A new survey has found on average, people say they feel seven years younger than their actual age and won’t begin to embrace getting older until they hit 47.
A survey of 2,000 general population Americans aged 40+ found nearly four in five (77%) feel younger than they actually are and 55% still see their younger selves in the mirror. And for more than 65% of respondents, they see reading glasses in their reflections.
Close to half (47%) refuse to admit that they’re getting older and more than a third (35%) get offended if someone calls them “old”.
Moments like hearing a familiar song on the “oldies” station (43%), catching oneself squinting at small print (38%) and grunting while getting out of a seat (37%) — all make people feel like their youthfulness is fleeting.
To make matters worse, seeing a celebrity they’ve never heard of (33%), having trouble seeing in a dimly lit room (26%) and not being on TikTok (24%) also contributes to people feeling like they’re too old.
Commissioned by Foster Grant and conducted by OnePoll, the study found more than a third of people hesitate to admit getting older because they either don’t want to “look old” (37%) or don’t want to admit to not being able to do the things they used to do regularly (36%).
However, wearing reading glasses was not highest on the list of things that make someone feel older. Only 29% of older Americans say reading glasses automatically make a person appear older than they actually are.
In fact, asking someone else to read for you, or squinting to see smaller print “looks” older according to the majority of respondents (61%) than simply wearing reading glasses.
“At Foster Grant, we believe that seeing better equates to looking better and feeling better,” said Denna Singleton, Global Senior VP, Marketing & Portfolio Transformation at FGX International. “Innovations in styling and lens options allow people to feel great in their eyewear, with an added bonus of seeing clearly.”
While nearly two in five (39%) were hesitant to wear glasses at first, after an average of three months of use, glasses became the norm.
Seven in 10 (71%) agree that there are current benefits to having their eyes checked and wearing glasses, suggesting that glasses are more of a beneficial necessity than a marker of getting old.
“Taking care of your eyes is a smart choice, no matter your age,” said Denna Singleton, Global Senior VP, Marketing & Portfolio Transformation at FGX International. “Many customers choose to wear glasses at an earlier age for things like blocking blue light and protecting eyes from UVA/UVB damage. When it comes to needing reading glasses for naturally aging eyes, people should know that reading glasses are still a youthful, stylish and practical choice.”
While visiting an eye doctor is common practice for most, 43% avoid doctors unless it’s an absolute emergency. On a pain tolerance scale from 1 to 10, aging Americans will hold off from going to a doc until their pain has hit a 7, on average.
People will also ignore a doctor completely if wrinkles (40%), back pain (38%) or stiff joints (34%) are involved. Two out of five (43%) even assume their ailments will eventually go away on their own.
WHAT MAKES PEOPLE REALIZE THEY’RE GETTING OLD?
- Hearing a song I know on the “oldies” radio station 43%
- Catching myself squinting at the small print to make out what it says 38%
- Grunting when getting up from a seat or from bed 37%
- Seeing a celebrity I’ve never heard of or recognize 33%
- Having trouble seeing in a dim light room or restaurant 26%
- Not being on TikTok, Snapchat, or newer social media 24%
- Realizing something I use every day came out several years ago 22%
- Holding my arms out to read a menu or printed material 17%
- Not being up to date on current events or trends 16%
- Not understanding current event jokes 13%
- Having my clothing be called “vintage” in public 10%