I've not looked at any blog prompts today. In fact I know exactly what I want to write about. It is inspired by a post on a friend's FaceBook page. The post asked for feedback and thoughts on the choices women make when it comes to coloring their hair; specifically whether or not to color the gray hairs. The conversation of course turned to the more general subject of woman and aging in our culture today and how we don't have enough examples of women who accept themselves no matter what their age.
"It is difficult being a "woman of a certain age" in the US. It's so easy to say age doesn't matter, but very difficult to live that way because in our world age DOES matter. Particularly if you are female. I am perfectly willing to be out there, to be myself, to say whatever is on my mind and do so without apology or much fear - but damn, I'm afraid of ever looking my age. It's like that first time some young cashier calls you "Ma'am" and you realize that the world suddenly sees you differently. For most of us it comes as a bit of a shock, it's painful because in our minds, or at least in my mind, I don't see myself that way!
That said, I am trying to work towards self acceptance. I agree wholeheartedly with [you] that we are the ones who need to set the example and fearful as I may be, I want to be one of those women.
My new years resolution this year is to learn to be brave. I guess this would fit right in with that plan because to not only allow yourself to look your age but to also embrace it is a pretty brave act in our culture."
In just under a month I will be 43 years old. I've struggled with body acceptance for much my life for various reasons (weird stick ours, being taller than average, giant feet, too thin, not thin enough...etc.). Though occasionally I still feel like a lumbering giant, I think I have managed to work through most of them. Aging though is going to be a tough one. There is a lot of outside judgment that comes with aging; judgment we have zero control over. However I plan to do my best to embrace myself as I am because I think if I do, I will, in the long run, be far happier.
That said there are some wonderful inspiring older women who are wholeheartedly themselves. One of my favorite blogs is Advanced Style where Ari Seth Cohen chronicles the stylish older set of New York City. There is also the website and blog, Accidental Icon, a new find for me, where I came across this fabulous quote:
“It’s about being conscious of who you are and using all the strength you have to communicate that.”
— Ann Demeulemester talking about Patti Smith in the New York Times
On a final note, I am likely to continue to color my hair. The few silver hairs I have are wonderfully shiny and soft but my mop is still dominated by my mousy, plain Jane color or off-blond. I do like the red far better and so until more of that fancy gray shows up I'll still be a henna head.