Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.
Women across the world are gradually opening up to the idea of embracing ageing, wearing their wrinkles and age with pride. However, there is one thing that is yet to be embraced without inhibition and that is a head of greying hair. A woman in her forties or fifties is sexy, but if only her hair hasn’t greyed. Think that is misplaced? Well, think of all the male celebrities today who wear their greys with pride. Now, how many women celebrities over forty can you recall who are ‘glamorous’ and do not shy away from sporting grey hair?
- Actor Jane Fonda has been in the news for sporting grey hair at The Academy Awards recently.
- The greying of hair is a natural ageing process. Yet, we do not see many female celebrities sporting grey hair.
- While we have hailed men with salt and pepper hair as sexy and cool, what is keeping us from seeing women with grey hair in the same light?
Think of all the male celebrities today who wear their greys with pride. Now how many women celebrities over forty can you recall who are ‘glamorous’ and do not shy away from sporting grey hair??
Eight-two-year-old Jane Fonda is in news for sporting a grey pixie cut at the 92nd Academy Awards. But if you ask me, what shocks me more, is that we have to applaud an octogenarian female celebrity for stepping out in public with grey hair. Any man who sports a salt and pepper is cool and attractive, but all that a woman gets for doing the same is applause for being “bold”. Have we forgotten in our quest for vanity and dodging the bullet of ageing that greying of hair is a natural ageing process? What keeps women and men from embracing greying in the former then?
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Right after reading an article fawning over Fonda’s new hairstyle, I came across a recent study that reveals 72 percent women find grey-haired men attractive, and the question that came to my mind was, how many men found women with greys attractive? A person’s perception of their self-worth, is heavily influenced by what others think of them. So while men still look at female beauty from a stigmatised gaze, so do women. We feel attractive when we know that we have certain features or characteristics that other people may find attractive too. Women desire a great figure, a crease-less skin, a fairer complexion because that is what we have been told makes us beautiful.
Ageing certainly never featured on this extensive list. One feels like scrutinising this wave to embrace ageing among women then. Are we truly embracing our age, if we are rejecting the greys in our hair? Let us be clear here that every woman has the right to live her life as she pleases. She can look, act, behave in any way she wants to. Which means sporting grey hair or choosing to colour them doesn’t make you any lesser.
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We must question the choices that we have every now and then, and the factors which influence our choices. These are the very factors that make us pine for lean bodies, toned tummies, or looking ten years younger than our actual age. So yes, while it is up to each one of us how we choose to wear our hair, it won’t hurt to reflect sometimes on why you have made that choice, what’s keeping you from picking the other option, and how would your choice differ, if circumstances change.
Image Credit: REUTERS