In August, the women’s fashion magazine, Allure, vowed to stop using the word anti-aging.
The magazine’s editors declared that words matter and that the term anti-aging when it comes to fashion, beauty, or hair, leads to the idea that ageism, as a prejudice, is okay.
“Whether we know it or not, we’re subtly reinforcing the message that aging is a condition we need to battle — think antianxiety meds, antivirus software, or antifungal spray,” wrote an Allure editor announcing the decision.
They affirmed that women shouldn’t battle aging, because, well, you can’t.
It is a shift in thinking.
My consumption of fashion magazines has dropped considerably in recent years. I still like to look at pretty clothes, read about the latest trends, or discover who the heck Gigi Hadid is, but I don’t like the relentless message that I should camouflage, hide, or lie about my age.
Men receive praise when George Clooney salt and pepper show up in their hair, but women? Yank that out by the root!
Let me be clear, I want all women, and men to do anything they want to feel healthy. If hair color or Botox is your jam do it. I support you doing what you want. But no matter what you do, if you’re fighting a clock, you’re going to lose.
I’m not a rebel. However, lately I’m feeling rebellious, and this is manifesting itself on my head.
I wrote once about going gray that I was considering it. Well, the time for consideration is over. I’ve decided it. The bright blonde highlights that I’ve meticulously cultivated for a lifetime don’t feel like me anymore lately.
At my temples, there is a swatch of steel gray. Strands are also sprinkled throughout the rest of my head like tinsel. I’ve hidden this color because honestly, I loved my blonde hair. But somehow, I’m ready for something different.
It’s not a matter of giving up or “letting myself go.” But rather it’s the desire to be comfortable with whom I’m becoming. I’m not here to fight age; I’m here to say I am this age. I have strength, wisdom, value, and it took some time to get all those things. The gray hair is a part of all those qualities.
Over the next few months, years, you’ll see me get grayer and grayer. I’m out to prove that doesn’t mean I’m ready for a rocker but that I’m about to rock a whole new set of challenges.
And no, this does not mean I’ve decided to stop wearing makeup, exercising, or the occasional body shaper. It just means that right now, I want to show people that gray hair isn’t something you need to hide. A gray-haired woman will never be associated with accomplishment, or power, or considered distinguished if people never see a gray-haired woman. Or if the only time people see her is when she’s standing next to Mr. Claus.
My gray hair means I’m pro-aging. And you should be too because none of us are getting any younger.
Originally Published in Monroe News, 2017
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