29: The Year Women Start "Feeling Old"

Cristen Conger

Women start feeling old at 29? (Photographer's Choice/Getty Images)

I've barely dipped my toes into my late 20s, but I found out today that I'm only a few short years away from feeling old. A survey from a British funeral business, published in March, revealed that women start "feeling old" at 29 years old. We ladies don't even have to crest the 30-year mark to already start unnecessarily aging ourselves? Heaven help us.

What triggers this 29-going-on-55 effect in women? TIME magazine reports that spotting gray hairs and sagging body parts are the triggers. Confession: I started noticing gray hairs last year and initially freaked out at the prospect of a salt 'n' pepper coif. But feeling old because of a few ashy sprigs? Hardly.

Moreover, this "feeling old" nonsense sets it almost 30 years before the same thing happens in men. According to the survey, men start feeling old at an age-appropriate 58. What spurs their aging awareness? Diminishing bedroom performance.

Considering the survey source, this information is highly grain-of-salt. But at the same time, the notion of feeling old can have negative health effects. For instance, two separate studies discovered that men with early balding patterns were more likely to develop heart disease. Also, in January, Harvard and MIT researchers found that women who revamped their hair styles into to look younger "showed a drop in blood pressure" (via Bangor Daily News).

Clearly, it doesn't seem psychologically healthy for young women to fret over their aging bodies at 29. But it isn't physically healthy, either. If gray hairs and drooping bottoms incite such a great panic, then women can get dye jobs and head to the gym because, sadly, it doesn't look like the absurd beauty standards we're attempting to live up to are going away anytime soon.

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