I never thought I would age. I am serious. Why for some odd reason, I don’t know, I thought the clock would stop for me! Then reality hit me in the head, literally. At 35, my hair began to gray. I had some stress, but not a hard life. I could not figure it out… aging prematurely! So I did what any young female professional would do and I covered it! My hair was important to me. My hair framed my face and I thought it defined who I was. So I did this FOR YEARS! Until my 50th birthday approached when I said no more! I was done. I felt fake. I was covering up who I was. I was not supposed to still have this luscious head of almost black hair. I was silver underneath. I saw the dreaded line, “Morticia” every 3 weeks, and would examine her closely. Is she gray or silver? Due to the cost, I would push a color to 4 to 4 ½ weeks. And on the rare occasion, when I had to, I would color her myself!
At 49 and a half, I decided to embrace my hair for its true color. My husband, the love of my life, who supports me in anything and everything, was all for it. He said go for it! My son and daughter, who mean the world to me, said the same, “Do what you want!” Well, I was not completely sure but almost sure. I kept remembering my Nana (Italian Grandmother) saying that Italian women should not go blonde or gray. This is the same women that did not like my curly “messy” hair! Oy Vey!
One thing I did know from my observations in the mirror, “Morticia” was more than gray. She appeared to be pretty silver! So I decided to go for it. I was going to be authentic, and everyone was going to see my silver strands.
I talked to my stylist and told him my plan. He tried to talk me out of it because this impacted him too. After a long consult, with not a lot of choices, we proceeded towards my goal. This was way before silver color was cool!! After a long afternoon at the salon, I ended up, a platinum blonde, mixed with gray and I swear, Nana, was rolling over in her grave. My nieces and nephews called it “gronde!” Lord have mercy, what did I do!! At that point, there was no turning back. So I cut off my shoulder length hair to a very short pixie cut. I had not had a pixie cut since I was five years old and my Dad decided to play barber one afternoon. That’s another story that was a short-lived hobby for my dear Dad.
Eventually, my hair grew out. Thankfully! And I embraced it. I got up in the morning and put my makeup on and it got to the point that I did not think about the color of my hair. It was who I was! In fact, I loved it. I was not allowing my hair color to define me. I had many people and colleagues tell me how much they loved it. The fact that I was authentic and still looked so young! Until one night… when a female colleague, albeit 10 years younger, told me that I looked old! PAUSE. What…as I choked on my red wine? Why would one woman feel that they had the right to say that to another? It took me down… I had to absorb it and ruminate on it. I discussed it with family and close friends, thinking I may have made a mistake. They told me what I knew in my heart…continue. So I ultimately decided to kick myself in the butt and move on. I was a young at heart, spirited, smart, kind, stylish 50-year old that believed in herself and no one had the right to change my opinion. She was entitled to her opinion, but I was also entitled to mine.
Fast-forward, five years later, I purchased a few URLs and launched Silver is the New Blonde™, my fashion/lifestyle blog, in December 2015. SITNB is my platform to show how great aging can be. Staying young at heart and learning to love, own and be the best version of yourself at 50, 60, 70 and beyond. My goal is to help others see it’s OK to age and do it your way!I
As a side note: Everyone is entitled to be his or her authentic self. Thankfully views are changing and social barriers are dissolving, which makes this easier. Aging will happen (whether we believe it or not), the millennials and boom-lets will have it happen, too. It’s time to come together and look at each person. What can they contribute? When hiring, when marketing, when interacting, no one should be invisible. We all matter…