And I don’t give a shit.
I wish I could say I am surprised by the number of my friends who have reacted with horror when I tell them I have no plans to do anything about the impending gray-hair take-over. NO DON’T! YOU CAN’T! LANE WHY? WHY GOD WHY!?
I’m not surprised, though, because I know how clearly we’ve been told in both overt and covert ways that the worst possible thing a woman can do is
not please men not have kids be too successful get older. I know how our culture encourages us not to have a single follicle of hair in certain places but a bounty of straight, preferably blonde hair in other places. I know I am supposed to stay attractive (by standards imposed by others) regardless of my life situation, my sleep exhaustion level, my age. Gray hair, apparently, makes a man look distinguished and therefore attracts women. Gray hair, apparently, makes a woman look human and therefore makes men say ‘ewwww.’
Pardon me if I am bored with all this arbitrary garbage and too busy to care about my hair color. And also, I think I’m rocking these salt and pepper strands like a boss.
Don’t get me wrong, I honestly do not care if you want to cover your grays or dye your pubes purple or shave your head. Your hair, your choice. But I do want us to always question our own motivations. And my motivations for covering my gray hair, when I’ve never before used hair color as a form of self-expression, would simply be to conform to a norm that women my age are being compelled to uphold. No, thanks!
I am no hero. I am more susceptible to some body hair regulations than others, and it’s just as arbitrary as the expectations themselves. For example, I will probably shave my armpits until I can’t lift a razor and after that I’ll pay some poor girl trying to pay for her psychology textbooks to do it. I don’t have the convictions of Balpreet Kaur, but loved so much of what she said in her wise response to internet bullying about her body hair. “By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions.” Sing it, sister. We’re all working towards being who we really are.
I have gray hair. And I don’t give a shit.