At 69, Emile Ratelband feels 49 – and he'd like a birth certificate to prove it.
I'm sure we have all wanted a do-over at some point in life. Heck, I would probably go back to being 18 and make several different (*cough*better*cough, cough*) decisions. Or maybe I'd go back to being 11 and opt not to wear that lime green and turquoise striped polo paired with my pink poncho and homemade crocheted belt to school and be dubbed "a fashion crisis." Fourteen years later, I'm still feeling the backlash from that.
But Emile Ratelband wasn't looking for a do-over per se. He was looking for a re-definition. (In that case, maybe I would opt for being 11 again so I can be redefined as a "fashion kween.")
Ratelband is technically a 70-year-old man from the Netherlands who works as a motivational speaker and media personality. And let me tell you, personality is not something he's lacking.
“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 said back in a 2018 interview.
I guess he's not lacking in self-confidence either. But, honestly, do 49-year-olds often troll Tinder? I thought that app was more geared towards the 20-somethings. But Ratelband is right about one thing: “nowadays, in Europe and in the United States, we are free people," so I guess a 69-going-on-49-year-old is perfectly free to swipe left or right.
Now I'm not sure how you determine what a 49-year-old is supposed to look like – or what a 69-year-old is supposed to look like for that matter. Honestly, if you're asking me, Ratelband's face looks relatively closer to 69 instead of 49, but I've also met people who are 35 who I thought were 23. A lady at work joked that she was 75, and I made the mistake of believing her. Turns out, she's really more like 60. So what do I know?
Ratelband does bring up an interesting point about age, though. He's 69, but he doesn't feel like he is. He told the Washington Post that his biannual checkups show that "he has low blood pressure ... His joints are working well. His eyesight is clear. His mental health is in top shape." (We'll ignore the fact that he tried to name his twins Rolls and Royce. Yes, after the car.) According to science researcher of Yale Medical School, Morgan Levine, you do have two ages: your chronological age and your biological age.
Your chronological age refers to the date you were born and how many years you have actually been alive, but your biological age refers to how your body is functioning. Levine has even determined an algorithm using determinations found in a blood test to calculate how old your body seems. You can't change your chronological age, but you do have some control over your biological one. If you live a healthier lifestyle, you'll measure a younger age.
So can I be 11 again? No. (Nor would I want to because we can all agree that middle school is THE WORST.) Can Matthew Perry really become a 17-year-old Zac Efron? Well, he can in a surprisingly average-rated teen rom-com.
In the end, despite those check-ups and that psych eval (Rolls and Royce. Never forget.), Ratelband lost his fight in court. The court's judgment pointed out that legally changing one's birthdate and delaying it 20 years would cause "all kinds of legal problems." What happens, for instance, to a driver's license issue date, a marriage license, voting records, or anything else that happened during the 20-year period that you're attempting to erase? Complications abound.
Nevertheless, Ratelband announced shortly after the court decision last December that he planned to appeal the ruling.
I guess he really wants you to swipe right.