Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gray Hair

There are actually people who think that by virtue of not going gray, that this woman:

looks younger than or better than this woman:

I understand that these are just opinions. I simply cannot understand why so many people insist that gray hair is so horrible, or that any woman who has gray hair and wears it rather than covers it is "letting herself go". In my ever so humble opinion, once you reach a certain age (an age neither I nor Jamie Lee Curtis has yet reached), coloring your hair looks a little ridiculous. It ceases to fool anyone. I really don't fault anyone for covering their grays in their 20s, 30s, 40s, or even their 50s or early 60s. But once they eyebrows start to gray it becomes readily apparent that the hair color is no longer real. And if a woman in her 20s, 30s, 40s, or even her 50s or early 60s chooses not to color the gray, people should be more accepting and less snarky than they currently seem to be.

edit: I don't object to anyone dying their hair any color. Brown, blond, red, black, green, purple, blue, etc. I just resist the idea that everyone should dye their hair. And the difference between a 70+ year old lady dying her hair bright red and a 22 year old kid dying his hair blue is that the old lady expects people to believe, or at least pretend to believe, that the red is her natural hair color. When the kid dyes his hair blue he is attempting to deceive no one; his color is artificial and he doesn't pretend otherwise. When a 35 year old woman dyes her hair red, the deception is believable. When a 70+ year old woman dyes her hair she is not only attempting to deceive people but anyone who doesn't pretend to believe the deception is rude if they admit it. We are forced to either become complicit in the lie or to be rude about it. I don't dislike the hair color or the choice to aquire the hair color. I dislike the presumption that I will accept the hair color as natural. For the record, I also dislike the presumption that teeth are naturally flourescent white, that midwestern women in February are naturally 3 shades darker than the rest of their families, and that my local TV news anchor's forehead just happens to be wrinkle free and immobile. Hey, I have changed my appearance plenty. I even dyed my hair for years. But I never asked people, even by implication, to believe the unbelievable. I never claimed my tattoos were birthmarks. And even if the woman whose picture I swiped off google never pretends her hair color is natural, the implication is there nonetheless. Her hair isn't gray because she doesn't want to look old, and she is supposed to look younger somehow because she has a hair color not naturally found on old people. She isn't, like a 30 or 40 year old woman, trying to avoid looking prematurely old. She is trying to keep from looking her actual age. And that is the lie.

1 comment:

roberts05 said...

I'm glad my deception is believable. I cannot accept that my hair is as white as it is if I didn't color. I am not sure how long I'll continue coloring, but thankfully my cousin is a stylist or I'd be white already. I couldn't afford to keep up the charade if it wasn't for her!