Sunday, August 12, 2012
Spread the word...It's grayt to be gray!
Good Morning, Silver Foxes ~
Many of you have already heard my story, but for those of you who have not, here’s a recap…
A few years ago in my mid-fifties, I found myself in a dilemma…I guess you could call it a mid-life crisis. I’d always been attractive. Not beautiful. But cute and confident. To be honest, I kind of took my physical appearance for granted. It was what it was, and I didn’t obsess about it. I was really much more involved in what I was doing than how I looked…
But one day, after a couple of years of unfortunate events and relentless stress, topped off with a diagnosis of breast cancer, followed by surgery (lumpectomy) and six and a half weeks of radiation, I came face to face with an image in the mirror that, frankly, I didn’t recognize. I was overweight and out of shape, my skin was puffy and blotchy, I had dark circles under my eyes, and my long, golden brown hair was turning gray. “Wow! When did that happen?” I thought.
I began to consider getting some “Mom” jeans and cutting and dying my hair at the suggestion of well-meaning friends who insisted that gaining weight was a natural part of aging, and that getting my hair cut and colored would make me look much younger.
Waiting for a radiation treatment, I was flipping through a magazine and saw a photo of Yasmina Rossi, with her waist length, silver hair, slim figure, and joyful demeanor. She inspired me to be “me” again. I realized I didn’t have to be the beaten-down woman that I was on the fast track to becoming! I began working out again, resumed my yoga practice, and changed my diet. Within a few months, I’d lost twenty plus pounds and was feeling great. I was thrilled with my progress, however, most of my friends still wanted me to cut my hair and dye it. I adamantly refused. I loved my hair, and I loved the color. And yes, silver/gray IS a color!
Flash forward to the present. I’ll be sixty-one this month. Still feeling great! More active than ever. And still love my long hair with the silver streaks. So I was disheartened to read the eSalon article that pointed out that “my natural gray was dull, flat and lifeless,” and that “the truth is, natural gray hair makes people look older.” How anyone can make such a sweeping, generalized statement is beyond my comprehension. Oh, that’s right…Estelle is an “expert.”
My initial reaction was indignation and anger. I’m so sick of the beauty industry and their relentless attacks on women who choose to age naturally and gracefully! Assisted by the media, they spread the mean-spirited message that we are lacking because we refuse to desperately cling to youth by dying our hair. (I say women, because there doesn’t seem to be the same venomous prejudice toward men who don’t dye)
But the real truth is…we look great! We are a group of vibrant, confident, intelligent women, who will not be changed or brought down by a multi-million dollar industry that preys on fears and insecurities…for their financial gain!
We are gray, and we are proud of who we are…the way we are! We are an enormous and formidable segment of the population. Our numbers are growing like wildfire! And we WILL change society’s dim view of aging and gray hair! How?
First, by example. Who can resist healthy, active, intelligent, confident, and attractive silver-haired women (and men), enjoying every moment of life with joy and gusto? After all, we are fabulous!
Second. We will put the message out there…with our books, blogs, posts, photos, articles, and a little help from Facebook and Twitter. We will spread the word…”It’s grayt to be gray!”
And third, with our dollars. We’ve worked hard, we have the money, and we will buy…or not buy…the products we want. And lets face it, the beauty industry is in it for the money. Eventually, they will come around if they want to stay in business. If the demand is great enough, they will start developing products to care for our "foxy" silver hair…and abandon the horrible, toxic chemicals that cover it up! We’re not bitter, but we are tenacious! And we are not nearly as vulnerable as they think we are!
A special note to you ladies and gentlemen who dye. We won’t stop you, criticize you, or judge you. (Although, we might one day inspire you to change your mind about dying :-) It’s your hair, and you can do with it whatever you want to. And you look lovely! But please, just extend to us the same courtesy! Estelle...are you listening?
Posted by Carol McNeill at 9:19 AM