It has always been glaringly obvious that I do not look my age.
When I was eighteen I went indoor rock climbing and the woman asked me where my parental permission slip was. When I told her how old I was and informed her I do not need parental permission she scoffed at me and then said something really bitchy: "You are going to get carded for the rest of your life!"
She kept cackling about it the rest of the day, cementing my issues with what age people perceive me to be.
Granted, I was wearing a My Little Pony shirt, so it was probably my fault.
Still, that woman was rude.
I am 21 now and people still think I'm sixteen. I work at a liquor store and the most common comment I get is, "Are you sure you're old enough to work here?"
Guess what, jerk? If I wasn't old enough to work here the boss man would not have hired me and I'd be working full time at TJ Maxx cleaning up after customers who have no common courtesy.
The most insulting part about this is that it makes me feel smaller than people my age. Heck, it makes me feel smaller than people younger than me.
That might have to do with the fact I rarely wear makeup (especially at work where I don't want to draw the attention of creepy old boozers) and the only time I take a brush to my hair is when I think there might be something living in it.
I have long, ratty hair that I should probably chop off, but I like feeling girly (which apparently isn't a word, but screw that- it's a word now) so I've made the commitment to keep it.
Here is an emo picture of me from 2006 when I was actually sixteen and had short not-girly hair and looked older than I do now because I used to wear makeup:
This is what I look like now:
Time has been ultra cruel to me.
...Okay, so that was actually a picture of me from Halloween. But I'm still not winning any beauty contests any time soon. Especially if they require the contestants to look and act their age.
This might be another problem as to why people think I'm sixteen: I'm not very coordinated and my favorite things are the same things I loved when I was little. I still wear a Power Rangers t-shirt and watch that old Beetlejuice cartoon (the theme song is my ring tone, because I'm awesome). I also spend an unhealthy portion of my time playing video games and reading comics.
I retired the pink My Little Pony t-shirt out of shame.
So, to counter this problem of looking young I have committed myself to wearing only dark colors, making eyeliner a priority and at some point in the future get a really gnarly tattoo. If I have a big tattoo on my arm that shows how tough I am they'll at least think I'm eighteen.
And that's a big step forward.