Man, 69, Sues To Change Age To 49: “You Can Change Your Gender. Why Not Your Age?”

If this becomes a trend, I don’t mind becoming 15 once again. Let’s all backdate our ages then.

In 2018, Emile Ratelband, a happy-hearted Dutchman asked a court in the Netherlands to permit him to change his legal date of birth from March 11, 1949, to March 11, 1969. This way, he would be legally 49 instead of 69. Emile is a “positivity trainer” and TV personality who refers to himself as the “young god”. He believes the effects of ageism as seen in society are too hurtful for him to accept, and since he still looks like someone in his late forties, changing his age would be a step in the right direction for him.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Ratelband said his request was not a publicity stunt and that changing age would improve his dating game, increase his chances of buying better houses and cars, and getting better gigs at work. [1] His age is just too limiting for his youthful frame of mind. 

So when I ask for a mortgage, for example, they say it’s impossible,” he said. “If I go on Tinder, then I get women from 68, 69 when women are there.

He said to The Washington Post: “Nowadays, in Europe and in the United States, we are free people. We can make our own decisions if we want to change our name, or if we want to change our gender. So I want to change my age. My feeling about my body and about my mind is that I’m about 40 or 45.” [2]

Request Denied

Ratelband is extremely fit and in perfect health. He goes for a full body checkup at the hospital every two years and has no medical issues linked to old age. He also looks just about 50 and has said he would give up his pension if his petition is approved.

Sadly, the court disagreed with his argument, stating that there is no legal basis or a person to change their age since many aspects of the law are age-considerate.

Mr. Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly,” the judges said. They also mentioned that changing a legal age would have “undesirable legal and societal implications”.

Ratelband was disappointed, of course, and mentioned that his friends have told him to change his age on dating apps if it bothers him so much. However, he doesn’t want to foster a romance built on falsehood. “But I don’t want to lie. If you lie, you have to remember everything you say.”

The American Belief

Ratelband is also convinced that changing his age would bring more career opportunities his way. As a “positivity trainer” and life coach, several clients have had doubts about his abilities to relate with young people simply because he’s a lot older. He still has so much to offer, but his age keeps holding him back.

Trained by the American motivational guru, Tony Robbins, Ratelband loves the American way of life and believes he deserves to be a part of the culture. “This is American thinking. Why can’t I change my age if I want to? You have to stretch yourself. If you think you can jump one meter, now I want to jump 20. If you earn 100 grand a month, now I want to earn 120 grand.”

Ageism is a real problem in society and the major reason why millions of individuals are terrified of growing old. [3] People would often go to extreme lengths to retain their youthfulness if it means never going through age-based discrimination. Although ageism is unlike other forms of discrimination that people have to deal with for most of their lives (racism, sexism), it’s still a hurtful problem and elderly people deserve to have continued inclusion in society. If this were the reality, Ratelband wouldn’t have reasons to try to have his age changed. No one should ever be afraid of their golden years.


  1. Man, 69, sues to lower his age 20 years. He says it will help him on Tinder.” USA Today. Joel Shannon. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  2. A 69-year-old man asks to be declared 49, claiming age is as fluid as gender.The Washington Post. Isaac Stanley-Becker. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  3. ” Fighting ageism.” APA. Melissa Dittmann. Retrieved November 2, 2020.