Here’s Why People Looked Older in the Past
by Matthew Gilligan
Have you ever looked at old family photos or pictures in a museum and thought that people just seemed to look older in the past than they do now?
I think we all have…but is there any truth to the idea that people really did look older back in the day?
According to Michael Stevens from Vsauce, people did indeed look older in the past for a few different reasons.
One is that certain looks as far as hair styles and fashion became linked with being old and people who wore those looks aged. And then there is the fact that healthcare, standards of living, and the choices people make have improved over the years and people tend to live longer and healthier lives now.
34 year old man in 1983 vs 2021 pic.twitter.com/j67LzbOix1
— 𝚖𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚗𝚗𝚒𝚊𝚕 𝚊𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚎𝚜🇵🇸 (@Y2K_mindset) July 5, 2021
What’s surprising is that the changes have become much more noticeable in only a few decades. A 2018 study found that the aging changes between 1988 and 2010 were significant and that more recent generations were “biologically younger” than older ones.
The study said,
“Over the past 20 years, the biological age of the U.S. population seems to have decreased for males and females across the age range. However, the degree of change has not been the same for men and women or by age. Our results showed that young males experienced greater improvements than did young females.
This finding may explain why early adult mortality has decreased more for males than females, contributing to a narrowing of the gender mortality gap. Additionally, improvements were also larger for older adults than they were for younger adults.”
Michael Stevens adds that, in addition to these factors, a big part of our view of people looking older in the past really does have to do with style and fashion that has since gone out of style and we immediately think that the people wearing such clothes in old photos might be young but the fashion makes them appear older.
Here’s the video from Vsauce that you should check out to get all the info on this interesting topic!