This is not a literal question, and this not a rhetorical question. This is a philosophical question. I want everyone to step outside of their box and think about what it really means to "grow up." What does maturity mean in the philosophical sense and in the eyes of modern social norms.
Here is my answer:
First some background. We are born, we live through those early years. We make those developmental milestones, we learn to walk, to talk, and to eat and drink by ourselves. We potty train. However, that is talking about maturity in the literal sense. We grow up hearing a series of words and statements that we didn't think much of at the time, but they stir up some deep philosophical questions when we stop and really think about them. "you're too young." "Aren't you a little old to be doing that?" "You'll understand when you're older." "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids." People would say. You age and grow old. You go from liking flashy and creative stuff with designs on them to simple stuff that looks plain and boring. from princess dresses to designer jeans, from trick-or-treating to costume parties, and from the playground to the office.
All of you better get your upscaled car seats and booster seats, and strap on your 5 point restraints because we're going for a wild ride down the good ol' rabbit hole and we ain't gonna stop til' we reach the bottom!
We learn the very first thing in our early years that is part of this underlying problem. We learn that diapers are for babies. We later learn that diapers for old people as well, but they get a special kind of upscaled diaper with 4/6 tapes and no cute designs. We learn many more symptoms of this problem as we age and "grow up." Our young minds are creative and carefree. We are free spirits.
Tell me, when did you stop enjoying recess in school? 4th grade? 5th grade? when you entered middle school? junior high?
When was the last time you got to enjoy exploring a Mcdonald's playplace?
What age did your parents make you stop trick-or-treating?
Why are light up shoes only marketed mainstream to kids and not all ages?
Why does most clothing marketed towards adults look so bland and boring? Uncomfortable high heels? solid colors? duochrome or triochrome sneakers with uninspired and yawn inducing designs? Yuck!
Adult clothing and bedding, etc. We need to ask ourselves, do we really "like" this stuff or are we conditioned to just accept it as the norm of "adult" life?
We find that as adults we are censored, our true selves are not the stressed out hard-working adults we grow up to become. What is stopping us from expressing our creativity and innocence? Society..................
Our expression is constantly censored by modern society's perception of what is and isn't ok to say or do.
It seems that as we "grow up" are taught to submit and obey, to become cogs in the machine rather than our own person. We sacrifice our creativity and innocence to achieve "maturity."
We "can't" wear shoes like these in our size: Amazon.com: Stride Rite Sleeping Beauty Lighted Mary Jane (Toddler/Little Kid): Shoes because it's "childish."
We cannot trick-or-treat past age 13 or 14 or whatever because Halloween and trick-or-treating are fun traditions reserved only for those younger than whatever arbitrary age limit your average person sets. We go along with this because of whatever excuse we can come up with to "support" such a ludicrous notion. We give up playgrounds and playing with toys in favor of doing whatever your average adult does in their spare time. To defy this societal norm is blasphemy.
Then there's us. The AB/DLs, furs, whathaveyou. People complain about youth "growing up too fast" yet when someone fully grown and of sound mind suggest making a return to childhood in some form to feel young again they are socially ostracized if publicly caught and metaphorically burned at the stake. Does it have to be this way?
What we have here is a social value system disorder. We are trying to cure ourselves of this disorder, but the established status quo believes this is "wrong."
To them, we are the betrayers. We are betrayers of a culture in decline. We know that in reality we are the heroes, and it is Us who have been betrayed.
With all that established I can come the only sound conclusion that "maturity" in this sense means simply making your values, actions, and thoughts fall in line with established societal norms on how humans should be have. De facto conventions on what is and isn't appropriate behavior as well what is and isn't ok to believe. every aspect of our lives is controlled by these invisible metaphorical social regulators, regulators that WE created.
This underlying issue is perhaps the biggest barrier to our acceptance. We need to be willing to spit in the face of these social regulators! We need to redefine what "maturity" means in the eyes of society. We need to fix this underlying issue before can truly be accepted as a community.
However, the beauty of the rabbit hole is that there's always room to go deeper down, so share your thoughts on the subject.