When we are younger, we all want to be a few years older — to have more experience and maturity. Being older has a certain allure when you are younger, like the older kids in high school, or the more accomplished graduates when you’re still trying to maneuver college. But at a certain point, for many women, we grow older and begin to wish we were young again. With the current stigmas of ageism, many women feel the need to stretch the truth about their age once they reach their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. But why do we as women tell these fibs about how old we are? Here are 6 reasons why women hide or lie about their age.
The negative connotations of “old”
In our society, there is negative connotation surrounding the word “old.” After a certain age, when asked, “How old are you,” it can feel like the question is framed negatively before you even answer. A better way of asking may be, “What age are you?”
Stigma of growing older
The elderly population is not always thought in the most optimistic perspective, or even treated with respect and appreciation. The closer one gets to reaching an elderly age, the closer they are to reaching this demographic that is often forgotten about and stigmatized. This could lead many women to hide their true age if they are close to an elderly age.
Want to appear more attractive
There is certainly a double standard in our society regarding men, women and aging. Older men are commonly considered more distinguished and handsome. But even though an older woman is beautiful in her own right, she is less likely to be considered as attractive or desirable as a man her same age.
Staying competitive in the workplace
Ageism is sometimes a negative factor in workplace advancement. Many women may feel they need to lie about their age to stay competitive with an upcoming workforce of younger, fresh talent – all gearing for the same jobs and promotions.
Rebuttal to an invasive question
In many cultures, it has long been considered rude to ask a woman her age. It is seen as compromising her mystique or allure as a woman. Now, this may seem a bit antiquated today, but many women still hold true to this idea, and when asked their age, may feel like they might as well fib since they should’ve never been asked in the first place.
Longing for the past
Getting older also means growing farther away from who you were when you were young and the memories you made. Some women may feel that lying about their age will help them hold onto the carefree, fun feeling of being young. But there are so many wonderful memories to be made as we grow older, and great aspects to aging. It’s time to work towards dispelling the stereotypes surrounding growing older, so that, as women, we can begin to fully accept and enjoy who we are at any stage, and age, of life.