Tuesday, February 9, 2010

To grey or not to grey

Yes, I have been greying, and have decided not to do anything about it. The mother is concerned, the aunts curious, the friends sceptical, the husband surprisingly cool. Most men and women seem to have an opinion about it, which they don’t express, but I can see it in their eyes. “She is ageing,” they seem to say. Of the two who did tell me they approved, the man said, “It does justice to you.” The woman said, “I am proud that you have let your greys be. It reflects your individuality.”

So whatever Aishwarya Rai may have to say, I’m not covering my greys, even though I’m “worth it.”

It’s not random, it’s not a statement. I actually did the math.

Today you’ll colour because you are just 30 and don’t have a boyfriend, and want to look good in photos.

Tomorrow you’ll colour because your boyfriend/husband shouldn’t start making eyes at other ‘younger’ women. Also, you want to look good with him in photos.

A few years from now, you’ll colour because you don’t want to be in PTA meetings where other mothers look younger than you.

And then, you’ll colour because you want your child to think you are hot.

Soon you’ll be 50 or 60 and still be colouring because now, you can’t stop. The transition is just too drastic and scary.

Okay, I know that when you are 70, it will make you look 65. Point is, how does it help?

When I was in this dilemma of “to colour or not to colour,” I performed a little experiment. I sent out a mail to 10 girlfriends, carefully picked as they represented a sample of women who held their own, who called a spade a spade, who were achievers in some way.

I got three replies: One said since she started greying in her twenties, she had no choice but to colour, and now it’s just a habit. Another said that somehow grey didn’t suit her complexion. The third said she didn’t want to announce her age yet to the world, but when she is finally okay with ageing, she will let the greys grow out. Till then, why not colour?

The seven who didn’t reply suggested to me that they were uncomfortable discussing this.

At my wedding, a few decidedly 60 plus uncles and aunts came with shocking black manes — wattles, eye-bags, wrinkles notwithstanding. Did it make them look younger? No. It sure made them look weird, though. So the problem is not whether to start, but in not being able to stop, I figured.

Recently I ran into a male anchor friend, reasonably good-looking in a George-Clooney-salt-and- pepper kind of way, and his mane was coloured too, (although the roots were showing, and that’s a bigger problem with men). His explanation: “It looks better on TV”

The thing with ageing is that unless you can control it at every level – botox, tummy tucks, colour, face lifts, hair transplant, you name it — it just doesn’t work. Because then you just look like unfinished business. It is cooler to just look your age.

1 comment:

  1. So there's this guy on the train I take, right? And he's got a hair-helmet. That thing could save him a few knocks on the head. It could probably save him a couple of traffic fines for not wearing a (traditional) helmet while on his bike. Though he'd probably need a chin-strap to make sure it doesn't fly off (when he gets into the train, he sits at the window, but with his back to the direction we're heading in). I don't get that. Why wear something that's SO fake anyway? Not to mention that he doesn't even bother to colour his (grey) moustache the same (red/brown) as his helmet o' hair.