What's in a number? Dutch 69-year-old asks court to make him 49 again
Self-styled positivity guru Emile Ratelband thinks age is just a number. And his is a number the Dutchman wants changed.
The 69-year-old TV personality has asked a court in the Netherlands to approve his request for a new birthday that officially would make him 49.
Ratelband says his legal appeal is consistent with other forms of personal transformation — such as “choice of name, freeness of gender” — that are gaining acceptance and government recognition in the Netherlands and around the world.
“I want to have my own age. I want to control myself,” he said.
Ratelband says he wants to avoid age discrimination in society — especially on dating websites.
“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.”
How about just being economical with the truth about his age? “I don’t want to lie,” he said. “I want to be myself, so don’t force me to lie.”
Ratelband, who makes a living urging people and businesses to be positive, denies that the age request is a publicity stunt. He claims he is seeking a personal positive effect.
“Now I’m an old man, I have to save my money to give to my kids so that they can live,” said the father of seven. “But If I have that age again, I have hope again. The whole future is there for me again.”
The court in the central city of Arnhem is expected to issue a ruling in about four weeks.
Emile Ratelband says he wants to avoid age discrimination.