By now, you've probably seen at least a couple of babies who look like old people. But this deceiving image isn't exclusive to the tiniest ones. Bored Panda has collected a list of childhood photos where kids also appear to be at least a couple of decades in decay, and they're just as hilarious. From a 10-year-old sassy grandma to a 40-year-old receptionist attending 4th grade, you'd think these unfortunate folks would be the ones pinching your cheeks at the next family reunion. Truth is, they will actually be on the receiving end instead. Scroll down, enjoy, and upvote your faves!
My Friend's Baby Pictures Look Like Mrs. Doubtfire
If you're worried about your embarrassing photos that might one day crawl out of your hard drive and spread over the Internet, don't be. We all are. In fact, there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for why the person staring back at you looks so very unfamiliar, even though that person is you. The answer to why you hate seeing photos of yourself is mirrors. The explanation given in a TED talk by photographer Duncan Davidson, for example, explains how "perception, mirrors, and the uncanny valley make us hate photos of ourselves."
Back in 1977, in a study titled "Reversed Facial Images and the Mere-Exposure Hypothesis," psychologists Theodore H. Mita, Marshall Dermer, and Jeffrey Knight concluded that "individuals will prefer a facial photograph that corresponds to their mirror image rather than to their true image." As the title of the study suggests, everything has to do with something called the mere-exposure effect.
I Looked Like A Middle Aged Man When I Was A Child
The mere-exposure effect was first proposed in the 1960s by Stanford psychologist, Robert Zajonc. According to Gizmodo, "In its simplest terms, the mere-exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon whereby a person develops a preference for a stimulus based solely on his or her repeated exposure to (and subsequent familiarity with) it. The effect has been demonstrated with an array of stimuli (words, paintings, sounds) and across cultures. It's even been observed in other species."
When It’s Your First Day Of Kindergarten And Also Your First Day As Head Of The PTA
So the truth is, if photograph-you looked like mirror-image you, in a way, everyone else would think you look bizarre. The same researchers, who showed a person is more likely to prefer a facial photograph that corresponds to their mirror image rather than their true image, also demonstrated that the opposite was true when the images were shown to the person's friends. So, again, don't worry about it. Photograph-you looks great.
Yeah, So I Heard My Best Friend Was Made Into A Meme Called The 60-Year-Old Girl
My Wife Was A 40-Year-Old Receptionist In 4th Grade
This Is Why I Never Had A Girlfriend In High School. I Looked 35 When I Was 14
I Looked Like An Old Jewish Man In 9th Grade
My Friend's Yearbook Picture From 2nd Grade. Apparently She Used To Be A Lesbian Art Teacher
That Time I Went To My High School Prom And Looked Like A 45-Year-Old Woman
First Day Of High School, I Was Apparently Going For The 70-Year-Old Man Look
At Age 10 I Looked Like I Was Ready To Give Up And Change My Name To Linda
I Too Was Born In 1981. I Present To You, The Butch Soccer Mom (I'm A Guy)
A Friend Of Mine Gave Me Permission To Post This Gem. Circa Early 90s
After The Seventh Child My Mom Decided It’s Just Easier To Dress Me In Her Own Clothes
I Was Dwight Schrute When I Was 15
1981. I Thought I Was The **** In My Band Uniform And Permed Hair, And Weighing All Of 90 Pounds (With The Cymbals)
My Friend Looked Like Elton John When He Was Younger
No Front Teeth, Mom As A Stylist
Band Geek, 1987
Note: this post originally had 76 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.