Rise of the “Kidult”


“Kidult” [Wiki]: In the early 21st century, there was reporting that for an adult to have interests traditionally expected only from children is not necessary an anomaly. The entertainment industry was quick to recognize the trend, and introduced a special category, “kidult,” of things marketable for kids and adults alike. Enormous successes of films such as Shrek and Harry Potter, of books traditionally targeted for teenagers and the fact that Disneyland is among the world’s top adult (without kids) vacation destinations seem to indicate that “kidulthood” is a rather mainstream phenomenon. And unlike puer aeternus, “rejuveniles” successfully marry adult responsibilities with non-adult interests. When Christopher Noxon appeared on The Colbert Report on June 29, 2006, he remarked that “There’s a big difference between childish and childlike”.


“Normal” people look at guys like me and wonder what happened?

“Is he ever going to grow up?”

“Why is he not out-of-shape?”

“Why doesn’t he have an age-appropriate girlfriend? Is he intimidated by women his own age?”

“Is the young woman in his home a gold-digger, or did her father not love her enough?”

“Why doesn’t he have children?”

“Is he too selfish, narcissistic and self-absorbed to share his life with others?”

“Why doesn’t he dress more conservatively like other men his age?”

“Why does he dress like that?”

“Why doesn’t he think like we do?”

“Why is he trying to be 20 all over again?”

Oh lord, I could go on…


To be perfectly honest with you, I have always been this way.

For one thing, I have always been my own man.

I worked for myself, set my own schedule, led my own life.

All I had to do was be good at what I did, treat my clients well, and pay a CPA to keep me out of jail.

After a while the freedom and independence this afforded me became part of my identity.

The lifestyle made me more resilient, self-reliant. Those acquired attributes are just part of the process of independence.

And while it hasn’t always been easy, the pay-off covered the periodic turbulence–10-fold.

To all the men my age who continue to live life as fully–and intensely–as we did back in the day, congratulations.

You’ve officially earned a legion of haters who wish they had the balls to have done exactly the same thing.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

~ e.e. cummings


For more reading on this topic, the following article by Robert Firestone Ph.D. is illuminating.







Typical habitat of the “Kidult.”