Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Chinese and Dog Years

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 30, 2010


Have you ever noticed that Chinese do not wear well with age? I’m not being negative, just making an observation. I think that in general (forgetting the 1 child policy generation who to me seem very anemic and sickly), in general younger Chinese have good skin, and tons of energy. But when they hit their late 20’s, it seems as if physically they hit the wall and hit it hard. There are two reasons that I say this, the first is that when I visited the US I was surprised at how well the women 40 and above looked, they carry themselves well, are physically fit and pretty attractive. The other reason is that in China they will always ask your age, so i will reciprocate. I am usually astounded to hear that a Man who looks like my 70 year old father is only 38 or 42, its crazy.
Then if we look at a typical Chinese woman over the age of 30, its as if the weight of the world bows her shoulders to the ground, every pain, every horrible consequence of her existence is hacked out in the worry lines and crows feet that Spackle her face.
In caveat, I would like to say that this is not 100% true, but I would settle for 99.999993.
Then I got to thinking about dogs. I love dogs and remember how we were taught that a dogs life, if expressed in human years is his age times 7. Thus he is 2 doggie years and 14 in human years. This myth is supposedly not true and it is much closer to the fact that for a dog, the first two years are the equivalent to 10.5 human years and then 4 every year afterwards, but you get my point.
So, I have devised a scale for the typical china-man. Please remember that my lack of respect for many of the spoiled little obligatory one child, ‘burndens’ or children as they are called, may not apply to this scale. (oh yeah, this is not emotional, only physical)
Typical chinaman actual age billyscale
5 2
10 6
15 9
20 13
25 17
28 23
30 43
33 45
40 55
45 62
50 66
55 75
60 in a home somewhere with a pack of others of
indiscernible age

Mind you , I am no scientist so please dont quote me on this, but if you’d like, feel free to prove me wrong.
And China has some beautiful older women, but they are gobbled up by the foreigners…

2 Responses to “Chinese and Dog Years”

  1. Daniel Bos said

    Although you’re right to some degree, I think the main reason is that anyone 35 and over in China has lived through the horrors of the Cultural Revolution. Besides that, the “American Dream” is for women to basically do nothing more than to sit about, go to spa’s and occasionally cook a dinner. (an exaggeration of course, but you get the idea) while in China the majority literally work their ass off.

    As an aside, in my wife’s family I’ve met some seniors who I’d given maybe mid seventies, who turned out to be late eighties to mid nineties. But I guess those must be in your 0.000007% ^_~

    • wtdevflnt said

      Yeah, I agree with that at some level. For instance, those caught in the cultural revolution look like mosters while those who had already matured emotionally by then, imho look relatively good. I too have some great friends in the Chongqing area and their grandparents (in their 70’s) actually look great, and their parents too.
      re the women, is that an exaggeration?

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