Baby boomers – How do you feel about your gray hair?

Are you turning gray? Have you already turned? And do you care?!? Plenty of boomers are graying, but covering it with color. Good idea or bad? That’s up to you, but contributor Pam Johnson, a.k.a. MsZoomer, is coming around to thinking, if you’re gray, clap your hands!

Read these eloquent words about turning gray:

  • “It’s been a kind of liberation to have gray hair. I feel that beauty is not about subterfuge, it’s about authenticity. Like Susan Sontag said, ‘I let a patch of truth develop’.”
  • “How anyone reacts to you depends on how you carry yourself. That’s true no matter what color your hair is. Anyone who can’t see me is just going to have to get out of the way!”
  • “If women allow it to come out, there’s a radiance that can come with aging.”
  • “In human beings the silver quality is an emblem of having been on the planet for a while. It’s something that we don’t honor enough in our culture. It’s not just a matter of equal rights for older people. Young people are getting short-changed if they don’t have in their psychological world the idea not only that they can grow older and be wiser, but also that there are older people around who know a few things.”

I wish all those words were mine. But they’re not. They are quotes from a beautiful online photo essay titled “Silver: a State of Mind,” created by photographer Vicki Topaz. They are quotes from some amazing women who openly discuss their perspectives about aging, gray hair, and the process of how people — in particular these women — handle it.

SILVER A State of Mind from Vicki Topaz on Vimeo.

Aging is a hot topic button these days due to the large Boomer numbers. There are written and verbal discussions about our attitudes, our health, our lifestyle, our culture, our beauty, our retirement, marketing to Boomers, ageism against Boomers … you name it, it’s out there.

Pam Johnson, always the adventurer, in Honduras.

Pam Johnson, always the adventurer, in Honduras.

And it makes me realize that I have been a hypocrite. I have always been one to espouse the concept of aging gracefully and naturally. I believe that if we all succumb to the negative perceptions that our society places on us, then how will the dialogue change? How will we know what aging is supposed to look like if we don’t allow it to happen naturally?

Pam Johnson

Pam Johnson

For me there is nothing more beautiful than self-confidence. You can’t escape yourself no matter what work you do. And yet, there is no denying that my own decision to keep my gray locks hidden is due to the encumbrances that weigh on my mind from these exact same pressures.

Instead of feeling guilty about this though, I have decided that I will continue to color my hair, at least until I find gainful unemployment and then, perhaps, it might be time to let the silver shine.

Now I will just have to wait and see if I have the self-confidence for that.

How do you feel about your gray hair?

Pam Johnson is the creator of Mz Zoomer.

9 Comments

  1. It’s situational. I have a friend whose wife doesn’t want him looking younger than she does, so he doesn’t dye his hair. My wife doesn’t want me looking older, so mine gets the treatment…

  2. I greyed at 30 and felt young and beautiful. Since then I have dyed my hair many different colors according to my mood. Today I’m a grey mix, tomorrow who knows. I’m always changing. I’m just glad to have hair.

  3. I’m almost all gray, but it’s not that beautiful silvery gray, it’s dull and makes my skin look awful, then I feel awful. I have it dyed with highlights (I call them stripes) so I don’t have to do it too often…my gray blends in. I don’t mind, my hairstylist is hysterical and makes me laugh the whole time I’m there. My opinion is whatever works for you.

  4. I enjoyed the article and comments equally! They all go to show that it is a very personal matter. One thing though, Nature, with few exceptions, has done its job well: the silver color of “grey” hair can be very attractive and rejuvenating, actually illuminating the face, making it look younger, more dynamic.

    If Nature hasn’t favored you with a shiny shade of grey, it can be achieved with color treatments…

  5. Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking the
    time and actual effort to produce a superb article…
    but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and never manage to
    get nearly anything done.

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