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Let’s Face It. We’re A Society That’s Scared Of Women With Gray Hair

  • 7 min read

Sarah Jessica Parker’s case proves it

Yesterday, I found a gray hair on my husband’s head.

He’s 35 years old. I know the cause of his gray hairs: never sleeping through the night with our baby boy and a permanent crunchtime 24/7.

I’m sure all the Medium parents can relate.

At first glance, I didn’t know whether I should like this new development or not. It’s a sign of mortality, of course, and I don’t want my husband to die.

I thought to myself:

I hate gray hair.

Do you like gray hair?

Another question I would like to ask you is

What do Sarah Jessica Parker from Sex and the City and primatologist, Jane Goodall have in common?

They are both lovely!

No, let’s be honest.

Okay, both have gray hair.

At the end of 2021, around the Sex And The City sequel, And Just Like That, I’ve had been hearing people notoriously criticizing Sarah Jessica Parker for showing her gray hair in public.

I read mean comments, especially from women. Yes, women can be so hard on women.

It’s ridiculous of course, but when I saw one of her latest pictures, I also had to look up her age because I figured maybe she was much older than I thought.

She’s 56 years old.

Is this old? I mean, so old that you get gray hair?

I had to ask my mother. She’s 65 years old.

In 5 years I will have my first gray hairs

My mother turned 65 this year. She revealed that when she turned 40, she had already found her first gray hair (5 years to go for me then).

She was shocked.

When she went to the hairdresser, he calmed her down.

He said: Do you see my wife over there?

My mom answered: Yes, she looks fantastic.

The hairdresser replied: Her black hair is colored. Her natural hair is grey already and she’s 45 years old.

This calmed my mother and she knew one day she would also color her hair.

She had wonderful blonde, curly hair when she was my age.

Today, she also has gray hair under her bottle blonde, but in order to let it look natural, she lets her hairline gray.

She’s happy about it. She still feels youthful thanks to her hair.

Many of my mom’s friends are obsessed with maintaining their hairstyles.

Nevertheless, despite the peer pressure, there are also some who are brave and gradually let their hair go gray naturally.

They say:

I’ve earned every gray hair I have and am proud of them all.

But can you do this when you’re in the spotlight?

I once worked with a Sex and the City star

Women in the spotlight who choose to age naturally and defy peer pressure and media standards such as Sarah Jessica Parker (SJP) are demonized.

They’re not promoting the standards of beauty set up by the general marketing of the cosmetic industry.

When I was working as a marketing consultant, I had the opportunity to work with many German as well as international celebrities.

I even worked with one actor from Sex and the City.

These celebrities have their own hairdresser and make-up artist on tour.

Sometimes, my colleagues and I would wonder how we would look if we had professional makeup, hair extensions, artificial fingernails, eyelashes, and the perfect tailored outfit.

Most celebrities are seen on camera with tons of make-up, hair dye, and so on.

It gives us a false impression. The impression that they are all better looking than we are when we age.

Mind your own business

Many of us take too keen an interest in the lives of others instead of taking care of our own business.

It’s ridiculous and superficial.

But it’s the truth. We compare ourselves with these celebrities on TV, social media, TikTok, and co.

The same people who criticize SJP’s gray hair are the ones who consume this type of content on Netflix, Apple TV, and Co. all the time.

Dear hater, one day, you’ll see your own gray hair

ID 85712178 © Chandara Tubchand | Dreamstime.com

When women in the spotlight have the courage to defy media standards and to walk out with gray hair for the whole world to see, that kind of bravery should be applauded.

One day, dear hater, you’ll look into the mirror and see your own gray hair. What will you do then?

As you can see below it’s a transformation or metamorphosis we all have to go through.

screenshot from researchgate

Why not allow women to age in peace?

We need to support each other, otherwise, our lives will become very depressing when, in the near future, we discover our own first gray hairs.

Men become more striking looking and women disappear

I don’t wear make-up. I don’t color my hair — YET.

I still remember a brainstorming meeting in Berlin for a new fashion client.

We (me 25, my supervisor 38) sat down with our creative team, all of them (gay) men.

We were talking about make-up and beauty products, which aren’t usually my field of interest.

When the Creative Director asked me about the beauty products and make-up I buy on a regular basis I said:

None.

My supervisor raised her eyebrows and said:

Well, wait until you’re my age.

Then you have to wear make-up to be seen.

Otherwise men won’t look at you anymore.

A young man called my supervisor a MILF

I also recall a meeting in the evening. My supervisor looked stunning. She wore high heels, tight jeans, evening make-up.

A young man passed us by and called my supervisor a MILF. I was shocked.

She just smiled at me triumphantly.

Do we all become somewhat invisible as we visibly age and have to wear make-up, dress like colorful birds, and wear high heels?

Brigitte Bardot looks ugly and old

Another anecdote I can still recall is me sitting at the dinner table at my friend’s house. I was 18 then. Her stepfather pointed on a cover from a magazine and said.

She really looks ugly and old. She shouldn’t be in this magazine.

Later, I saw who he had been talking about: Brigitte Bardot with her cats.

Once, Brigitte was the hottest girl in the world and every man wanted to sleep with her.

Now she was apparently just garbage.

That evening, my friend’s 55-year-old father, who had looked striking, suddenly became ugly to me.

Final takeaways: One day, we’ll be old

It’s high time for a shift in our society and in the media.

When we see someone with gray hair on the street, many automatic thoughts come to our minds based on concepts we’ve got used to.

I love that SJP goes out in public as herself. That she defeats the peer pressure and media standards.

I adore that she showed her gray hair on the Vogue cover in December.

That’s empowering.

People on social media tried to bully her into coloring her hair, but she’s stuck to her guns.

As I said in the introduction, when I saw the first gray hairs popping up on my husband’s head, it definitely triggered my own fear of mortality.

I’m sure women who criticize SJP are scared.

They are thinking

Oh my god, please don’t let ‘that’ happen to me.

Let’s love women as they age.

Let’s love ourselves on our journey to gray.


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