The day I returned home from my honeymoon, I dyed my first grey hair.
Two years ago I gave up the pretense, and went natural. To my surprise it turned out I didn't have that much grey hair, less than 5%. Which is pretty good for a woman in her late 30s. It is -- believe it or not -- completely normal for a woman in her late 30s to have A LOT of grey hair.
I feel pretty good about my SMATTERING of grey hair, until I start looking around for greying role-models. Here are some of the photos I found of prominent (in Canada, the US or the UK) female politicians, authors, scientists, activists, singers, or actresses who were embracing their grey:
Wow. Seven women with grey hair. That's it?! Seven women. Most of whom are old age pensioners. None are in their 30s:
Toni Morrison, age 80
Judi Dench, age 76
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, age 63
Roseanne Arnold/Barr/whatever, age 58
Jamie Lee Curtis, age 52
Nicole Kidman, age 43 (this photo is from 2008, she was 40 & pregnant)
I understand why women (and men **cough* David Boreanaz from Bones *cough**) are averse to going grey. We are a society that reveres youth. Grey hair tells the world, "Oh sure, I put on a brave face by downloading songs from iTunes, but I still remember and long for the days of buying vinyl records for $2.00 at Woolco." Also it means you're going to be dead in the next 50 years.
It's not that I -- with my SMATTERING of grey -- am above vanity. Quite the opposite. Vanity is one of the reasons I stopped visiting the hair dye section of the drugstore even though I really enjoy stroking the hair samples (they're the next best thing to styling Barbie Doll hair). The other factors were fear, and a need to retain the modicum of dignity that I cling to even as I pluck rogue black hairs from my chin.
I don't want to be one of those women who thinks her auburn hair distracts from the crepey skin about her bosom, the softening of her chin and her gristly hands. Until the day she looks in the mirror and realizes her hair has an odd, synthetic, purplish-pink undertone that fools no one. Also I knew that eventually I'd have to let my hair go natural, and the shock of unmasking a full head of grey hair would devastate me.
So I'm here.
With my grey.
*Edited April 14: One of these days I'm going to get the hang of this new-fangled "proof reading" craze the kids are always going on about.