Nowadays, we’re so surrounded by beautiful people and celebrities of all ages in the media that it can feel like people just don’t age anymore. Thanks to plastic surgery, lighting, and photoshop, we have to work hard to find a single wrinkle on an image in a magazine.
Twitter user @BMcCarthy noticed this and decided to ask Twitter to prove a theory. He tweeted “did people in the past look older when they were younger?” and Twitter responded en mass. Whether they did or not is subjective and varies from person to person, but one thing we can definitively say is that there are some spring chickens walking around today.
“Here’s My Dad, In 1970ish, At 21”
This dad looks like he could be a professor when he was probably still a student. If I was in the same class as him I wouldn’t be surprised if he stood up one day and started teaching a lecture. That’s a strange kind of power…
Elizabeth Taylor Was 17 Here. Just. Wow.
Could you imagine being 17 and looking like you were in your mid-twenties? When I was 17 I was still in braces and trying my best to remember to wear socks that were the same color. Kudos to Liz for not having the awkward stage all of us did.
Judy Garland Was Only 45 Here
We’re not in Kansas anymore, by quite a few years. Born in 1922, Garland was only 17 years old when she starred in the 1939 hit The Wizard of Oz. She was only 45 here, but this distinguished and talented actress had more titles to her name than her years would let on.
Brad Pitt And Carroll O’Connor Were Both 46 Here
When All In The Family and Burn After Reading were both filmed, O’Connor and Pitt were both 45-47. However, O’Connor was born in 1924 and Pitt was born in 1963… so maybe this theory works?
Jason Alexander Was 29 When Filming Season One Of Seinfeld
Hair really does make a difference in these. Sometimes, there are things we can do about it—like dying our greys. But there’s not much we can do about baldness. So might as well embrace it and not let the stock boy at the jerk store bring you down.
“My Dad And I At Nixon’s Inauguration Parade In ’73. My Dad Was 45. People Thought He Was My Grandfather All The Time”
These two truly do look like grandfather and grandson it’s so uncanny! Now, if the theory was actually true, then this 8-year-old would’ve been about six foot three and 200 pounds.
These Parents Were 20 And 22
I think because the 1950s and 1940s had such strong and recognizable hairstyles and clothing, we’re always going to associate these items with a look of maturity rather than seeing someone’s true age beneath them. That’s good news for any 18-year-old in 1947 looking to order a beer at a restaurant.
Two Doctors, Both 55, One Played In 1963 And The Other In 2014
On the left is William Hartnell, born in 1908, and on the right is Peter Capaldi, born in 1958. Both these Doctor Who actors are 55, but you would never know it. It’s gotta be the hair and the lighting… or it’s the Doctor’s magic…
“Whitman Mayo Was In His 40’s While Sanford And Son Was On The Air.”
Whitman Mayo was born in 1930 and, while in his 40s, played the lovable and elderly antique dealer, Grady Wilson, in Sanford and Son. Could you imagine a 40-year-old actor today playing an “elderly” man? It’s pretty much unheard of.
This Person’s Grandmother Was 22 Here
I honestly think back in the 40s and 50s everyone had such similar hairstyles, outfits, and makeup that we have a hard time distinguishing how old they were. If she was wearing a Grateful Dead t-shirt and some flip flops I definitely would’ve guessed 22.
Jim Croce Died At 30… Even Though He Looks 42
Croce was as timeless as his songs since the folk singer looked nowhere near his actual age of 30 when he passed away. I think it’s all in the big mustache… those just conceal everything and there’s not a person on earth who can guess your age based on your facial hair.
Richard Vernon Was 39 In Goldfinger
Richard Vernon was born in 1925 and, because of his premature baldness, began playing older characters while still in his 30s. Good for him for turning his hair loss into a career strength.
Wilford Brimley Shot The Movie Cocoon When He Was 51
Actor Wilford Brimley was born in 1934, and played the character, Ben, in Cocoon who was bent on feeling younger again (with the help of alien life). Now 51 isn’t old, but I’m sure we’d all appreciate a little extraterrestrial anti-aging.
“Rivellino, On The Left, Was 23. Gérson, On The Right, Was 29 At The 1970 World Cup”
These two professional soccer players look like everyone’s uncles at the cookout, not two men in their twenties at the top of their soccer careers. Both of these are equally awesome prospects but only one includes a perfectly cooked medium-rare steak.
Estelle Getty Was 62 When Golden Girls Started
Estelle was born in 1923, but she played the 80-85-year-old Sophia Petrillo when she was only 62. To be fair, the mark of a good actor is being able to convince you they’re who they say they are, so kudos to her for making us buy into her persona as the Sicilian sass master.
“Jim Morrison Had Some Hard 27 Years On Him”
This is one of the worst photos I’ve ever seen of Jim Morrison, but to the Tweeter’s credit, it does make him look older than his 27 years. It’s the beard—they’re the ultimate Doors to figuring out someone’s age. Get it? Get it? I’ll show myself out now.
Abe Vigoda Was Only 51 When He Shot The Godfather
Here, Abe Vigoda was playing a hard-boiled detective, so he’s going to look a little worse for wear, but you’d never expect that he was in his 40s doing this. Someone get on the case of this mysterious aging.
There’s No Way Roy Orbison Was 24 Here
Roy Orbison, born in 1936, was known for his passionate ballads but probably not his ability to fool everyone about how old he was. Even though he definitely doesn’t look 24 here, what’s been a constant throughout his career is his signature hairdo. Guess we can thank hairspray for that one.
Kelsey Grammar Played A Psychiatrist At Only 29
Psychiatry clearly must be a rough one since this man does not look like he just finished college and entered the workforce. But to be fair, all the chaos that was Cheers on and off-set would age anyone.
Ed Asner In The Mary Tyler Moore Show Was The Grumpy Ol’ “Lou” At Only 41
To reference, Mary was born in 1936 so she was 34 when they filmed the show. She and Ed Asner only had seven years between them, but their characters couldn’t have been any more different if they tried.
Gabe Kaplan Was 29 On Welcome Back Kotter
I mean, 29 is a normal age for someone to play a high school teacher, but we would never picture Kaplan as our cool hipster Math teacher fresh out of teacher’s college. Let’s go Sweathogs!
Otis Redding Was Only 26 When He Passed Away
Born in 1941, Otis Redding was one of the most talented and influential young musicians of his time. So when he died at 26 in a plane crash, the world was shocked and saddened as another star exited the world eerily similar to the way Buddy Holly went in the “day the music died.”
This “Four Horseman” Is Perpetually Middle-Aged
Even today at 61, Arn Anderson looks exactly like he did when he was 30. He must be just drinking a special elixir that makes him a middle-aged man forever. I think it’s a combination of Busch beer and grass clippings from a freshly mowed lawn.
“Bette Davis, 54 And Joan Crawford, 58, Played by Susan Sarandon, 71 And Jessica Lange, 68.”
The age differences between today’s actresses and the actresses they’re portraying just show how much we’ve learned with regards to health, wellness, and anti-aging techniques since the 80s. The battle to look younger is definitely a Feud we’re all fighting.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Looked Like A Father When He Was Only In High School
Just imagine graduating with the Rock and he looked like this. He probably got asked all the time by his peers if he was an undercover cop because this man literally looks 30 at 18. I know I would watch what I say around him.
Are You Brave Enough To Tell These Dirty Dozen Stars How Old You Think They Are?
To be fair, these two were probably cast because they looked a little older than they were. Nobody would believe a young and fresh-looking WWII soldier… especially if they were blowing stuff up during their war career.
This 17-Yea- Old Ritchie Valens Looked Like He Was In His Mid-Twenties
Even though he’s only 17 here in 1959, he died in the same plane crash that killed Buddy Holly called “the day the music died.” His career only lasted eight months but both musically and visually he was well beyond his years.
NHL Player, George “Duke” Harris Was Born In 1942 And Was 31 When This Photo Was Taken
This man looks like the last thing you’d see before you’re taken down by a bruiser in the game. He may only be 31, but that look in his eye makes it seem like he’s been in 60 years of NHL fights.
Keanu Reeves And Nigel Farage Are Both 55
Here’s another case where it looks like a celebrity is aging less dramatically than another person. We’re happy that Keanu Reeves has found the elixir of youth because he’s just the coolest guy on the planet.
Sanders And Hathaway Are Both 37
Even though this isn’t a case of people from the past aging faster, this just shows that everyone ages differently. Because we’re people, we’re different, and we all have different paths.