Friends, can we stop considering this a compliment? I had a waffle date/play date yesterday morning with another Mama and her boy. While we sipped coffees, I said I was the same age as another 30 year old we know. And she said: “You don’t look 30!”
And she meant it as a compliment.
I smiled and said “Thanks, but I’m really ok with being 30.”
Because I am 30 and I do look 30. I look like me at 30. By telling a woman she doesn’t look her age, we’re actually telling her that she doesn’t look what you expect that age to looks like. “Oh, you may be 30, but you’re still pretty. Weird.” 30 Rock dedicated a whole episode to this when Jenna tells a newspaper she’s 56. But really, she just looks good compared to the societally perceived norm for that age which is unattractive. We do the same when we say “Wow! Helen Mirren looks amazing at 67.”
So let’s not bring age into this. I look 30. I look like me at 30. I don’t know who else I’m supposed to look like at this age.
I know it’s considered a compliment. But let’s stop that.
Let’s just tell each other: “You look nice.”