Fear of Aging
Last year I made a personal decision. I changed my hair colour. Actually, I decided to stop using hair colouring and let my real self-shine. I’m in my late 30’s and most of my hair is as white as pure snow. I always loved my hair and sometimes a change of place is exactly what we need.
The only reason I started to dye it back in the days was that people kept telling me to colour it, to the point where it was affecting my job prospects as I started my adult life.
My decision to change my personal style and stop colouring my hair and show the beautiful white underneath has made many people very uncomfortable for some reason.
More than half of Canadian women colour their hair. That percentage is enormous if you think about it. Why do you colour your hair? Is it for you or for others?
The thing is, people shouldn’t care this much about someone else’s personal decision, but it seemed that everyone felt the need to comment. Before I knew, my personal decision to embrace my true self, became a statement against ageism.
“A woman cannot make the culture more aware by saying “change”. But she can change her own attitude toward herself, thereby causing devaluing projections to glance off. She does this by taking back her own body. By not forsaking the joy of her natural body, by not purchasing the popular illusion that happiness is only bestowed on those of a certain configuration or age, bu not waiting or holding back to do anything, and by taking back her real life, and living it full bore, all stops out. The dynamic self-acceptance and self-esteem are what begins to change attitudes in the culture.” – Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
I have been working at the same company for over a decade and showed the worth of my problem-solving skills. I felt comfortable being my true self, the one I always wanted to be. I didn’t think people would care that much about my personal style as long as I kept it professional.
I was even confronted by female members of management during a meeting that had nothing to do with office attire or fashion. I held my own, asking why my hair was somehow unacceptable and the only thing they could come up with, was “I wouldn’t want anyone to know my hair was white.” I never hid the fact that my hair is white. Some younger women colour their hair white because it’s “in” at the moment. Why would it be different for me, because I don’t need products to change my hair?
Luckily, I also felt more confident explaining that dying one’s hair is a choice, not an obligation and I shouldn’t have to hide my beautiful hair to please others
Having dark brown or white hair doesn’t change my date of birth. I do not care about looking younger than I really am. I don’t hide my age or lie about it to anyone. Let’s face it, you may be dying your hair but your age is still showing. Instead of feeling ashamed, why aren’t we celebrating another year well lived? We really need to stop with the ageism.
My hair looks amazing. I’m never going back. As long as I am happy with who I am, that should be the only thing that matters.
Hair is not the only thing that people frown upon. Some of my coworkers have their screens at the biggest font setting as possible and they still struggle to see what is written in front of their nose. When suggesting that they may need glasses, I get the “I’m not old enough for glasses.” I’ve heard that very argument from a woman who was in her 70’s while I was wearing my own glasses. Eyesight has nothing to do with age. Little kids wear glasses.