Why is a man with grey hair considered to be “distinguished” yet a woman with grey hair is considered to have “let herself go”?
Ok, so I ask this question of women and they say “yeah, it’s so wrong. Why are we expected to look a certain way. It’s so sexist. Blah blah blah.”
But what if I told you that WE are the ones who perpetuate this kind of standard? It’s not the men who are imposing this onto us. We are the ones imposing it onto ourselves, and more to the point, onto each other.
As you can see in this image, I have visible grey hair. If you stand within 2 metres of me, you can see it. But it’s only women who seem to get very uncomfortable when they notice it. It doesn’t take long before I catch them staring at it as if it doesn’t belong somehow. Like it’s out of place, out of character, out of order!
I’ve had women reach into my hair and try to pluck some of them, like they are doing me a favour. They’ll say something like “hang on, let me just get these greys for you” as if they’re trying not to embarrass me, similar to how you would discreetly tell another gal she has lipstick on her teeth. And I’ve seen them look puzzled when I protest and move away. I’ve had comments from friends such as “I think you’re overdue for a colour” & other equally presumptuous statements. I soon realised that these women (bless their cotton socks and good intentions) must think I am either blind or have somehow neglected my appearance because I have visible grey hair. They might think I’m going through a “rough patch” or worse yet, LET MYSELF GO. Because we all know that’s the worst thing a woman can do, right? Let herself go? What the fuck does that even mean?
So here we are. I see my hair just as clearly as you can. This is a public service announcement to declare that this is a choice. Just as many women choose to colour their grey hair, I simply choose NOT to. And I think it’s funny that so many women find my natural appearance to be so confronting. I presume it’s because it implies I am “ageing” -whatever that even means. I prefer to think of myself as “growing” because ageing sounds so defeatist!
We live in a world where no one bats an eyelid if you undergo invasive and often times unnatural looking cosmetic enhancements like lip fillers, botox, implants, yet the visibility of natural grey hair can be such a trigger and cause for concern.
So I just want to put it out there that I am choosing this. And I want to be an example for other women who also may not want to feel pressured to look a certain way by modern-day grooming best practice guidelines... i must’ve missed that memo, but fuck it. I’m going rogue on this one!
I personally simply got tired of putting peroxide-based dyes on my scalp every few weeks. My skin is super sensitive and it was bleeding and sore all the time. I had to ask myself what I was doing and WHY?!What was I trying to cover up? That I am a mature woman in her late 30’s with some grey hair? Is maintaining the illusion that I don’t have grey hair more important than my comfort? Or my health? The answer was obviously no. So I said No thanks. Not any more. Not at the expense of my delicate skin which was clearly crying out for me to go natural, for at least a while. So I listened to my scalp, instead of the standards of grooming that had been indoctrinated in me since I can remember. I think I made the right choice, don’t you?
I have a name for my grey hairs now. They are called my “wisdom streaks” and I wear them as a badge of honour to show my growth in life, in character, in spirit and personal confidence to reject any mainstream practices that don’t serve me personally. I hope you are all doing the same - breaking the mould and doing life on your own terms.
Ladies, if the initial question in this post bothers you, then observe your own thoughts about the issue. How accepting are you of yourself or women who don’t always look, dress, groom themselves to a certain standard? We live in a very vain world and the expectation that women must strive for perfection in their appearance is more and more prominent. You just need to watch a modern day make-up tutorial to see how much things have changed. We used to dust on some powder, mascara and lippie and be out the door. Now there are 18 layers of contouring before some bronzer even hits the cheeks! The relentless pursuit of absolute perfection is so deeply embedded that it is now built into our smart phones, where we can look flawless at the flick of a filter.
Well, I have to say, I kind of like my flaws.
I like that I don’t look like an airbrushed Kim Kardashian doll, but I look like myself, which is good enough for me!
I don’t have Angelina Jolie’s big lips, but hey, can’t win ‘em all! I got other beautiful features.
I don’t have J-Lo’s perfect bootylicious proportions but fuck it, I have a healthy body that is functioning! I can build on that foundation.
I don’t have a crease-free forehead when I raise my eyebrows, but hey, at least I have facial expressions and you don’t have to guess how I’m feeling.
But if cosmetic enhancements are your thing, then go for it! Power to you and no judgment here. Just love yourself. As long as you love yourself and feel comfortable in your own skin, is all that matters. I love the shit out of myself! That’s why I am choosing to ease up on the hair dying.
Your faithful Grey Nomad
Sahar see original post on facebook site