What Makes You Look Young
When you have decided on the visual age you want to convey you
are ready to start changing other people's perception of your age.
First you have to know the signals that reveal your age. Then you
have to learn how to take advantage of them by not using signals
that will reveal your biological age. It's about disguising,
reversing, and using style. There are many options in dealing with
age-revealing signals-many you are in complete control of.
By Henrik Vejlgaard, editor
Many women with public profiles know the importance of looking
younger-and some are very good at looking younger than their
physical age. This is certainly the case with women such as singer
Madonna and actresses Mia Farrow and Jane Fonda. Many people know
the physical ages of these women-which can make it difficult to be
objective about guessing their ages-but most people would say that
they look younger than their physical age.
Madonna Born 1958
48 years old in this photo
Jerry Hall Born 1956
50 years old in this photo
Kim Bassinger Born 1953
53 years old in this photo
Mia Farrow Born 1945
61 years in this photo
Jane Fonda Born 1937
70 years old in this photo
Like these women you can also learn to look younger than you
are-no matter what your biological age is. And you will have one
advantage over them: People that you meet will not know your actual
biological age. So it should be easier for you to convey the age
you want to convey.
The first step in changing people's perception of our age is to
understand exactly what it is that reveals our age. Both the face
and the body are affected by physical changes as we grow older. For
most people these changes first become visible in the face. Often
the changes in the body are felt and become visible to others a
decade or two later than those affecting the face. The slower
visual aging process of the body is a great opportunity for us. It
means that we can draw attention to the body-away from the
face-without drawing attention to yet another age revealer. We can
use the body to help us signal that we are younger than we are.
We also have to be aware of the many style signals that also
reveal our age-and sometimes reveal much more than physical
signals. For different reasons most people do not pay as much
attention to the style signals as they do to the physical signals,
and consequently may end up missing some options that can take
years of a person's age.
Here at Look Younger Magazine we have studied how we
observe other human beings when we meet them. Whether we are
meeting people for the first time or meeting someone we know well,
we use what is termed 'the vertical scanning approach'. When you
meet someone you generally do not just look in the person's eyes.
You also look at the face and the person's body. Both women and men
use the vertical scanning approach but women use it much more
conspicuously than men.
The vertical scanning approach
When we meet someone and we want to have a closer look at
them-for whatever reason-we start by looking in their eyes.
Then we divert our eyes to the upper torso and then back to the
Then we divert our eyes again, and this time we may look at the
person's hands and then back to the eyes or face.
Then we look at the hair and then the eyes again.
When we are observing someone or talking to someone for a longer
time we will take in more and more of the body.
Many women also look at the feet of the other woman and look at
the shoes she is wearing.
There are many different reasons why we use the vertical scanning
approach. Some people are shy and cannot look other people in the
eye or don't want to be thought of as flirting. Many people are
also naturally curious about what the person is wearing and so they
look. In some cases their look will be admiring; in other cases the
opposite. (There are undoubtedly many other reasons that we don't
just look at the face of the person we are talking to-or of a
stranger we are meeting for the first time.) In all instances we
use the vertical scanning approach.
This non-verbal interaction is so very common that we hardly
think about it. But it reveals how important what we wear can be to
other people's perceptions of us, and how we can use this to
control our image.
The vertical scanning approach is a great opportunity in the
quest to look younger because in this way we can cue people in on
our age using many different clues, not just the face's physical
signals. Especially from a distance the body plays a bigger role,
not only because it is larger than our face but also because what
we wear is full of clues that other people decode and use to start
forming an opinion before we are face-to-face.
Imagine you are seeing a woman in the distance who appears to be
40 years old. You guess her age based on the way she dresses, her
hairstyle, and the way she moves. From psychology we know that
first impressions count-and that it is human nature to want our
first impressions-consciously or unconsciously-confirmed. As the
woman is getting closer you will automatically want to confirm that
she is a 40-year-old woman.
If in fact her biological age is 50 you may think, "Well, for a
40 year old she looks her age". You may also adjust your thinking
and say to yourself "Maybe she is 45 years old." The point is that
the way she dresses, moves etc. has made her look younger in your
mind-and will probably have done the same in many other people's
On the other hand, if the woman approaching you is only 30 years
old you will think, "Why does she dress older than she is" or
perhaps "Wow, she looks fantastic for someone who is 40." Again the
message is that the way we dress, our hairstyle, make-up, and other
visual signals hold strong clues for other people about our
This is something that we can take advantage of when we want to
convey how old-or rather how young-we want to look.
The first step is becoming aware of the different types of
age-revealers and learn how to approach them. There are three
different approaches to looking younger that you will learn in
Look Younger Magazine:
- You can reverse the biological age revealers
- You can disguise the biological age revealers
- You can use style to look younger
Reverse the biological age revealers
Knowing what causes aging gives us a chance-in some cases-to do
something about preventing at least visual aging. We can prevent
some of the aging of our skin and of our body.
Disguise the physical age revealers
Wrinkles and gray hair are two very typical biological age
revealers that can be disguised. In the case of gray hair, this can
easily be disguised by dyeing the hair. In the case of wrinkles,
there are several options that are not about surgery.
Use style to look younger
We can use visual signals or signifiers to convey the age that
we have and deflect attention from biologicall age revealers.
Designed products and cosmetic products that send signals about
being young can help. Clothing is a typical visual signifier as are
Press here to find your
Join Look Younger Magazine on