This last week, I saw a post about grey hair. The discussion was for women on looking natural and embracing who they were at any age. As the Facebook discussion moved along, I realized the arguments really had nothing to do with the color of hair, but about how each person perceived age and beauty. Many comments revolved around the idea of how they would look. This made me think. In our world, we are bombarded with images–both men and women. These images tell us what we should look like and how we should dress. They set the standard of what is beautiful and what isn’t, and even how much we should weigh! Often there is a different set of rules for men versus women.So, is the question really whether or not I should dye my hair when the time comes, or is it a matter of how do I view myself?
We see many gorgeous men and women in Hollywood. Yet, when you look at their images, you’ll notice a distinction between the two sexes. Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Pfeiffer, and other beautiful older actresses are rarely shown with grey hair unless their character calls for it. Whereas, Sean Connery, George Clooney, Pierce Brosnan, and many other male actors are portrayed as distinguished with their salt and pepper hair.
In a society that values youth, it’s no surprise that the expectation is to not show age. However, this is a heart issue that leads to discontentment. How often when little kids play house or make-believe do they pretend to be a different age than they are? I know my sister and I often played. She’d choose an age in her early twenties. It seemed the perfect age. I then being the older sister, always chose to stay three years older than her. So, I often pretended to be in my mid- to late-twenties. What I found out was that when I reached those years, I was content in them. Once I past them, I continued to have a philosophy of enjoy the year as it comes. Many people tend to fixate on their youth. This brings about the sterotypical mid-life crisis.
What if someone in their sixties or even seventies or older was valued for their life experiences? What if we held these people in high esteem as a culture? I think this is partly why I had the dragon colonies in the Dragon Courage series have many differing ages. Yes, dragon riders don’t age from the time they turn thirty-six until their dragon dies. Therefore, they have these enormously long lives. Young riders live right alongside older ones without ever really knowing their ages. They look up to the older riders and give them honor. This feeling of valuing age, comes into play in Dragon’s Revenge especially.
What makes someone beautiful? Is it their weight, hair, face, eyes, or a combination of all those things? If we go by what is in the headlines, we’d say in women it’s a pencil-thin figure with wrinkle-free skin and drop-dead gorgeous eyes. However, how many of us really fit that description? I know I don’t. What if beauty came from inside? Would we look less at whether or not someone could walk, talk perfectly, looked the part of a beauty queen and look more at who they were as a person?
I think this point was made this week at school. The first day we had a motivational speaker come and share with the junior high and high school students. He talked about how to have fulfillment in life. He overcame obsticals to be where he’s at today, but he told the story of several women who came to him as a dance instructor and said they wanted to learn how to dance. He looked at them and inwardly laughed. How could someone dance who has no legs or can’t hear or is in a wheelchair? They taught him that dancing comes from the heart. He showed the following video. The girls–both teachers and students–were in tears.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. I have my opinion–I’ll let my hair go grey and honor the years of experience, whether that was a teenaged child or something else. What about you?