Ok, full disclosure…I am no spring chicken…hell, I am not even a Gen X-er. So I offer a ditty, compliments of my husband…
Say yay to the gray
lines are signs of the times
wrinkles be damned
I am still who I am
While sitting in a seminar hosted by a delightful millennial about use of BookTok for authors, a woman about my age commented no one on TikTok was going to look at her old face. I had to admit, I had wondered the same.
After tracking the woman down in the ladies room, we and another not-Gen X-er (displaying beautiful waved, long silver hair) chatted about cultural perceptions of gray hair, along with face wrinkles and chest lines. Mostly, I espoused my current irritation with the woman’s required upkeep of youth. If one positive thing came from the pandemic, surely it was women embracing their gray hair. We were made to rip off the bandaid but the inner beauty emerged.
As I started down the path to gray my husband, who is an extremely broad-minded man, balked at my choice. With a sudden awakening I realized dying my hair was such an implicit bias. My bias was thinking I had to maintain the facade of youth. His was holding women to a different standard. Neither of us expected a man to dye their gray hair. Only positive adjectives get attached, most often, distinguished. Women, it’s frumpy, tired, old, letting herself go.
I am here to say…YAY to the GRAY! There are women my age who have not grayed, but is Nancy Pelosi is one of them? At the age of 82 does she really still dye her hair?? If so, I say, “As a leader in the United States House of Representative, you show your power, now show your gray!”
Do I still cringe when using the magnifying mirror, oh god yes! I also talk myself off the ledge with greater and greater ease. Wrinkles be damned, I am still who I am.
What are your visions, biases, fears, beliefs on the physical aging? I would love to discuss.
If you like my writing, I invite you to peruse my other posts and subscribe. Feel free to share. I follow a theme until it bores me and move on. You may also enjoy my novel, Whispers for Terra.