Aging Gracefully?

Aughhhhh! This is a picture of me … you guessed it … standing in my mirror and plucking out white hairs with a tweezer! Hairs being plural. How did this happen? 41 and a half – you stink! Let me clarify – I am truly blessed to be healthy and alive. With that said, remember that with black hair like mine, white is especially easy to notice.  Which makes me think – how many hairs do I pluck out before 1. I see bald spots or 2. I decide to dye my hair?  I really hate the idea of dying my hair. I have never done it.  It’s expensive. And I’m not a fan of all those chemicals sitting on my head, soaking into my brain.  O.k., I may be acting a little dramatic with the brain part, but really, most of the ingredients on the back of the hair dye box, I can’t even pronounce! And then the maintenance. I mean, the thought of having a standing appointment every 6 weeks makes me dread it before the first one even happens.  I can barely make it to the dentist every 6 MONTHS! Don’t get me wrong, I do make it there, but only because I don’t want dentures prematurely.  So as I sit here plucking, I ponder the thought of not doing anything at all. Not plucking. Not dying. Would I eventually look like Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians?

And with a job on television, what would viewers think? Heck, what would I think looking into the mirror? Would I automatically feel old because the white hair would be staring back at me? Or would I feel empowered, knowing the strength and God given grace it took me to earn these white hairs?

I would like to believe I would feel the latter.  All of this got me thinking – maybe if us women all chose to embrace aging instead of hiding it, we would help each other out.  We would help out future generations of women. Slowly, we would change the societal stigma about what makes a woman sexy.  And the pressure. We could kiss that goodbye.  In the beauty industry, it comes at women like a missle. We look online, open a magazine … everywhere we look, we see airbrushed perfection.  It’s that same pressure which steers 80 year old women to cosmetic doctors, trying to look decades younger. Why are we fighting so hard to look so young? Haven’t we worked extremely hard to get to this phase of life? Marriage, motherhood … it all takes a wonderful toll on us and our bodies … yet the very experiences that got us here, the years of our life in essence, we try to minimize by attempting to look a teenager again.  Think about it. Maybe we should all take a lesson from the former/late First Lady, Barbara Bush.  She never cared what the world thought of her white hair.  Or few extra pounds for that matter. Realistically speaking – it all comes down to vanity anyway. And I’m pretty sure God is not a fan of vanity.  Yet, why is it so hard to give ourselves permission to age? I mean, it’s coming for all of us anyway – so how about we give aging gracefully a try.  Whatever your version of that is.  There is no right answer.  Just like there is no one thing that makes a woman sexy. 

I will say, the struggle is real in your 40’s.  So many changes in one decade for ladies – white hair, sagging skin, the struggle with gravity on our backside, for some – menopause, for others – sudden weight problems. I wish I would have realized in my 20’s & 30’s how lucky I had it. I would have told the younger me – girl, kiss that black hair everyday and squeeze that tight face – because one day, all that will change. And you won’t even see it coming. One day, you will just wake up with wrinkles and be standing in your mirror, plucking white hairs with tweezers.

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