Beauty, Booty, Boobs and Botox
Fact #1: Beauty is subjective.
Fact #2: There’s only one person’s opinion that matters.
Ah, beauty…The bane of every woman’s insecurity. I should know. This is the third time I’ve stopped coloring my hair and just allowed it to be naturally gray. Twice I chickened out and went back to coloring. Both times it was for good reasons. Tired of dousing my head with chemicals, I was determined to stop the madness.
I thought having gray hair would make me invisible. Instead, more than ever, people make comments about my hair. On the streets and in the grocery stores, women have told me time and again how they would never have the guts to stop coloring.
Here’s the thing: It’s not stopping the coloring that takes guts. That part is kind of a no-brainer: It saves time. It saves money. It saves your body from chemicals. And ultimately it saves your sanity!
The part that takes the guts
is deciding not to allow
the outer world define your inner worth.
Stay true to your authentic self.
Every. Single. Day.
What they really mean is – the part that takes the guts – is deciding you’re not going to allow the outside world (or anyone in it) to define your self-worth. It does take guts, but you can do it!
I hate to be blunt but the truth hurts: You can’t just slap some new paint on an old board and expect it to look like a new board. The wood is still cracked in places, so the paint cracks too. When it comes to your hair, a lifetime of coloring damages it so severely that it never really looks “natural” no matter how many products you put on there. Coarse gray hairs don’t take color the same as younger, softer, already pigmented hair. Repeated coloring, over the years, actually makes your hair more dull, brittle and plastic feeling than ever.
Same thing with makeup. Skin dries as it ages, making powders and foundations crack and look like we’re wearing a layer of plaster trying to fill in the grooves – which, in fact, we are! I even went to tinted moisturizers and still felt like my face didn’t take them well. From far away it’s ok, but if anyone got too close it made me feel even more insecure, not less!
It’s the quintessential battle for self-love that flies in the face of the world’s system. The youth-focused media and advertising companies push beauty, booty, boobs and botox like the addictive insecurities they are, setting unrealistic expectations for generation after generation of women who will all eventually lose the inevitable battle with age.
This ridiculous unending pursuit of vanity sets every woman up for failure and pain. No amount of hair color, face cream, exercise or even surgery will stay the tide of time. Time will eventually beat us all. Ok maybe not Jane Fonda, but she has paid some very good surgeons a LOT of money to look the way she does!
Thank God some of the world’s most beautiful and powerful women have begun to stand up for their own inner beauty and started showing themselves with no makeup. With gray hair. With a few extra pounds. It gives the rest of us a new bar to set our sights on. A new normal to look toward when the skunk line is driving us absolutely crazy 😉
Hair is not static. It’s a continuum. It’s always been a continuum. The only constant is change.
So why the big “to-do” when hair starts to turn color on its own? I suppose it’s because it feels like a loss of control – the beginning of the end, so to speak. It feels like a threat. Survival instincts kick in.
We don’t fight our hair necessarily, we fight against the desire to call the shots. To refuse to admit that someday our bodies will not be our own anymore.
Perhaps we’re looking at it all wrong. Gray hair represents wisdom–the wisdom it took to get this far in life and survive. Letting it gray means we are calling the shots. Swimming against the stream of insecurity that’s been fed to us since media took over the planet. The truth is, gray is a reward, not a punishment. A reward for making it to the point where we don’t have to give a shit anymore.
Love me, hate me, pay attention to me, ignore me…I don’t really care. This time I’m not turning back. I’m 51 and I’m proud of where I’ve come from. I’ve earned every one of these wrinkles and all the gray hairs too.
Live your truth. Embody your strength. Turn your back on the haters.
And remember – you’re lovely, just the way you are.
~ Lynda ~