'I can't stop thinking about this viral theory about millennial ageing.'

I was in a doom scroll spiral when my finger stopped swiping on one particular video. 

It was from a TikTok creator I'd never come across before - a man named Chris Bautista. The video in question has, at the time of writing, seven million views.

I watched the TikTok, my 33-year-old mind was blown, and then I moved on with my day. That was about three weeks ago, and I kid you not, I have thought about it nearly every day since and so I simply must unpack it.

Watch a snippet here. 

Video via, https://www.tiktok.com/@bautistud/video/7343365522437852458

Because it made so much sense.

Somehow Chris managed to unravel and present a point that has been sitting in front of us for years, unexplained. 

It made me weirdly sad, which I will get to. But first let's talk about the video.

As Chris points out, we millennials have set a new standard of what it looks like to age.

Using his 37-year-old self as an example, Chris green screens himself against other '30-somethings' from our youth. 

Al Bundy was 39-years-old in Married... with Children. 

George Costanza was 31-years-old in Seinfield. 


The entire cast of Cheers was supposed to be in their 20s and 30s. 

The cast of Cheers. Image: TikTok.

Both Steve Martin and Diane Keaton were 45 years old in Father Of The Bride.

Homer Simpson is 37-years-old.

"The difference between us and you (Gen Z), is so much closer than us and them. We've set a new standard," says Chris. 

The reason it made me sad is, as teenagers we grew up thinking this was our future. That these objectively older looking television characters were what our '30s' looked like. But society has drummed into us that youth is everything, and so, everything in popular culture in our lifetime has been geared to encourage us to preserve our younger looking selves. 


As Chris points out, millennials don't really look like that today. Particularly celebrities.  

Paris Hilton is 43-years-old.

Chris Hemsworth is 40.

Taylor Swift is 34. 

36-year-old Taylor. Image: Getty.

Rihanna is 36. 

Or if you want a truly wild TV show comparison. During the recent Netflix show Griselda, Sofia Vergara plays a character between the ages of 27 and 37, aged 51 herself. 

Perhaps it's because we're healthier, we smoke less and we wear more sunscreen. 


Perhaps it's because Botox and fillers have become the norm on our venture to freeze time.

Perhaps it's because our obsession with being young has got a bit out of control. Magazine culture has morphed into social media comparison.

I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I will admit I am glad I don't look as 'old' as the Costanzas and Homer Simpsons from my youth and Chris's video made me feel better about myself. It allowed me to take the pressure of a bit. Yes, dammit, I do look good for my age!

But I am sad that we've somewhat demonised aging. That millennials are on a constant quest to stop time. We've become so good at it, we now expect people in their 30s, 40s and even 50s to look like they're 25. 

Millennials truly have set a new standard of aging. For better or worse. 

Frown lines and wrinkles and bald patches aren't the enemy. We're all so focused on vanity, that we forget how much of a bloody privilege it is to keep blowing out more and more candles on our birthday cake every year. 

I hope you, like me, feel a little less self-critical after watching Chris's video. 

You look great, millennial! Take the pressure off.

Feature image: @bautistud.

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