Who Says Older Women Can’t Have Long Hair?
One of the things that Good Enough Mother absolutely hates is when people try to tell me what I can and can’t do.
In fact, when someone tells me something I can’t or shouldn’t do, I am more prone to go headlong in that direction just to prove them wrong!
So I read with great interest this piece in the New York Times, written by a middle aged woman who was taking her fair share of grief for her long hair. The piece struck a chord with me for two reasons; I am middle aged. And I want my hair long enough to rival Rapunzel’s!
The writer tackles head-on, several myths about women with long hair, namely that they are acting out or trying to recapture their youth. Personally I think if your hair looks good and is healthy and strong, you should be able to wear it any way you damn well please. But it did get me thinking about some of the other things that society says we should give up by middle age. Some I agree with, others I question. Here’s a few favorites…
MINI-SKIRTS: I have to agree it might be time to say buh-bye to the super short ones, but that does not mean I am confined to ankle length sackcloth. The truth is, I am a mama, and I cannot afford to have my bare butt showing every time I bend over to pick up a penny in the street. I think the question really is – how short is too short? By the way, this has little to do with whether you’re in great shape. Take a good look in the mirror before you head out. Do you look like you’re dressing from your daughter’s closet? If so go back and change.
BELLY SHIRTS: I have to agree with society on this one. I once heard someone say when you get to this age you dress to conceal rather than reveal. I think that applies here.
LONG HAIR: The question that started it all. Society may say no but if your hair looks good then wear it long. But remember as we age, the texture changes, it gets dry, gray hair can become wiry and you’d better be taking time to trim and condition it well. If it’s long, gray and hangs like a heavy curtain around your face and you look like you just stepped out of the Haight-Ashbury district, well, get thee to a stylist!
GOING OUT WITHOUT MAKE-UP: I call BS on this one. I rarely wear make-up. If you take good care of your skin, there’s nothing wrong with a little cover-stick, mascara and lip gloss if you can pull it off. In fact, I look younger now than I did when I was back at CBS, with my heavy-handed make-up artist who didn’t understand that less is more, especially for a woman my age.
WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK: Yes, yes and YES. By middle age we should be able to go out with our long hair and bare faces and not really give a damn about what anyone else thinks or society says. I am already there. There is something so intoxicating and refreshing about being at a place in your life where the only person you really need to please is yourself (kids and partner notwithstanding).
So for those who believe middle age is about hiding behind heavy make-up and a sensible haircut, keep on believing that. We’ll be the hip, smokin’ moms who understand aging doesn’t mean getting old.
I’ll leave you with this video by India Arie, featuring Akon. The song is entitled I am not my hair but listen to the words, it’s so, so much more!
What do you think? What are the other things that you think society says we should give up by middle age? And Do you agree? I’d love to hear your thoughts…