By NICKY CHAMP
Alright, I’ve got something I want you to do for me. For the purposes of this post, I need you to name as many female grey-haired celebrities as you can: GO. No, that’s okay. I’ll wait…. Waiting…
How’d you go?
I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark and guess that the number you came up with was in the single digits. And there is a reason for this. Grey-haired women in Hollywood are virtually non-existent. For all my (some might say wasted) pop culture knowledge, I could only name two silver vixens: Helen Mirren and Dame Judi Dench.
Looking around at my social circle – relatives, friends, neighbours, and colleagues – I don’t have a single grey-haired role model in my life. Occasionally I’ll spy a bit of grey regrowth in my mother’s hair when she’s been too busy to get to the hairdressers; the same goes for her mother, my 82-year-old Nan. As for everyone else I’m guessing they have grey hair in some form or other but I’ve never seen it.
Considering grey hair can appear as early as your twenties and many women choose to extend the life of their original hair colour, it’s a fairly large chunk of a woman’s life that is spent in the hairdresser’s chair.
Whether it’s vanity that drives us to hide the ashy white we associate with old age or just a personal preference, there is a perception in society that embracing a full silver scalp implies you have either let yourself go or you own eleven cats and dabble in witchcraft.
Setting out to dispel this tired stereotype is a group of New York women led by 60-year-old model (and accidental poster child for grey hair) Cindy Joseph, who organised a march through Times Square called the “Silver Sisters Strut” as a means of celebrating not just grey hair but – gasp – long, flowing grey hair. Of the demonstration she said, “We are the women that we wished we would have had in our lives… if they weren’t busy getting their hair dyed.”