In a world obsessed with youth, you’d think looking younger than your age is a fantastic thing. And most of the time, it is. I mean, nobody likes premature aging, right?
I’ve always been told that I look younger than I really am. At 24, I’m almost a quarter of a century old. Yet, people often tell me that I look like I’m at most, in my late teens. While I don’t deny that I quite like my youthful looks (it sure beats looking like you’re 40 when you’re only 25), sometimes looking like you’re perpetually underage is not all that great at all.
For one, I ALWAYS get carded in places that require ID to enter, i.e. clubs and casinos. Although I don’t go to places like that often enough to make it a perpetual pain in the butt, it still gets embarrassing after awhile, especially if your younger friends have no trouble entering and all of them have to wait around while your ID gets verified, often with a few raised eyebrows and some good-natured (and some not-so-good-natured) ribbing from the bouncers. And no, a crap load of makeup doesn’t guarantee entry without being carded as well, I’ve tried. The last time I went to Singapore, I visited the Resort World Casino. I was stopped at the entrance, checked by 2 guards standing just 5 metres away from each other, stopped again by a different guard when I just got inside the casino, and multiple times when I was inside walking around, and twice more when I wanted to get out! It got from mildly amusing to extremely annoying considering that I was a foreigner and they had to cross-check again and again (probably to see if my passport was forged).
It’s also hard to get people to take you seriously, especially in a professional setting. Just last week, I went to the EPF department to settle some things and the officer commented that he thought I was a secondary school graduate who’s there to set up an account. If he had hair, I’m pretty sure his eyebrows would have disappeared into them when I passed him my identity card for him to verify my details. When I went to Bahrain for work, I had similar experiences when people asked me how old I actually am. Perhaps they’re afraid that my company hired an underage girl to work and thus is violating labour laws?
Over dinner last night, I spoke to my mum about travelling alone since it’s really hard to get everyone’s schedule coordinated and not everyone has the same budget or interest in travelling to certain places. It’s no secret that I really would like to go to Japan, and I certainly don’t mind travelling solo. However, my mum told me she most probably wouldn’t allow me to travel alone, never mind Japan, but not even to Bangkok. Aside from being overprotective like parents always are, her main concern is also because I look too young. My height is always going to be a huge contributing factor to why I look younger than my age. My brother who is 3 years my junior often gets mistaken as my older brother when we’re out together because he is 20cm taller than Ms. Shorty here. Looking like you’re 18 and being all alone overseas is not exactly a great thing, especially since you’re my size. And since I still get called 小妹妹 (little girl) by older people when I go out, it’s hard to argue with my mum’s logic. So, sadly, it looks like there’d be no solo travelling for me until I look a bit more like my age, which might not even happen when I turn 30…
Perhaps 21 would be a good age to look like? I think growing 3 more inches would help me inch towards that goal, no pun intended.