Women Over 40 are Going Gray & They Give Zero Fu*ks What You Think
I wrote this article about five years ago about getting my first gray hairs. I reread it recently and laughed out loud at myself. Mosey on over there — it’s a quick read and will give this post a bit more context.
At age 43 my grays have nestled themselves into my crown with the confidence of Lizzo playing the flute while twerking (you’re welcome). They are a daily reminder of my maturity and how much I’ve come to accept my body. They are my soldiers of truth. Silver pages in the diary of my life. Dare I say, my badges of anti-patriarchal honor?
Remember that Clairol commercial from the 80’s “I’m gonna wash that gray right outta my hair?” Looking at it now makes me cringe. The catchy jingle was a bastion of hope for women hoping to hold onto their youth and the privilege it provided.
I can just imagine that room full of white male ad execs patting each other’s backs as they developed yet another tool of oppression.
Today gray hair has become a bit of a trend. But the gray hair I’m referring to is not the fashion statement embraced by super cool millennials. I’m talking about those of us over 35 whose gray hair grows in silver strands that cluster in duos or trios, like K-pop boy bands. You know what the hell I’m talkin’ about!
Lately I’ve noticed that loads of my girlfriends are allowing themselves to go gray much more unapologetically than previous generations. We are making an intentional choice to resist the pressure put on us by a society that sees gray hair as a sign of “letting ourselves go.”
The powers that be have tried to convince women for far too long that the aging process should be thwarted at all costs. From coloring our hair, to weekly Botox shots and firming creams, they’ve got some of us by ovaries.
But not this gal and her crew. Nope. We got middle fingers for you all day.
Going gray with grace is more than just an eff you to society’s youth-centered beauty standards. It’s not about women saying, “I’m cool with being less attractive now that I have gray hair.” No way! This here shit is about redefining beauty for ourselves. It is about seeing ourselves through a lens of our own making. A lens that honors our completeness and embraces the aging process with gratitude and fierceness. A lens that isn’t centered on external beauty.
And before all the women who dye their hair get indignant, I offer that what you choose to do with your hair, your body, your person — is entirely up to you. I pass no judgement because your girl might wanna go blonde for summer. OK?
What I am saying is that if you are tired of coloring your hair and want to let it grow in but you’re scared, we got your back. There is plenty of room over here in Grayville to accommodate your wiry locks. The citizens of this silvery city will let you know all day that you are hella fine. We see you. We got you. Let’s drink wine and hang out gurl!