Posts by Psychology Today Editors

Judging Books—and Leaders—By Their Covers

Has Obama really aged ten years since 2008? Would Lincoln's visage preclude him from contemporary politics? Our judgments about faces will always be a blend of science and subjectivity, hard to untangle and rife with intrigue. Read More

Aging Presidents

MAYBE the stresses of the Presidency have caused Barack Obama to age prematurely. I've heard similar comments about how the Presidency aged Jimmy Carter and Abraham Lincoln.

Still, someone should point out that most men who've been elected President were between 42 and 60 years old. I'm 51 myself (in fact, I was in Barack Obama's graduating class at Columbia), so I know firsthand: those are years in which MOST of us start to age noticeably! MOST men my age start to get gray hairs, even if we have realatively stress-free jobs. MOST women my age start to get crow's feet, even if they don't have high-pressure careers.

So sure, MAYBE the stress of our bad economy or the turmoil in the Middle East has caused Barack Obama to get old before his time. But I'd say it's more likely that he's looking older because he's 51, and Mother Nature is saying it's his TURN to start looking older.

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Kaja Perina is the Editor in Chief of Psychology Today.


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