Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gray Haired Ladies AND A New Wrinkle Update

Ashland, Oregon boasts a great many beautiful women with silver gray hair. A local band NAKED IN PUBLIC posted Gray Haired Lady, a playful song about them on YouTube.
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis

According to some of their PR, "NAKED IN PUBLIC is the brainchild of bassist/vocalist/songwriter Doug Fergus, whose passionate hobby is heating and air conditioning." Okay Doug!

Take a look and listen. The song is a lot of fun. I have seen many of these gorgeous women around town, and always admire their hair, confidence and beauty. What a neat tribute to older women who choose not to dye their hair.

And photographer Vicki Topaz has created a beautiful gallery of photos of older women titled SILVER: A STATE OF MIND. It's well worth it to take a look at her beautiful images.  It is on exhibit now at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California.

Model Cindy Scarf

The majority of older women do dye their hair. According to Anne Kreamer, 51, author of “Going Gray: What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity and Everything Else That Really Matters,” statistics show that 65 percent of women over the age 40 color their hair. Many women feel that they need to color their hair to maintain their status in the workplace and compete with their younger colleagues. Some feel that in order to be hired for a job or be promoted, they cannot have gray hair.

Last year, I posted a link to Dominique Browning's article for the New York Times on older women with long silver hair. The article elicited an enormous amount of reader responses--1,253 to be exact! I enjoy Browning's writing and observations, and if you have a few moments, you will enjoy reading what she has to say on the subject.


We re-filmed the video for our upcoming IndieGoGo fundraising campaign, which we hope to launch in a few weeks.

We still have to put together some fun pro-aging donor perks. Our fundraising goal is $15,000 which will allow us to produce a staged run and film of A New Wrinkle, our paradigm-shifting musical revue on aging.

Enjoy this beautiful holiday weekend! I plan to go see the Marigold Hotel movie, and expect to enjoy it! Bring on more pro aging flicks that deflate stereotypes!


  1. It's funny you should mention this! Over the weekend my husband and I frequented a restaurant that seemed to be quite popular among the "mature" folk of the community. Table after table was populated with couples consisting of a gray and/or balding male and a much younger looking female with not a sign of gray! Upon closer inspection it was quite obvious that each and every woman still colored her hair! I also color my hair in part because, as my hairdresser pointed out to me, my husband has barely a speck of gray in spite of the fact that we are both 60. He is quite biald but "t's his energy and enthusiasm for life" she says. "You have to keep up!" Way to make a girl feel like she's slipping! But she's right, of course. My husband is one of those people who will be forever young in spirit. I wondered over dinner, why these women were covering their gray and their spouses were not? Is it in part because we are less accepting of our age than they? Or does all of their sense of style go with the testosterone! Whatever the reason I got to wishing they'd visit the salon with their wives!

    1. Hair is one form of self expression. The reasons for coloring hair are many. In terms of aging, covering the gray is often a response to our society's fear of getting older, but dying one's hair does not prevent our aging.

      I am more interested in how a person responds to social conditioning about aging (including women must dye their hair) than I am to whether a person colors their hair or not. But often the two things are related.

  2. My kudos go the women who quit dyeing their hair. Yers ago my friend let her auburn hair go gray for her 50th birthday and I followed suit, no more frosting, coloring, or sitting being exposed to toxic chemicals. It's okay to be ourselves, and those who love us still, with our wrinkles, with gray or white hair are the true friends.

    1. I forget when I stopped dying my hair but I remember how relaxing it was to step into this silver hair territory. It's freeing from my perspective. It's okay to be older. It's okay to have gray hair. For me, letting my hair go naturally silver was an important part of affirming the value of aging. Everyone has a choice about hair, clothing, thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions about how they age. I am for embracing the opportunities and breaking down the limiting social conditioning/hypnosis about aging.

  3. I've always believed in aging naturally and as a redhead have done so, though I'm not "red" now due aging changes which I've written about and plan to again.

    Hope you enjoy the Marigold Hotel. I found it entertaining but will reserve other comments in case you haven't yet seen it.

    Wish you well on your fundraising goal. Some locals here go to Ashland yearly for the Shakespeare Festival but due to other commitments I haven't joined them. Haven't heard what else they do while in town or if they see your production. Don't often see them any more, but will ask next time we do have contact.

    1. Morning--Thank you for your good wishes on our fundraising effort soon to be launched. OSF is a popular destination for theater goers, but will not be a likely producer of my revue for various reasons. There is plenty to do in Ashland which remains quite a lovely place, even with all the urbanization and yuppification that has occured over the years.

      I am interested in your observations about the Marigold Hotel movie which I saw the other day.

    2. A younger friend and I saw it separately, but later compared notes. We both appreciated the cast and the talent they represented. We enjoyed the movie as light-weight fare, but not particularly memorable -- seemed formulaic (not exactly the word, but can't think of the one I want.) Dame Judy had most of the key lines intended to be significant observations -- and some did resonate for me, but nothing new. We both agreed the Tom Wilkinson character story-line seemed like it had been manipulatively injected into the overall movie plot -- maybe in an effort to cover all the diversity bases. For the most part the movie had a rather predictable quality for us. Wonder what you thought?

    3. The word I was trying to come up with was "contrived" instead of formulaic.