69-Year-Old Man Files To Legally Change His Age To 49

They say age is just a number, but there’s no denying that that number has an influence over your life—especially when it comes to dating. That’s a reality that Dutch “positivity guru” Emile Ratelband isn’t cool with. Last week, Ratelband told the Dutch courts that he considers himself a “young god” and he’s sick of being discriminated against because of his age. His argument (as translated by The Guardian) went something like this:

“When I’m 69, I am limited. If I’m 49, then I can buy a new house, drive a different car. I can take up more work. When I’m on Tinder and it says 69, I don’t get an answer. When I’m 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position.”

No one is denying dating options are probably limited when you’re pushing 70, but attempting to have your age legally changed is an interesting approach. Ratelband goes so far as to insist that he identifies as a man who is 20 years younger and he is even willing to postpone his pension benefits by 20 years. He cited the legislation that allows transgender people to legally change their documented sex as related precedent that should allow him to change his legal date of birth.

In the Netherlands, transgender people have to provide a statement from an “expert” that their gender assigned at birth isn’t the gender they identify as. No such “expert” exists to confirm someone is actually younger than their birth certificate would have you believe. And besides, no matter what your legal age is, that doesn’t change the fact that in reality, you were born 69 years ago. Your body has been on this earth for 69 years—so you are 69.

When asked why he didn’t just lie on about his age and simply say he was 49, Ratelband said, “I don’t want to lie. I want to be myself, so don’t force me to lie.” He also went on to say “We live in a time when you can change your name and change your gender. Why can’t I decide my own age?”

Whether this is all publicity stunt or Ratelband really believes he can be 49 again just because his birth certificate says so, is unclear. Overall, it sounds like a warped attempt at immortality. No one likes getting older, but most people just start using anti-aging products and joke about turning 29 for the 8th time. There’s still something to be said for aging gracefully, and petitioning the court to legally change your age is pretty much the opposite of that.

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