Looking Older

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I get this all the time — from cashiers to full grown men trying to get my number — “You are not 15!”

Maybe it’s because I’m tall. Maybe it’s because I went through puberty early, but people have gotten my age wrong since I was 10. I remember my fifth grade teacher telling me to dress like a child. I did dress like a child; I just didn’t look like one.

The creepy part is the attention I get from older men. When I was thirteen at a fundraiser, a 30-year-old dude offered me a drink at an open bar. I said, “No thanks, I’m thirteen years sober,” thinking this guy would get the joke. I accidentally got this dude to go on an endless story about his best friend’s journey to sobriety. He kept telling me I was so brave and so strong.

It’s hard to know how to react in a situation like this. What if I tell him I’m fifteen, and he doesn’t care?

It’s hard being a teenage girl who looks older than she is. It’s unfortunate that it puts more responsibility on me. Adults should ask rather than assume I’m of age. And to all you freaky dudes out there: You’ll find better luck on Tinder.

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