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Do You Act Younger or Older Than Your Age?

This Sunday Mad Men was filled with people not acting their age. The show opens with a clip of "Bye Bye Birdie" being sung by, according to one of Peggy's best lines, "a 25-year-old woman acting like a 14-year-old girl." Is this a harbinger of things to come? Of course. It's Mad Men! It's also 1963 and the Beatles are about to invade, ushering in an era of youth culture.

Until the early 20th century adolescence as a category didn't exist. Children dressed like adults, talked like adults, and wanted to be adults. There was no in-between. Interest in adolescence and youth culture really took off in the 1960s, a time when teens and young adults developed their own style. Their clothes, music, slang, and even ideals were drastically different than their parents', and they were identified as their own group.

Now the Internet has changed everything yet again. It's given us access to any subculture we want to join, so we can be in the know long after college comes to a close. Ask one 28-year-old about her favorite music and it may sound like she stopped tuning in five years ago; ask another and she'll tell you what came out last week.

Of course, age is defined differently for everyone. Do you act younger or older than your age?

Source: AMC

Join The Conversation
Advah Advah 8 years
Chrstne - I also thought you were older! I'm super impressed by your story, and I know quite a few people who could learn from hearing what you went through.. Not sure how to answer the question. I think people generally assume I'm much younger than 25 simply because I look younger and can be very shy, which makes me super awkward in certain situations; plus I live and work in the UK but am not a native speaker, which can also make some situations awkward. But I've also had people tell me I'm more "mature/responsible" because I live and work abroad, and I've kicked my butt to work two jobs and/or a job and an internship at the same time. Anyway I don't know what to base my answer on, I've always saved money, never had a problem to pay my rent (doesn't mean times weren't rough!) and have never had an overdraft - but then I know teenagers and younger people who are just as if not more responsible. Guess I'm not sure what being 25 is supposed to be like..
CanadianAlissa CanadianAlissa 8 years
I am 27, the oldest in of the 3 children in my family but everyone I met thinks I am the youngest. I am not married and have no children, my sister have done both and my brother has a child. I look younger, dress younger because I am a very casual person. I have a 22 year old boyfriend that I get along perfectly with, he is pretty mature for his age. I don't have any interest in settling down like my friends that are my age.
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
I look younger than I am but I think I am finally acting like a 25 year old. People I met and and my jobs always told me that they guessed that I was older than I was. My current job someone told me they thought I was 31 or 32. I have finally lightened up and am getting that work/play balance.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I act my age. However, I look (and my voice sounds) very young, which misleads most people. I get mistaken for half my age. It's bad. Upon first impression, I come across very precocious, like a young lady who's overly mature. :) But when people get to know me, they realize I'm appropriately mature. I just look young. Even our long-time family doctor thinks I've aged well.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Pistil, I agree. I would hope that "acting like a 21 yo" does not mean flashing vajay, being unable to hold a job, blowing every guy you meet. And I hope that all of you who think you act oh so mature remember to have fun while you are are young. no, that does not mean acting like an idiot, but you have the rest of your life to work 40-50 hrs/ week and go to bed at 9. I did some dumb stuff while in college, but it wasn't awful and it was fun at the time. Lighten up !
Pistil Pistil 8 years
I pretty much act my age. But, hey guys? I'm feeling kind of offended for anyone younger... I don't think 'younger' necessarily equals immature. I still like to play in the park, watch cartoons, play video games, go for ice cream... I don't dress trashy or go partying every night. I still respect my elders, I can hold a job, and eat my vegetables.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
I have fun, definitely. But my fun does not include partying until the wee hours of the morning and screwing every guy I know. I have enjoyed my life. I just cannot act like some people my age that I know, simply because we are on totally different pages.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 8 years
I'm 32 and I've never felt my age. I've always felt older. Maybe that has something to do with hanging around my mother, grandmother, and aunt as a child/teen. Now trust me, I have fun. It's more sophisticated rather than the "hang out with my vajayjay" shown to the world kind.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
I had a feeling there would be a lot of "I act a lot more mature for my age" posts. girls, have some FUN !
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 8 years
What does that mean, "dress with class?" does someone simply not have to dress like a slut and have class?
le-romantique le-romantique 8 years
People say I'm like a 50 year old.. I'm 21. I'm always studying/learning (getting my Masters right now), I hate going out and being out late, I enjoy reading and drinking tea at night... hahha, oh and I watch the news and TCM all the time. so yeah, I'm gonna say older... maybe just mature... I also dress with class... not like trash like the majority of the people I know that are my age.
dani17731 dani17731 8 years
I'm 23 and people always say I act older but look younger. I've been working at the same job (library) since I was 14 and when I first started people would've never guessed I was that young because I was very professional. Both my parents work in fields where you have to be very professional and reserved, and I guess it rubbed off on me. What always made me mad was when people acted like I was trying to be a "stick in the mud" or "too serious". I'm at work people! How am I supposed to act? Should I run around the library talking on my cell and blowing bubbles in the patron's faces? It was like they thought all young people are frivolous and irresponsible. It really pissed me off.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
You know what's so funny, I think I sound younger, too! The other day, I was on the phone with some woman, and she said that tomorrow, when the package is delivered, I need to have my mom or someone 18 or older in the house. I then said "Oh, I don't live with my mom, and I am 22" and she was like "Oh god! I'm so sorry!" But it never happened another time, so maybe it was a fluke.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 8 years
I think your story is admireable Chrstne. I too thought you were older. I look (and sound younger) than I am but I act much older. Although occassionally I get called ma'am instead of miss and that freaks me out. I'm not a ma'am yet - that's for 40+, ha!
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 8 years
I'm 20 and I still laugh at fart jokes. Ever the immature one!
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 8 years
I'm in my 20s and act like I'm 17 still. Funny thing is when I was 17 I acted like I was 30. And to the above poster, I don't think Chrstne is being bitter at all. Just honestly sharing her story of survival, which I think is commendable.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 8 years
I look 12, Act 80 and I'm 20.LOl @Chrtne your story is very admirable.
dikke-kus dikke-kus 8 years
I think I act my age. But how do you act your age exactly? I still wear a size 4 and run four or five miles a night. I kayak. I Scuba dive. I travel. I take adventures, I take chances. I learn new things. I'm 44. Sometimes people mistake me for early thirties. I get away with wearing my hair pretty long too. Even my mother who is painfully honest says it looks great. It's pushing it to wear low riders and fluffy sleeves so some things are out the window for me as far as fashion goes. The only thing I don't do anymore is hang out in bars and get drunk. I do go out, but I know when to call it a night. There's nothing creepier to see a forty something woman drunk crawling around and hitting on young men, trying to act twenty again. It's time for a woman at a certain age to give up on that kind of culture and have some class. But other than that, the world is my oyster.
prosecco-in-the-park prosecco-in-the-park 8 years
I think I pretty much act my age for the most part.
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