The first thing you would notice about me, after the colourful skirts on my ample hips, the necklace resting on the blossoming bust, and my bright tights, is my hair, which is rapidly turning silver.
I got my first grey hair aged 12, and now, aged 32 I am nearly at the tipping point – the grey is winning the battle!
I am young to be going grey I know. But I have always been older than my years. My mother always said that when I was born she looked into my eyes and saw an old soul. Many people have said I am wise beyond my years. And now my hair proclaims that fact.
But I notice, that even amongst women 10, 20, 30 years older, I stand out for being my natural colour. For embracing the moonlight in my hair, rather than covering it up with a bottle. And it makes me feel unsure – do people think I am old, or ugly, or embarrassing? Or do they think this about themselves? What is so wrong about women getting older and fleshier and more fully themselves, echoing physically what is happening spiritually? It seems perfectly acceptable for men in our culture… so why not us?
What every woman does to feel good about herself and her body is her choice. But in this culture of ours it often is not a free choice, but one made out of shame, embarrassment and conformity. I remember reading a feature in The Guardian not that long ago on older women in the media – aged between 50 and 75 – and not not of them had a grey hair on their heads.
What I know is that for me, every silver hair is a strand of wisdom, a lesson learned, an experience gained, a shock survived. Each one is a precious part of who I am, so I am not about to cover them up.
Just as I am not going to diet away my voluptuous curves. I am a woman embodied in time and memory. This is my body – each curve, each stretchmark tells a story of love and loss, hard work and heart break, and joy in abundance. Why would I choose to smooth it away and pretend I was still a teenager.
I was a teenager once. And I hated it. Hated my body – which was “perfect”. Where now I know who I am and find great satisfaction in it. Most of the time!
However, I reserve the right, at some point in the future to dye my hair a rainbow – not to cover up, but to shine and embrace my Creative Rainbow Mama in all her glorious colours!