Attention, world: I am 24 years old.
Throughout my life, though, I’ve been told that I look and sound younger than I am.
At 21, while at a press conference representing the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, an interview subject told me I looked like I was in high school. A few days later, while interviewing a woman on the phone, she told me I had a “young-sounding voice.”
Now, both in my job as a bar/bat mitzvah tutor and a youth group advisor, I often get mistaken for middle schoolers.
“Who’s in charge here?” a parent of a 6th grader once asked me at a program.
“I’m in charge,” I said. “I’m Lia, the youth director.”
“YOU’RE in charge?” she said, astonished. “You look just like the middle schoolers!”
I’ve lost all hope of ever looking my age. I’ve tried dressing up nicer, wearing high-heeled shoes, and wearing more makeup.
But still – no luck.
I’ve thought of some other ideas that might help.
- Borrow stilts from the local circus
- Wear my graduation cap and carry my diploma that says I’m a 2009 graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University
- Dye my hair gray
- Use eyeliner to draw wrinkle lines on my face
- Wear my pants Steve Urkel-style
- Start inviting my friends and colleagues to eat dinner with me at 4 p.m.
- Tape a Post-it Note to my forehead that says, “I’m 24, I promise!”