job on that one. But everything else is extremely frustrating.
One of my friends said to me once "Don't you know the majority of women wish they had your problem?" I said, "The women that wish they had this problem don't know what it is like to actually have this problem."