It?s all about learning to see the glass as half full
Photo by Valentin Lacoste on Unsplash
If you have a baby face yourself, then you already know it?s not exactly the same thing as looking young for your age. When you look young for your age, people just compliment you a lot and ask you for your beauty secrets, especially as you get older.
Having a baby face, on the other hand, can make it hard for people to take you seriously if it?s pronounced enough.
Bartenders don?t just card you without fail; they squint with suspicion at your ID in this accusatory way that gets pretty annoying after a while. Even if you?re very smart, people who don?t know you will tend to assume you?re gullible and easy to take advantage of. Don?t even get me started on how all this goes double if you happen to be a woman.
Thankfully, there are usually at least a few perks to every situation, and I?ve realized over the years that being among the baby-faced is no exception. It?s all in how you look at it, and ultimately, life?s just more enjoyable when you?re comfortable in your own skin to the greatest extent possible. The following are just a few of the realizations that helped me really embrace mine over the years.
1. You really do appreciate it when you?re older.
When you?re a 25-year-old who?s really tired of being asked what high school you go to, you?re told this constantly ? that you?ll appreciate your looks a lot more when you?re older. I can actually confirm that this is true, although it admittedly took me a while. I can remember being super irritated by the whole baby-face thing well into my 30?s, but I started seeing the light the closer I got to 40.
I?m turning 44 in a couple of weeks. Naturally, I?m aging by now, but it?s really pretty mild, especially when you consider the fact that I didn?t always take good care of myself. I don?t really relate when friends my age complain about all their wrinkles and sagging skin. I don?t worry about things like bad lighting or whether I need Botox. People compliment me on how great I look for my age, and I can tell they actually mean it. Compliments that are actually sincere are hard to come by no matter what age you are, so I?ll take them where I can get them.
2. You can rock just about any look you want.
When I was younger, I spent an embarrassing amount of time and energy trying to overcompensate for my baby face with my style choices. I avoided bright colors and cute patterns because I felt like people associated them with little girls. I wore only red or very dark lipstick because I felt like it made me look more grown-up and less innocent. If I didn?t think it would help the cause of not looking like a child, then I didn?t do it. Period.
Now that I?ve finally stopped worrying about that, I?m learning to actually have some fun with my looks. I?ve realized that I really like things like very brightly-colored eyeshadow and quirky accessories, even now that I?m in my 40?s, so I wear them. I dyed my hair Day-Glo Little Mermaid-red a few years ago and no one thought it looked weird or like it didn?t belong on me. If I feel like going make-up free, no one will ask me if I?m tired. When you have a baby face, you can do what you want with your looks, and no one thinks twice about it, least of all you.
3. People automatically view you as a nice person.
When you have childlike features, it?s inevitable that people will assume you have other childlike qualities as well. I hated it with a passion when this meant people took me for naive, incapable, or immature. If I?m honest with myself though, they automatically assumed I was friendly, honest, trustworthy, and just plain nice just as often ? hardly bad things to be.
When I was younger, that meant random people didn?t think twice about approaching me in public, talking my ear off, or asking me for favors when I?d rather be left alone, and I didn?t always like that. As a 40-something though, I?ve come to see it differently. People feel at ease with me more or less instantly, and they never seem to question my honesty or integrity. That really comes in handy as someone who makes part of her living doing things like consulting, writing about topics like self-improvement, or otherwise helping people be their best.
4. It?s an easy conversation starter.
Other people?s mileage may vary, but I feel as if making new friends and easing into unfamiliar social situations got a lot harder at some point. Maybe it?s age-related, but sometimes I feel like changing social norms also play a part. People seem to find it harder to break the ice with people they don?t know at social events like parties, as well as to start conversations in general. Even on social media, people seem less willing than they used to be to engage new folks.
Having an easy ?in? for people who?d like to talk to you, but might not know how can be really helpful, and a baby face fits the bill perfectly. People are almost always surprised by really youthful looks, especially if the person in question also comes across as super smart, experienced, or knowledgeable. Before they know it, they?ve commented on it, the ice is broken, and they?re engaged in a conversation. That?s pretty convenient if you?re anything like me ? really introverted and not terribly outgoing.
5. You?re not automatically expected to act your age.
If having a baby face has taught me anything, it?s that people tend to size others up based on what they see, even if it conflicts with what they know. I?m always reminded of the way fictional movie vampires can technically be hundreds of years old, but if they look like they?re in their 20?s, every other character in the film will perceive them as being in their 20?s, whether or not they?re aware of the truth.
At the end of the day, life?s too short (and too full of potential) not to make the most of whatever cards you?ve been dealt.
Being baby-faced as a full-grown adult can be similar, even once you hit middle age. People forget that you?re the age you are, so they?re willing to give you a pass if you don?t always have it all together. If you?re happily single, child-free, and not particularly interested in changing any of that, you rarely catch any judgment for it. People just take it for granted that you?re happily living your best life. It?s a bit like enjoying an extension of your actual youth, only you?re experienced enough to make the most of it.
At the end of the day, life?s too short (and too full of potential) not to make the most of whatever cards you?ve been dealt. This includes learning to love and accept the beautiful face that?s uniquely yours for everything that it is.
Shannon Hilson is a full-time freelance copywriter, blogger, and creative consultant living a quiet life in Monterey, California with her husband and aging rescue cat. In addition to reading and writing, she loves cooking, studying foreign languages, fitness, beauty, and art.