Aged Up

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Synonyms:
See also: futurefic, de-aging
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Aged Up is the act where a fanworker, for different reasons, explores in their fan-works characters of an older age than they canonically are in fandom.

Portraying grown characters can be made so that such characters underage are in situations different from those normally experienced in the original, for example, we have works that involve — not exclusively — sexual situations, futurefic or simply because the creator prefers an older version of a character.

Works that involve aged-up characters sometimes have author's notes or not, depending on the wishes of that fanworker in question. Often the term can be considered a form of universe alteration by some fans.

This is a trope that generates a lot of controversy in the middle fannish because some fans believe that all aged-up content it is a legalized form of pedophilia, as they are suspicious of a fanworker to create a work with a character underage in adult form for sexual scenarios. Despite their being no evidence of any connection between aging up character and abusing children, some fans even go so far as to label fans of aged-up characters "pedophiles" or "child molesters."

What authors a worrying situation of radical problematization of facts leading many to abandon discussions or fandom and it sets precedents for new discussions about "the content we create doesn't reflect our opinions" or "not everything we consume is wrong", because anti-aged-up often see pedophilia in works without any sexual content.

fan design of an Aged Up Dipper Pines by life-writer which gained over 60k notes

Example Fandoms

This trope is particularly popular in fandoms where a large number of characters are children/underage.

  • Harry Potter: before the release of the last books, it was common to age-up certain characters such as The Golden Trio or the Slytherin students;
  • Boku no Hero Academia: focused on high school students, the majority of aged up works in that fandom are set after the characters have graduated and are working as Pro-Heroes;
  • South Park's main characters are all small children, so its common works aged-up him;
  • Gravity Falls has many future fic and fix it aged-up;
  • Steven Universe's fandom sometimes ages up Steven and Connie, but not usually for NSFW content;
  • Invader Zim aged-up is common;
  • ASOIAF/Game of Thrones many characters are in their teens (or even early teens) in canon, so it is not unusual for them to be aged up.

Fan Opinion

Some comments from Reddit users in the article the whole aging up characters debate and Is it really wrong to age up characters to adult age in fics?:

I feel like if people are allowed to de-age all the characters from something so everyone is in highschool it shouldn't be a debate on if we're allowed to age up characters for whatever reason we want. So you do you. It's fine. Just state clearly what you are up to at the start.
— minor character[1]
If you're aging up your characters for other reasons, and your story includes themes about being an adult or adulthood that aren't about sex, I feel as though it would take an enormous leap of logic to arrive at 'aging up these characters and writing about them boning is pedophilia/pedophilia apologism/whatever'... But antis aren't exactly known for good-faith logic so I don't know whether that will shield you from them.
— ArchAngelleofJustice[2]
But I can see the logic of people who find it creepy, I think they're thinking that the author was watching this show with 10-year-olds and thought to themselves "wow they're hot and it would be hot if they banged each other." Like they figure the idea to write a fic like that wouldn't even come into your head if you weren't sexualizing these child characters as you watched the show.
— unnamed user[3]
Basically the only reason people like you age characters up to write/drawn porn of them is because you are thinking, “I would create porn of these children at their canon ages if I didn't get backlash for it” so you age them up to avoid being called a pedo. Do you get it? Fucking child molestor.
— unnamed user[3]

Archives & Links

References

  1. ^ Comment on the whole aging up characters debate by reddit user minor_character, 2019.
  2. ^ Comment on the whole aging up characters debate by reddit user ArchAngelleofJustice, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Is it really wrong to age up characters to adult age in fics?, Reddit. May 19, 2019 (Accessed 8/2/2020)