No conversation about aging is complete without a reference to hair…so here we go.
Author: Esther Sarlo, BA, Founder | CEO | Myndful Spark of Mynd Myself
Whether you’re allowing your hair to show its grey, or, you’ve chosen to colour, highlight, or otherwise alter it, you’re included in this blog! No woman left behind at Mynd Myself!
I made a decision in my early forties to let my curly brown hair ‘do its own thing.’ People tell me that the grey around my temples and brow is fantastic. As I look in the mirror, I see my familiar face with skin starting to thin, framed by an ever-expanding infusion of silver. And, for the most part, I choose to call it silver, rather than grey. Sounds a bit more elegant somehow, don’t you think?
I occasionally wonder, as I look around at the vast majority of women in my life who are in their forties, fifties, and beyond, if I should ‘do something’ about this state of silver—maybe purple or blue or pink? Or highlights to mimic the once-riotous but subtle shades of browns, reds, and golds now being overtaken by silver.
I almost feel like there’s a pressure to do this. “You have such a young face…have you never thought of colouring your hair?” has been said to me on more than one occasion. Mostly I answer, “I’ve thought about it every now and then, but I usually let those thoughts go.” Sometimes I have to be a little fierce about this…even with myself. And, again, if you are making a different choice around your hair colour, I applaud your individuality and creativity. My hope is that you aren’t feeling pressure to do so…but are doing it as a joyful expression of your own awesomeness.
In another blog I wrote, I make reference to this notion we have of exalting ‘youth culture’ in North America. Why do we do this? What makes looking younger so appealing to us? A part of me understands—young, supple skin; defined, taut muscles; and shiny, flowing hair is mesmerizing and alluring. That’s why advertisers use those images so frequently. But, what of the beauty of wisdom that comes from experience, the knowing in the bones that can only exist over time, my expanded heart that has learned from the suffering and joy of living, the lines around my eyes that show a clear map of my ongoing laughter?
I remember chuckling with gusto at a song my favourite movement teacher played—at one of our free-dance classes—by the Uppity Women’s Blues Band, “I need a young, young man to drive away my middle-aged blues.” I liked it so much I went out and, gasp, bought the CD! (Yes, I’m dating myself!) These women were definitely silvering gracefully and fiercely…and poking sassy fun at our seeming obsession with youth and our restricted view of aging. I liked their tongue-in-cheek spin on it…a bit raunchy and oh so delicious!
For me, what it all comes down to is this:
I always want to be full of life, regardless of the state of my hair or skin or muscles.
I want to be as healthy as I can be.
I want to be as fit and supple as possible.
I want to love and be kind (even when it is difficult).
I will not shiver apologetically into that good night. I’m dancing fiercely and full of vigour to live my best life to my last breath.
How are you choosing to silver?