When was the first time you were subjected to a pitch that suggested there are things you are “getting too old” for? It happens so subtly – and so persistently – throughout our lives. We often don’t even realize how much these little bits of input shape the banks of our rivers. And most women just go with the flow.
At some point in every little girl’s life, someone mentions that she’s probably getting too old to play with dolls. In our adolescence, someone suggested that we ought to let go of our favorite teddy bears and start growing up. Just when we started having fun as young adults, it was time to stop partying and get serious about careers and families. In our 30s, it was time to consider which pieces of our wardrobe we had aged out of.
Pushing into our 40s, we should change our make-up routines to embrace the muted tones of maturity. In our 50s, the news that we’re getting too old to have an enjoyable sex life trickles in. Eventually, someone says that it’s time for a hairstyle that’s more practical for our age.
We hear these things and look around us. It seems to be true. Other women our age are making these changes, right on time. Our mind puts these insulting recommendations on replay quietly in the background. The little voice in our head provides an echo.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to style your hair as you get older, consider these tips from Laura Winther Galaviz in a short article for McSweenys.net, Sensible Hairstyles for Women Over 50. She advises the following:
Procure a fine purple yarn and crochet yourself a wig as thin and fragile as your waning relevance in American society.
Complete the following equation: Multiply the number of times a man validates your existence by making a pass at you, by the number of women over 50 on television who aren’t cast as a benevolent grandmother or evil mother-in-law. Keep this many inches of hair. Spike it, if possible.
Enlist your grandchildren to squeeze out custom multi-colored tresses with their Play-doh Spaghetti Maker Deluxe. Put it on and laugh because infantilizing seniors is funny.
Seriously, though… We didn’t live this long to sit back and do what we’re “supposed to” based on some societal expectations about women of a certain age. Do what makes you feel great. If the voice in your head says “but what will people think…?” just think of how YOU feel when you see a bold, vibrant, empowered woman who is clearly unbothered by other people’s opinions about what she should be wearing or doing.
She is defying expectations and sending a strong message that you can too.