The Beauty of Imperfection
Dear fierce ones,
Last year I decided to "go gray". My hair is very long and richly veined with gorgeous silver threads that I have been covering up for many years.
When I spoke of my desire to "go gray" I was informed by many friends, co-workers, and society in general that these gorgeous silver hairs were "not attractive", they made me "look old", and my hairdresser even said "you are going to look like a witch" and refused to help me with the process of going gray.
Despite the opposing opinions, I stayed true to my desires. I loved the glimpse of silver that was beginning to peek through. Later in the process, I would gaze at the bright stripe of silver boldly expanding and ever growing wider along my parted scalp with both awe and horror. My bright silver roots formed a bold stripe of contrast against the rest of my dark hair reminiscent of a skunk! It was quite shocking. It was an unmistakeable stripe of bright silver hair and it brought with it some moments of doubt, some moments of feeling ugly, and some moments where I needed to defend my decision! It was so surprising to me that It really got peoples' attention. It became regularly commented upon by friends and strangers alike. Some liked it and others made no bones about telling me it was a huge mistake.
The response really got me thinking. I began to consider the implications of letting my hair "go gray" and how this decision was going to affect my "beauty"? I know I live in a culture of perfection. Youthful appearance is a beauty standard valued far more than graceful wisdom that comes with lifes' experiences. Our advancing age is evidenced by fine lines, wrinkles and silver hairs that characterize us as "older". This society does not value age and the character development and wisdom that comes with it. The slightest appearance of age is "unattractive". We hide it. We disguise it and as women, we never tell our age and its' not ok to ask a woman how old she is and that is JUST WRONG. Aging is reality. Everyone is aging and why is that something to be ashamed of?
I kept thinking.
I realized that no matter what, I needed to just be myself gray hair and all, and I felt like a rebel of society when I decided to go for it. This simple moment of decision Instantly provided a sensation of freedom that has been the greatest gift of love and acceptance I could give to myself and in a small way, to women everywhere. To my daughters. To my friends. To my culture. My world. My response to an imperfect perspective of what is beautiful.
I am 44 years young now and I have never been more appreciative of imperfection. Having been mislead for so long by the cultural ideals of beauty portrayed via every magazine, and social media expression. I went along with the beauty ideal that gray hair was to be avoided because it made one "look old" and that was "unattractive" and yet, at the same time, I felt my soul cry out against this crime against nature. I wrestled with it until I found the courage to be true to myself.
Today, I look in the mirror and I am struck with awe at the incredible beauty of imperfection. I embrace with joy the silver threads that shine in my hair, and I stand in amazement at the beauty of my own imperfection. I marvel at it, and wonder how I never saw it before. My heart overflows with gratitude, because despite the fact that my vision is beginning to blur, (I need reading glasses now) my insight and perspective has never been more clear, and I have never been more beautiful.
Though daunting at first, Growing out my gray was actually pretty easy to do.
I worked with my hairdresser to help with the "grow out". She softened the line of harsh line of contrast between my two hair colors and also rinsed my hair with some gloss. It took a couple of treatments, but it was nothing compared to actually dyeing my hair. It helped tremendously to have her expertise and assistance to help me with the process. If you want to go for it I recommend that you get someone to help you. If I hadn't been able to soften up the harsh grow-out line...I would have felt super UGLY! Finding a supportive hairdresser is key to your success.
find your fierce
take the journey