When people see a photo of someone in a hoodie with a backpack, they may subconsciously infer the subject is student-age. Seeing a backwards baseball cap and sports jersey can likewise make people think of college. Being fashion-forward and trendy think: ombre hair, bright makeup colors, a fringey festival shirt can also make you seem young. To avoid being confused as younger than you are, go for more classic styling for your main pic. Clothing in timeless patterns or solid, muted colors read as neutral to the eye, so people notice YOU more than your clothes. Peace signs and other hand signals can read as immature. Inappropriately grabbing a statue can, too. For instance, holding your dog like a teddy bear might make you look babyish. Sometimes all it takes is uncomfortable body language to project a teenager-y vibe.
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I crawled out of bed, still wearing my Cracker Barrel uniform from the night before and managed to make my way over to the coffee machine. I grabbed my pumpkin spiced coffee, walked over to the couch, and opened his laptop. It was like the television was somehow warning me. My whole body went numb. My thoughts began to race. Who is this naked girl on the screen? She looks a lot like me. Wait, wait, wait…that is me. I had never felt more betrayed, confused, and heartbroken in all my 25 years of living. What the heck.
Several years ago, when my son was a newly minted teenager, I discovered, on accident, that he was receiving nude pictures from a young lady at his school. I would have never believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes, and sadly: I did. I stared at him and made a weird noise. I explained what I saw but told him not to look. It turned out this young lady, who was a few months shy of turning 18, was the only one sending pictures. This girl was apparently stringing along a steady boyfriend in her own grade while promising my son, a freshman in high school, that she loved him the most. She played the needy, clingy sex-nymph character as if it were a script, written just for her. I knew it would be near impossible to keep them from one another, especially since they saw each other every day at school and rode the same and only bus. There was one more complication. It was a unique, delicate situation that required discretion.