We’ve all heard the sayings, “Age is just a number” or “You’re only as old as you feel”.
And while many of us can certainly relate to these sayings and feeling years younger than our actual age, we understand that it is just that – a feeling or a saying.
But not to 69-year-old Emile Ratelband.
Ratelband is no longer satisfied with simply feeling younger than his 69 years – he wants to legally change his age to reflect his feelings of youthfulness.
Ratelband, a Dutch entrepreneur and self-help guru, is not necessarily ashamed of his 69-year-old age, he just doesn’t identify with it.
Claiming that his official age doesn’t accurately match his emotional state, Ratelband also points out that his doctors say that he has the body of a 45-year-old man, prompting Ratelband to describe himself as a “young god.”
In addition to feeling disconnected from his legal age, Ratelband believes that his age is holding him back in both work and love. Ratelband claims that his legal age has caused him to be discriminated against on the dating app, Tinder, and believes that changing his age to more accurately reflect how he looks and feels will open up a world of possibilities for him.
“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 I’m 69, I don’t get an answer. When I’m 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position,” Ratelband explains.
Based on the ways that Ratelband describes his legal age as negatively impacting his work and love life, he has decided to pursue legal action, seeking to have his date of birth be changed from March 11, 1949 to March 11, 1969.
Ratelband recently hired a lawyer and headed to court to fight for the right to legally change his age.
To support his position, Ratelband compared his desire to change his age to the legal ability that transgender individuals have who wish to change their gender, saying, “Transgenders can now have their gender changed on their birth certificate, and in the same spirit there should be room for an age change.”
Ratelband feels so strongly about changing his age that he has even agreed to forgo his pension if his age was legally changed to 49-years-old, which would benefit the government.
However, while the judge admitted that he sympathized with Ratelband’s feelings and agreed with his comparison to changing one’s gender, saying, “I agree with you: a lot of years ago we thought that was impossible,” the judge’s concerns ultimately seemed to outweigh his sympathies.
The judge voiced concerns regarding the issues that may arise from legally deleting an entire portion of a person’s life, posing questions to Ratelband regarding how his parents would feel about his erasing 20 years from his life, “For whom did your parents care? Who was that little boy then?”
Ratelband replied that his parents were dead.
As of now, the courts have not reached a decision on Ratelband’s unprecedented request, though a ruling is expected back within the next four weeks.
Do you think that legally changing your age should be permitted? If you were able to legally change your age, would you? Share your thoughts and join the conversation below!
Featured image: Roland Heitink/AFP/Getty Images