As the cliche goes, you’re only as young as you feel. But is it possible to get a court to legally recognize you as younger than you are? That’s what Emile Ratelband is trying to find out.
The Dutch self-help guru and entrepreneur was born in March of 1949, making him 69 years old, but if he gets his way, he will legally have his age changed to 49. Why So he’ll get better results on Tinder.
“When I’m on Tinder and it says I’m 69, I don’t get an answer,” the told the Dutch magazine De Telegraaf. “When I’m 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position.”
And when you look at his face, you’ll see that he could DEFINITELY pass for 49.
Or maybe a 49-year-old who exfoliates with a mixture of cleaning products and cigarettes?
This week, Ratelband filed a lawsuit in against the city of Arnheim, in the eastern province of Gelderland, requesting that the court legally change his birth certificate to make him 49 years old.
But his argument goes beyond just wanting a better success rate on a dating app. (Possibly because “I want to get laid more” isn’t the strongest legal strategy.) Ratelband says that he’s faced aged-based discrimination in several areas of his life, from finding consulting work to buying homes to being allowed to drive certain types of cars.
Beyond all that, Ratelband claims that at a recent check-up, a doctor told him that he has the body of a 45-year-old.
Now here’s where the story goes from kooky to potentially offensive. In that same interview with the Telegraaf, Ratelband compared his situation to that of transgender people.
“Transgenders can now have their gender changed on their birth certificate, and in the same spirit there should be room for an age change,” he said.
OK, so for the rest of this article, I’m going to use the least flattering pictures of him I can find. Cool? Cool.
When he’s not wasting everyone’s time with bogus, headline-grabbing lawsuits, Ratelband is an entrepreneur and, even worse, a self-help guru. He’s written twelve books, and for five years he hosted the Dutch TV show, Hoe overwin ik mijn grootste angst? (How Do I Overcome My Greatest Fear?), for five years.
In 2003, after a failed bid for political office, Ratelband started his own political party, Ratelband List. The party won 0.1% of the vote that year and hasn’t been heard from since. Despite promising to move to Fiji or Australia if his party won no parliamentary seats, he continues to live in the Netherlands.
Finally, he was the voice of the character Vladimir Trunkov in the Dutch-language version of Pixar’s Cars 2.
The judge in Ratelband’s case was somewhat sympathetic to his argument, empathizing with the age discrimination he says he’s faced. The judge even agreed that the courts legally changing people’s gender on documents could create room for other changes.
Ultimately, though, the judge just couldn’t onboard with the idea of changing a person’s age, pointing out that would basically erase a chunk of their life.
“For whom did your parents care in those years?” the judge asked Rathelband in court. “Who was that little boy back then?”
The court will make a ruling in the next four weeks.
On social media, people’s reactions were varied, from disgusted to really disgusted.
@30daysbrighter makes an excellent point:
Seriously, ladies of the Netherlands, if you see this guy on Tinder, swipe left.