Age is the length of time during which a being or thing has existed; length of life or existence to the time spoken of or referred to. It is also a period of life measured by years from birth, usually marked by a certain stage or degree of mental or physical development and involving legal responsibility and capacity.
It is widely believed that many women lie about their age especially when in public or with those who don’t know their dates of birth. Women who tell their real ages are now hardly believed because of the perception that women never tell their real age.
Women try to hide their age basically because of society. The society in which we live does not encourage truth and base everything on falsehood. Let us look at an instance where an intending couple are about to get married. The woman may be a few years older than the man but because of societal pressure and assumptions, she will be forced to lie about her age just to save their love and marriage intentions.
“Also many women tend to hide their real age due to the fact that they were unable to get married on time. Due to their desperation to find a partner on social media or by any other means, they tend to lie about their age. Our society only values women of a certain age for marriage or any other purpose for selfish benefits.’’
When it comes to the issue concerning a man and a woman, the intrigues involved cannot be overemphasized, especially when they are both romantically inclined a lot is really involved. They try to impress each other with everything within their reach. Then comes a time in the relationship when the man needs or wants to know how old the lady he is involved in really is. So, he summons up the courage and asks how old she is. She hesitates a little thinking in her head: “How old would he want me to be”; so she quickly reduces it depending on how old the guy is. I once read somewhere that “a lady that can tell her age, can tell anything. Come to think of it, what age has got to do with anything? To me, you are as old as you feel!
Faith Mgbeike, a business lady said that she wants to win an ideal man based on her taste. And if reducing the age will make her win the man of her dream, she will go ahead and reduce it.
Miss Queen Onuoha, a civil servant also said, almost all civil servants reduce their age to enhance their retirement age. For some reasons, it is considered rude to ask a woman her age. Why should this be? I sometimes wonder. Surely, age should not be such a big deal or should it? Clearly, for some women, it is particularly for those who have reached their forties and fifties, and if they look younger than their years why would they want to admit to being older in a society which is obsessed with youthfulness? Women face a hard enough time as it is, since they are more likely to be discriminated against because of their gender, once you throw in age as well, then they could also be subject to ageism. This is a common problem faced by older women; studies have shown. So, it is hardly surprising that some will lie about their real age to make themselves appear younger than they are.
In a situation where they are unable to get away with such a lie since they actually look their age, or maybe even older, there are those who are prepared to take significant step to change their appearance so that they can look younger than they are. There are those women who were born with good genes, so that wrinkles and other tell-tale signs of age are not as much of a problem for them.
However, limiting the signs of ageing depends on the kind of lifestyle a person leads. If you eat well, exercise regularly, avoid sitting in the sun for too long, have never smoked and only drink alcohol in moderation, chances are you will look younger than a hardworking person.
Women these days are prepared to spend a lot of money on cosmetics and anti-ageing products more out of hope that they will have an effect rather than actual belief they will work. Older women want to be as attractive as when they were younger so that they can still turn men’s head, particularly if they find themselves single as older woman or lady.
This isn’t enough for some women, and there are those who spend money undergoing plastic surgery, from breast implantations to nose lifts, cheeks filled out, their lips pumped up and their wrinkles obliterated with the help of minimally invasive cosmetic procedures.
Lying about age is not only done by women but it is a ‘Nigerian thing’. In fact these days’ men lie more about their age than women for a lot of reasons like to secure employment, attract younger girls or just for the fun of it. Before, the popular saying was “don’t ask a woman her age” but now it should be, “don’t ask a Nigerian his or her age”. In other climes it could be women but here it is both sexes.
Lying about age seems like modernization or what is in vogue for some women these days such that you see women in their 50s and 60s getting angry when called mummy because they prefer to be called aunty. The case is so bad these days that some women even tell their children to call them aunty not mummy! Some reduce so many years that people begin to laugh at them.
Women all over the world attach importance to being young and beautiful because men appreciate and get attracted to them in contrast to old age and bad looks. Beauty goes together with youthfulness and so even when women are increasing in age; they live in denial and still want to feel they are still young and beautiful so they hide their age. It is the same reason why they continue to buy and sew clothes that make them younger than their age or buy all manner of cosmetics and do surgeries to look young and beautiful.
Some women naturally look older than their age and so to appear young give ages even far younger than they are so that people can say ‘oh that lady is young, it is her genetic makeup or nature that made her look that old.
I really feel ashamed when I see women condescend to claiming age with somebody their junior. There is no reason lying about age because it is a waste of time and a disgrace. You can lie with your mouth but can’t hide the signs all over your body.
Mrs. Joy Ogidi, a barrister said, it is just some women that lie about their age and not many of them. “Many women tell their real age but the attitude of some women makes people believe we all lie about it. I once told somebody my age and he said ‘real or official?’ I asked what that means. As for me I tell my real age and quite a lot of other women I know also do so.”
The perception that women hide their age is affecting women who naturally look older than their age so that even when they tell their real age people believe they are lying.
While it is true that some women lie about their age, not all women do so, as such people should not always believe the age any woman tells them to be a lie.
However, the big question is, even if women revealed their real age, would men believe them? Esther Benjamin says when she celebrated her 24th birthday, her Face book friends asked her how old she was and when she disclosed, one of her male friends laughed and commented: I don’t believe that.
I, for instance, have interviewed many men and women for some time now. And from experience, I can absolutely deduce — with zero margin of error – that women have a problem divulging their age (real or otherwise) or even talking about it.
Here is an excerpt from a conversation I had with a lady and a gentleman from my street as I interviewed them over this topic. “Iyke, how old are you?” I asked. “Twenty two, and in third year at the university,” he answered without fidgeting. “And you Juliet?” “Mmmm! Let’s skip that part. I am a girl,” she answered. She is a girl. Whatever that means as much as I found her response unwarranted, it didn’t come as a shock. She isn’t the first female interviewee who clung to her age like a tick on a cow.
Age, for many women, is the conversational equivalent of touching the third rail. You can talk about her greatness; her stature in society as the CEO of any company; her beauty; her life story, but never the number of years she has been a citizen of the planet Earth.
Judith Egbu, a high-ranking officer of a reputable company, retorted back when I broached into the topic of age. Immediately, she stonewalled and protested against my line of questioning. “What has that got to do with my success in life?” she roared, “You are supposed to ask me who I am and what I do but not how old I am. That is private information.” For precaution, I mollified her with an assurance that I won’t ask such question again. Women have always shown an obtrusive affinity around how old they are.
According to Catherine Abdu, a psychologist said, women want their age remaining mysterious as it gives the illusion that they are young. “The society loves young women,” she says. “There is a general notion that younger is more beautiful and also innocent. Looking at demographics, men naturally go for young women.
It is difficult to site a man in his 40s or 50s looping around a woman in her forties. They woo those whose assets are still fresh and attractive… because they are ‘young’.”
Chinelo Amadi a neighbor told me that, a friend warned her not long ago that she should never dare tell anybody her age – especially men who faint around her with intention. “Why?” I enquired. “I don’t want people guessing at me weirdly as I pass the streets. I also want to be identified for who I am – not the thirty something unmarried women,” she says.
In a youth-obsessed world, older women are having to compete with their female counterparts; in terms of jobs and relationships, and some are prepared to use rather underhand measures to stay on top, which means hiding their real age.
The truth remains that it is youth obsessed world here on our earth and our females are definitely playing their part.

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