My tresses tend to get attention. I am not entirely sure why. Some have said, it’s length, shine, and contrast to my complexion. Whatever the reason, it gets compliments.
But I have a confession. . . I have been going gray since I was 17 years old. I was never really ashamed of it, but my family did not find it becoming and youthful, so I tweezed. Then I came across an advertisement that changed my life. I believe it was a Chinos or Chicos print ad. It depicted a woman in profile with long straight white hair, wearing a simply chic shirt and khaki colored pants. She was leaning nonchalantly against a wall, sucking on a sucker.–I was entranced! I had never seen a “cool” woman with silver hair before; only the “matronly” ladies with short permed coifs. But this woman–wow!
And so . . ., I secretly looked forward to the time I could stop tweezing and just be my authentic self. . . which is basically lazy. Let’s face it. I am not a high maintenance gal. Society has made it clear, only old women had white hair, women past their prime. Grandmothers and spinsters. (I say this last bit with sarcasm, because grandmothers and spinsters are my girls! Some of the most awesome women I know.)
–At first, I thought, I’ll wait until I have children and then I can go gray. As the years progressed, my thoughts changed to ‘I’ll wait until after I am married, then I can be true to myself.’–Well, after the cataclysmic event last August, I just said “Screw it, I am not waiting any longer.” So now I am gleefully going gray!
So far none of my family is on board. Some of the women folk have made it clear I am just making life more difficult for myself. Most men want a youthful looking wife. I disagree. I am not ashamed nor do I associate it with “age” per se. I love that it is uncommon and I associate gray hair with wisdom, not the grave. Bottom line, it is just natural and cheaper to accept what is, than to force what isn’t. Thus, said I am not above make-up, creams, surgery, and the like. I just don’t care about my hair to a serious degree.
I joke with my cousins “being a brunette is too mainstream.” When I am feeling defensive and snotty, I might say “Why do people want to look younger? Seriously? Who wants to be associated with bad decisions and insecurities? I don’t want to be remembered for who I was when I was young, but for who I am now.” Blue and purple hair are the color de jour. Why not gray? There was a granny-hair movement for a while there. . . maybe it is still going strong in some pockets of the US? Gray hair’s stigma is just a culture association, nothing more. Why women try so hard to cover it up, I’ll never know. It’s the equivalent of a mother harshly critiquing her own body in front of her daughter. She is pointing out perceived flaws and going on and on about the ways in which she is not good enough. Same for gray hair, it is something that is not good enough in our youth obsessed culture.
On the bright side more and more women are embracing their silver locks. Daphne Selfe, Yasmina Rossi, and my obsession Ms. Carmen dell’Orfice . . . jaw-dropping, gorgeous women!
Why I am going gray:
- It’s cheap. No need to buy color treatments, professional or otherwise. I can put that savings toward paying off my mortgage, because Goals.
- Low maintenance. Up keep is a messy pest. I don’t even eat Bar-B-Que because of the mess, what makes you think I’ll put up with it in my hair?
- It’s different. Not many “youngish” people wear their white hair with pride. Besides, I loathe to be shockingly average. Consider it my passive aggressive way of saying “Suck it” to The Man. –I’m a hard core rebel, like that.
- It’s natural. This might be the hippy in me speaking.
- It makes me look older. And by older, I mean wiser.
- It will separate the men from the boys. I have no doubt there will still be people out there who will find me attractive regardless of hair color. It takes a secure and different man to be with a young white-haired woman.
- If I ever get married, I’ll look like a Snow Queen! Seriously, how cool would that be?! Silver flowing hair wearing a white dress in the snow?–With my alabaster skin . . . no one will find me!
- It will be my signature look a la Anna Wintour, Kaiser Karl, or Ms. Carmen herself. Think of it as a built in brand!