Friday, September 5, 2008


I’ve known for many years that I look younger than I really am. Just take a look at this self-portrait from when I was about 16.

Fig. 1: Me at age 16 (or maybe 12).

Unfortunately, the problem has not really gone away as I’ve gotten older. After graduation I grew a goatee, and I think it added a few years to my apparent age. But when I shaved it off to come back to BYU, I realized immediately that I still have a very young-looking face.

Fig. 2: My current baby face.

The other day in one of my classes we went around the room and introduced ourselves. I said that I’d graduated and worked a few years and that I had just come back for a master’s degree. One girl asked how old I am, and when I said that I was 27, she said, “You have such a baby face!” I wasn’t sure how to respond, but she said it was a compliment.

Then today I went to pick up a pizza, and the guy who rang me up asked how old I am. (He was foreign, though I couldn’t tell where he was from—obviously some culture where it’s okay to ask complete strangers how old they are.) When I told him my age, he acted surprised. He said, “You look 20, 21.” Wow. I knew I looked young, but I was still hoping for at least 23 or 24 by now.

I’m sure looking young for your age is a great thing—when you’re at least in your 30s. Maybe I’ll start appreciating such comments in a few more years.

Blog, Facial Hair 9 Replies to “Babyface”
Jonathon Owen


9 thoughts on “Babyface

    Author’s gravatar

    Sounds like you’re with me 150 percent. I was never mistaken for a junior high student while I was in college, so you’ve got me beat there.

    Author’s gravatar

    For my part, I had people thinking I was older than my thirty-year-old friend when I was eighteen. I hope I don’t look *that* much older.

    My question is–why are you not still doing art?

    Author’s gravatar

    Because I’m alternately too busy and too lazy. Lame excuses, I know. I keep telling myself I’ll get back into it, but I haven’t done anything since my last art minor class five years ago.

    Author’s gravatar

    At least you CAN grow a goatee. The fact that I’m the only one of five brothers to have a full head of hair past age 25 is tempered by the fact that I have plenty of bald spots on my face. Oh, and for the record, I don’t think the looking young thing is good until you’re in your forties.

    Author’s gravatar

    The interesting thing is, why DID the pizza seller ask you your age? You weren’t buying beer. And if you really looked 20 or 21, he wouldn’t have asked you your age because he would have just assumed you were 20 or 21. So IN REALITY, when people see you, they must think you look like a 27-yr-old who looks like a 20-yr-old.

    Author’s gravatar

    Maybe he doesn’t get a lot of 20-year-olds paying with credit cards. My money is still on some weird cultural thing, though.

    Author’s gravatar

    I guess we have the same youthful genes. I work at a high school and am constantly mistaken for a sixteen-year-old. A few weeks ago I was even told I look 14. When people find out that I’m 20, they’re completely shocked. After the initial shock and a comment like “Oh, I thought you were, like, a sophomore or something,” people often add “But that’s a good thing.” Totally lame.

    Author’s gravatar

    I think in your case, weezer, it’s that you are a good dresser. You look hip enough to be a teenager, if that makes sense.

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