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Do you want to feel bad? Ask TikTok how old you look.| GuyWhoKnowsThings

Cherri Gervais got her first gray hair when she was a teenager.

“It's genetic,” he said.

Her hair color, a striking shade of silver, is the first thing people on TikTok noticed when she asked them to tell her how old she looked in a recent video.

Conjectures varied greatly. Many were right, or close enough, Gervais said. (He turned 34 this month). Others suggested he was between 60 and 70 years old.

Gervais, who lives in Kansas and works for a beauty company part-time, said she had decided to post her video after coming across similar TikToks.

“I saw someone from Gen Z do it because they said Gen Z ages faster,” he said, referring to a recent online theory that teens and young adults are aging faster and more visibly than their millennial counterparts.

Her video is part of a trend in which users, mostly women, ask strangers to comment on their appearances. Ms Gervais said many of the comments she had received were unpleasant.

“People told me to dye my hair, put on eyelashes, get my eyebrows done,” she said. Several suggested she looked like a “middle-aged mother.” “There's nothing wrong with that,” Ms. Gervais added. “But I'm not a mom.”

Jalisa Silva-Toney, a 21-year-old social work student who lives in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, also participated. “She was just curious,” she said, noting that people are often wrong about her age.

Part of the reason I wanted to post. your videoWhat she did, she said, was that she hadn't seen many other black women participate. She added that TikTok's constant comparison culture could be fueling the trend and the broader debate about fine lines and skin elasticity among her generation.

Pri Maha, a business analyst in Atlanta, said she had asked people to guess her age in a recent TikTok video mainly out of curiosity.

“I see content from big influencers who are only 23 years old and getting Botox,” Maha, 27, said. “Sometimes it makes me think, 'Oh, should I do that since I'm older?'”

She added: “I feel like there's definitely a push where I see younger girls working, or just trying to look as young as possible, when they're still super young.”

However, not everyone participated just out of curiosity.

“I have a pretty thick skin and not many things hurt my feelings,” said Morgan Driscoll, who works in communications at a technology company and lives in Weymouth, Massachusetts. “I knew it was worth posting for the views.”

As someone who aspires to have a large following on TikTok, Driscoll, 30, saw participating in the trend as a business opportunity of sorts.

“I didn't post it because I was looking for validation,” he said. “I posted it because I knew it would generate engagement.”

She was right: she video It has been viewed more than 100,000 times.

Most of the comments were about her eyebrows. “I have very millennial eyebrows,” Driscoll said, referring to the fact that his eyebrows are thin. I was going to “fix” them this week, he added, based on TikTok comments.

“I think the worst thing I got was a comment saying my neck is becoming all-consuming, which is crazy,” he added. “I mean, I just turned 30!”

But for many TikTokers, any interaction is a good interaction.

“A comment is a comment,” Driscoll said. “I don't care if they are trolls. I don't care if they tell me I look like a toad. “I just want the comments.”

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