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Writing means different things to me. I'm a storyteller, a book editor, and a songwriter. For me, it's like breathing.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Monday Musing: Aging and hiding who you really are

What is it about being an aging woman and feeling forced to hide who you really are? Why should women feel like they have to color their graying hair? Or cut it so they “look their age.” What kind of bulls**t is that? Men aren’t pressured to hide their gray.

I hate these stupid unwritten rules. There are plenty of attractive older women with long gray hair. Lately I’ve been recalling a memory of my maternal grandmother who has been gone a long time. It’s one I haven’t thought much about until now, but it’s a powerful memory. I remember my grandmother undoing her bun and brushing her beautiful long, gray hair. Yeah, she didn’t conform and cut or color her hair.

As my long hair started turning gray, I went through a phase where I tried coloring it and cutting it short, but I always ended up letting it grow out. I turned to my grandmother for inspiration and decided I wasn’t going to conform anymore either. I never did before so why should I start now? I don’t care what anyone thinks of my long, graying hair. My hair has never been healthier since I stopped damaging it with color. Some cultures believe that having long hair gives you power. I believe it now too.

I think of my grandma now when I let my hair down and brush it, the gray streaks gleaming with defiance to anyone who thinks older women should color and cut their hair.

I smile.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s because of my grandma that I do what I want and not what others want me to do. It’s because of her example that I don’t feel I have to hide who I really am.

Beauty may be the real beast.

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth & magic.

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