When Faith on The Young and the Restless (YR) was shipped off to summer camp at the start of the summer, fans braced themselves for adorable Alyvia Alyn Lind’s character to come back in the fall as a 15-year-old bombshell. Played by a 20-year-old, of course.
After all, that’s what boarding school did to Faith’s dad, Nick (Joshua Morrow), her aunt Victoria (Amelia Heinle), and her ex-uncle Billy (Jason Thompson).
Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome (SORAS) had also just hit the Ashby twins. Once younger than Faith, Mattie (Lexie Stevenson) and Charlie (Noah Alexander Gerry) are now in high school!
But, the inevitable didn’t happen. Faith returned the same tween brat she departed as.
Why? Why is she being allowed to age naturally, while Mattie and a newly-aged Reed (Tristan Lake Leabu) are making out on the couch, and Charlie is bagging babes at the pool?
Maybe it’s because, sometimes, sudden SORAS-ing just doesn’t work out. When Days of Our Lives (DOOL) created an insta-teen-scene by aging Ciara, Chase, Theo, Joey, and Claire, viewers felt whiplash. Especially when the formerly sweet, Little League playing Chase, out of the blue, raped his “sister,” Ciara.
No, thank you, recoiled the fans. Chase and Ciara (Vivian Jovanni) were then both written out of Salem, and now the canvas is missing a core Horton/Brady heroine, and a boy who wasn’t related to anyone, and so could have had years of romantic potential.
Maybe Y&R doesn’t want to risk making the same mistake?
For General Hospital (GH) audiences are confused about why Michael (Chad Duell), Morgan, and Josslyn were aged, while Cameron keeps treading water, if not actually regressing.
On As the World Turns, Tom Hughes went from 7-year-old to Vietnam draft dodger overnight in 1967, but every subsequent recast also reset his age, so he spent over a decade in his mid-20s (see a breakdown of actors and ages, here).
On Guiding Light, Harley gave birth to Daisy in 1987. In 1998, an only slightly aged 13-year-old Susan Lemay came to Springfield, played by future Pitch Perfect co-star Brittany Snow. Susan left town in 2001. She returned in 2007, having reclaimed her birth name, Daisy (Bonnie Dennison)… and, somehow still in her teens.
Maybe Cameron passed through the same wormhole?
In the end, a character’s age only matters in as far as it contributes to story. Usually, teens drive more story — all that hormonal drama! — than preteens.
But Faith is managing to be a pain even at her tender age. Plus, younger kids can get away with more. Would Faith’s quivering lower lip and cinematic case of the sads play as well if she were older? Even Victor might be tempted to tell her to get it together, she isn’t the center of the universe — you got that?
Faith only has a few more years of being coddled like this. And Y&R, obviously, intends to milk every drop out of it.
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