COLUMN: A paler shade of grey

I'M A dedicated follower of fashion. And it's quite obvious that concepts around older age are changing.  At last. Older age is beautiful. 

Grey hair is magazine cover worthy.  Facial lines say well lived. Vivid clothing shows style. Participation in creative arts and education shows the flexibility of mind and body at any age.

Thus the mature-age invisibility syndrome is being challenged.   The beauty industry in all of its manifestations has recognised the new, mature-aged women and is crowning her with the blessing of glossy magazine stories that define a sturdy, sassy, sophisticated figure.

So with so much support, why would it be hard for a 59-year-old woman to stop the dye and do the grey? The answer is simple. 

I am indeed a most dedicated follower of fashion, who joyfully   celebrated the cult of youth throughout my whole life.  Brought up in the consumer age, my life has been mixed and matched with a host of modern advertising instructions and wonderfully enduring old wives' talks.

From an early age, there was never any doubt in my mind that if I didn't use a 'good' moisturiser - I would end up an like 'an old prune', that if I didn't sport a smart frock - I would fast be condemned as an 'old bag', as my measurements expanded at a certain age, I never blamed hormonal changes - I knew it was sign of 'giving up. 

And I have always been mindful to set my style within my age range (albeit, on the boundaries) because I certainly wasn't a 'mutton dressed as lamb.'

As time moves on, I have gleefully told my dearest friends they look half their age.

Now, I am persuaded by the likes of all those  mature-aged social media saints of feminism that grey is good.

Yes, it is good.  But it is hard.  It is very, very hard.

It takes a big breath of fight back to strike out against a stereotypical western, white woman's belief in the 21st century bible of youth.

But I have taken the breadth and blown away much of the dark brown dye.  It's been 10 months since the journey began and all I can say is that it feels very different to be a paler shade of beige.

It feels old -   but with all those great role models, it feels old in a very fashionable way.

Gail Forrer,
Group editor, Seniors Newspaper Network 


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