The Old Gray Mare: Going Gray In My Thirties

by beth on October 10, 2012

The other night my beloved hus­band was run­ning his hands through my hair as we sat on the couch watch­ing the kids play and notice a quizzi­cal look on his face. I also noticed he was slowly mov­ing his hand through my hair draw­ing it up and out. Then it dawned on me.

“You’re look­ing at my gray hair aren’t you?”

“Um, you’re, um, what?”

Busted.

“My gray hair. You’re look­ing at it aren’t you?”

He then qui­etly answered “I haven’t really noticed it before. You said it was gray­ing but I hadn’t noticed it before.”

Mind you Mike is car­ry­ing a lot of salt these days with his own head of pep­per so it is not like gray­ing is a shock. And I did tell him about the time I found a sil­ver eye­brow! He even joked “Wel­come to my world.” But some­how catch­ing it in the light as we sat there it was a real­iza­tion. As the years go by nei­ther he nor I are get­ting younger. Nope, I am not the same set of 18 year old kids who met dur­ing our fresh­man year of col­lege. No, instead we are both aging. Like every other per­son who has ever existed we are now slowly but surely aging. And we are slowly but surely mov­ing into our new “mid­dle aged” selves.

I told him, oh so non­cha­lantly, I was plan­ning on prob­a­bly just let­ting it go gray. I actu­ally do like the sil­ver hue the new hair that is grow­ing in has. I always wanted to have long silver-gray hair, for some rea­son I have always found it to be quite stun­ning. Women with it seemed to be in charge of them­selves, to com­mand a space that I wished to one day occupy. A cer­tain sense of con­fi­dence in them­selves to defy norms and social pres­sure about hair that has an effect on women (and girls) of all ages.

So on one hand I feel empow­ered to own the changes in beauty that life brings with it. To embrace a sense of the nat­ural beauty that is often over­looked in our cul­ture. But if I am hon­est there is an on the other hand part of me wants to run to hide the changes time has brought to my hair. I am fully aware of how gray hair for years was a sign that a woman was beyond her prime, that she ain’t what she use to be; while a man was seen as being more dis­tin­guished as he ages.

Even hair color for men com­mer­cials and prod­ucts warn men of push­ing it too far by col­or­ing all of their hair, that leav­ing some gray gives them an advan­tage. I have yet to see a woman’s hair color com­mer­cial offer a sim­i­lar sug­ges­tion. The social cues are not sub­tle. And while some folks may point to Kelly Osbourne or Lady Gaga and the cur­rent hip­ster trend of dying one’s hair gray as gray being embraced as part of aging well not so fast because unless they dyed it to mask being actu­ally gray it’s not the same thing as actu­ally hav­ing your nat­ural hair color leave you with­out your own consent.

Still I am think­ing of just going with it. Embrac­ing it and see­ing where I am in a few years.

Yas­mina Rossi (Photo: “Y”/Boulder House)

After all this is a pretty stun­ning and beau­ti­ful look in my eyes.

What say you? Have any of you embraced your inner sil­ver beauty?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Dana @ This Silly Girl's Life October 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Yes, that woman is gorgeous, I say embrace the gray!

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