I have been thinking about my position in this whole beauty game/influencer arena being grey-haired and young. Why so much negativity on beauty and aging? Just curious? It gets exhausting turning page after page of Vogue yearning for a glimpse of a woman over forty that I could relate to or heaven forbid look up to. How many more advertisements do I have to see about covering up your grey? Root touch up, wash away your grays, instant gray cover and the list goes on. Just as much as grey hair makes women uncomfortable for whatever reason so does seeing ad after ad telling us that our natural hair is just not welcome.
I remembered freshman year of high school back in 1990 we had a week in the first month of the school year called “Welcome Week.” As Freshman, we would get paired up with a Senior girl aka “Big Sister” and we had all these fun activities from bowling to theme nights throughout the week. Your “Big Sister” would pick you up and take you to each event. It was so comforting walking into a party feeling like you already belonged because you were with someone older, experienced, and leading the way. It was a big deal, and of course, as a Freshman, you looked up to these Senior girls that seemed to have life spun around their little finger.
I feel the same way with women that are older than me embracing their gray, silver, white hair. I look up to them; they pave the idea of making a statement that grey, silver, white hair is OK. Why brands are afraid to show women that are young with grey hair is beyond me. It’s very short-sighted marketing and honestly not looking at the big picture. Just like women are afraid to go gray because of what society, their husband, friend, co-workers say so are magazines like Vogue or companies like Ann Taylor, JCrew, do I dare say Victoria Secret? From what I see from their catalogs, billboards and storefront advertising, they are afraid to show “aging women with grey, white, silver hair.” Sad but true, they have all bought into the thought process that aging is not desirable and that trickles down. The last time I checked we are all aging by the minute so to not honor this process and celebrate it on the pages of glossy magazines and in catalogs seems a bit out of touch.
Why do we have to see other women rocking the gray hair at whatever age to make it OK? I have no idea, but it makes me feel comfortable, inspired, encouraged, and I thank every woman that makes a stand with an unapologetic voice about who she is and what she stands for known to the world. Ladies if you think that you will never let your gray hair shine then hats off to you that’s amazing, incredible, out of this world. I respect that, but for the majority of women out there it’s just not realistic to think you will never get tired of putting chemicals on your head and spending hours at the salon or maybe you won’t it’s a moot point I digress.
I was thinking about my theme for this 6 am photo shoot, I wanted to have a long sleeved full piece bathing suit that was sporty, powerful, and different. I saw a couple online but wasn’t excited by the designs. I was shopping at TJ Maxx (let’s not mention that on Monday’s I get a “10% Senior Discount” lol this is a true story don’t get me wrong I am not complaining just keeping it real), as usual, the day before the shoot and found in the clearance section this Trina Turk Incredibles 2 bathing suit. It wasn’t my size, but I thought who cares this is amazing and SUPERHERO????? I am just going to buy it and throw caution to the shopping gods and see what happens when I get home and try it on but wait there was only one Trina Turk Incredibles 2 bathing suit? In the entire store?????? Don’t you think that’s a little strange or do I possibly say its fate?
I think it’s clear that I am disrupting the beauty industry not only with my recent book Beauty Reinvented I wrote about grey hair but with my mission to help women become Superhero and break out of societies archaic view on women and aging.
I have been running HOT ever since I was walking on coals going grey and going through nine rounds of IVF at the same time. Something clicked inside of me that was always there just not at that level of intensity or direction and I never looked back. I am still navigating the world of frowns with my unapologetic stand on gray hair and supporting women to speak up about what they want in life. For the record, there is no end in sight for me. I genuinely feel this is why my whole life and career has been about beauty.
I want women to feel free to do whatever they want with their beauty. It’s time that the world sees aging as a privilege and not a curse, but that starts with how you view yourself in the mirror, what you speak out loud to yourself and the world. It also starts with how you take care of yourself by what you put into your body and how you take the time to exercise, stretch and be still every day.
Life is tough, but we have a choice every minute to see the silver lining, and today, I challenge you to look in the mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful. I want you to take that attitude out into the world and be a superhero for other women struggling with their beauty right now just like you were.