I’m not someone who mulls over an idea for days or weeks. I’m an instinctual, trust my gut person, and when something feels right for me, it usually is. The day I turned 40, I knew with every fiber of my being that I wanted to stop coloring my hair and start embracing my gray.
Disclaimer: If you aren’t ready to embrace your gray, are a color until you die fan, or simply enjoy the fun and versatility of hair color, that’s great! We all have our own ideas about beauty, and what makes us feel confident. This post is not to pass judgement against anyone’s choices for the way they choose to look. This is the first post in a series about me embracing my gray at a young age, and fighting back against double standards of beauty and societal pressures to look a certain way.
Defining a Woman’s Beauty
Since my birthday, I’ve had many gray hair conversations with family and friends. Two interesting ideas keep popping up in these conversations. One, that I’m brave for letting my gray grow out, and two that gray hair ages women, but not men. The whole “gray makes women look old and men look distinguished” perspective is one that needs to change. Because of this ingrained way of thinking about what makes a woman beautiful, many women think I’m brave for embracing my gray and challenging these traditional ideas. For me personally though, it has absolutely nothing to do with being brave.
I Don’t Have to be Brave
I’ll let you in on my little secret. Because I don’t care about what people think of how I look, and their preconceived standards of beauty, I don’t have to be brave to embrace my gray. My hair has been every color in the book, including non-traditional colors such as these. I’ve heard all the opinions regarding my hair, but the only one that matters is mine.
One of my favorite quotes is, “What other people think about you is none of your business.” If someone thinks I look older, tired, or washed out (yes all opinions I have heard) because I’m embracing my gray, it doesn’t bother me. Their opinions have way more to do with their own issues and sensitivities than anything to do with me. Besides, I think it will make me look beautiful, unique, and as my six year old likes to say, “rocking”.
What About Men?
I also want you to consider an idea. Have you once, ever, in your whole life heard a man tell another man that he was brave not coloring his grays? EVER? No. Because it’s simply a non issue for most men. This double standard drives me crazy, and I’m excited to be a part of changing it.
I’m a part of a small, but growing movement, in the United States of younger women embracing our gray. I’m proud to join my fellow silver sisters in changing unfair and ridiculous beauty standards. With so many women going gray in our 20’s and 30’s, I hope to be a part of redefining the concept of what makes a person supposedly look older.
Aging is a Privilege
Also, what is wrong with getting older? Aging is a privilege that we take for granted daily. Each birthday I like myself better, feel more confident, have learned more about myself and the world, and have developed deeper relationships. Getting older is amazing. It’s time to kick these old worn out standards of beauty to the curb, and start embracing the real you, the perfect you, the liberated you. Embracing my gray is just one aspect I’m learning to love about myself as I age.
I’m not at all saying to stop caring about how you look. I’m suggesting to stop caring about other people’s opinions regarding your personal beauty. I’ll still take great care of my skin, exercise, and eat healthy, because I want to look and feel fabulous.
Follow Me on My Journey
Embracing my gray is more than just freedom from the constant maintenance of keeping my roots colored. It’s about liberating myself from antiquated standards of beauty that do nothing but mess with self esteem, and keep women from loving our natural beauty. I love what Scary Mommy has to say regarding gray hair.
If being a blonde, brunette, a rainbow, or embracing your gray makes you happy, then I say go for it. You do you. Just don’t do it for anyone but yourself. It’s your hair, your style, and you are beautiful no matter what. I hope you’ll follow along with me on my journey of embracing my gray. I’ll post updates every so often to share grow out pictures, and what I learn along the way. For me, embracing my gray is just a small part of transforming into the person I was always meant to be.
For more about how to gain your best health no matter what your age, check out this blog post.