Top Secrets Why Gen-Z Looks Older

Gen Z is aging like bananas, or so it seems. Everywhere you look, there are whispers and shouts that this generation looks older than they should. But is this just older generations picking on the youth, or is there something deeper at play? Let’s dive into why Gen Z might be looking older and peel back the layers of this mystery.

The Clothes: Vintage Vibes

Fashion is a major factor in the perception of age. Gen Z has embraced styles from the past, revamping and recycling old trends. Thanks to platforms like TikTok, they’re buying more ethical and sustainable clothing, thrifting, and upcycling vintage pieces from their parents’ and grandparents’ closets.

Trends like cottagecore, old money, dark academia, and coastal grandma all share one thing in common: they draw from older, more vintage aesthetics. These styles, with their loose fits, slouchy pants, and oversized coats, lend an air of maturity. The choice of fabrics and the overall vibe can make a 20-year-old look much older.

The Makeup: Mastering the Art Early

Gen Z started experimenting with makeup earlier than previous generations. By the age of 11, many were already adept at applying makeup, thanks to the internet and beauty influencers.

Platforms like YouTube provided tutorials that taught them how to contour, find the perfect foundation, and sculpt their faces to achieve a polished look.

Contouring, in particular, can give a more angular and mature appearance. This is because youthful faces tend to be fuller and rounder, with more fat under the skin. As we age, we naturally lose this plumpness, making our faces sharper. Heavy contouring mimics this effect, inadvertently making young faces look older.

The Cosmetic Procedures: The Early Bird Gets the Wrinkles

Cosmetic procedures are more accessible and popular than ever. Gen Z is starting Botox, fillers, and cheek implants much earlier than previous generations. These procedures can create a more sculpted look, but over time, they may lead to unintended consequences like weakened muscles and thinning skin, which can accelerate the appearance of aging.

One particularly popular procedure is buccal fat removal, which slims down the face by removing fat from the cheeks. While this can enhance the sculpted look popular on Instagram and TikTok, it can also reduce the natural plumpness that characterizes youthful faces.

The Stress: The Silent Agitator

Stress is a major contributor to aging. Gen Z has grown up in a high-stress environment, exacerbated by social media, the pandemic, and political and environmental crises. This constant stress can lead to changes in skin health, such as increased acne, rosacea, and inflammation, making young people look older.

The pandemic hit Gen Z during a critical developmental period, affecting their mental health and increasing their stress levels.

Studies show that Gen Z feels more stressed and depressed than previous generations, particularly regarding work, money, and health [reference]. This chronic stress can manifest physically, making them appear older than they are.

The Bias: Seeing Through a Skewed Lens

Humans are notoriously bad at guessing ages based on appearance alone. Studies show that we are often off by about eight years when estimating someone’s age. This means we might mistake a 22-year-old for a 30-year-old simply because of our internal biases and the faces we see most frequently online.

Social media has also blurred generational lines. With everyone sharing their lives on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, it’s harder to distinguish age groups based on appearance alone. The constant exposure to curated and filtered images skews our perception, making us more likely to misjudge ages.

So Age Is Just a Number!

So, is Gen Z doomed to look older forever? Not really. The perception that Gen Z looks older is just that—a perception influenced by fashion, makeup, cosmetic procedures, stress, and our own biases.

Every generation has faced similar scrutiny. Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers all went through phases where they were thought to look older than their years. It’s a cycle that repeats, driven by evolving styles, beauty standards, and the ever-changing pressures of society.

In the end, age is just a number, and we shouldn’t be too quick to judge based on appearance alone. So whether you’re a Zoomer, a Millennial, a Gen Xer, or a Baby Boomer, remember to embrace your unique style and look. After all, Gen Alpha is on the horizon, and they’re bringing their own trends and perceptions with them.

Submit comment!