Taking the children to school one day in the car, I was mortified by a conversation the local male/female duo were having on the radio, a debate about which age women should cease to wear their hair long, and should have it cut short. Before 40 seemed to be the general consensus. “There’s nothing worse than looking at a girl from behind with beautiful long hair and then when she turns around she’s an old hag” was how I remember the conversation panning out. :O( Long grey hair was ‘for witches’ another caller offered up.
A short while back (much to my disbelief) the man of this house, suggested that I might want to consider putting a colour on my hair, as I wouldn’t want to be looking older than I am, before my time! The resilient inner me decided I no longer need/want the opinion of the man of this house. Then there was the beautiful young indian muslim beautician in the department store where I buy my makeup, she suggested a similar idea, “you have lovely soft young skin with no lines, just dye your hair, this would be good”. How we got on to the topic of my hair I do not know, as usually our conversation stirs around the similarities and differences between our faiths and cultures. (I lit a candle once, and upon her request promised to pray for her husband. He is only 33 and sadly was in hospital having had a mild heart attack.) This day however, It was me that was the focus. Then a short while back my mother and older sister came to visit for the day. They made it quite clear how they Hate grey hair with a vengeance and would never even entertain the idea of being natural.
It appears everyone has an opinion about the silver linings on this drifting cloud called me. They are appearing at a faster rate than I thought possible and on days are positively wild. The hair tied up is more revealing of the two thick streaks that begin above my temples and then like a waterfall caught in the sunshine, glitter as they shamelessly fall. My antique cottage is fairly dark and it is not until I check my makeup in the brilliantly magnified car drivers sun visor mirror, (eyes sight deteriorating with age) that I notice the prolific salt and pepper that everyone winces at.
Everyone but me. I Love it, the wild white high lights. I refuse to take away their glory with a fake too harsh colour. There is something gentle, soft and more forgiving about ageing naturally. You may not have the glossy sheen, block of colour that a youthful woman has, but you have a subtler tone that is kinder to a more tender face. You may not have the taut pert breasts of a younger woman, but you may have the rounded warm silken breasts of a mother. Breasts no longer like un-ripe fruits, but like gloriously upturned golden bells. You may not have the sleek jewelled navel of a beach babe, after childbearing you will almost surely have a softer more pre-Raphaelite silhouette, hips curving a gentle hammock from one to the other. A body which once stretched to encompass and embrace new life, leaving skin which breathes with a happy sigh to having once been unblemished and ungenerous.
Growing older gracefully doesn’t have to mean being less beautiful. Yes it is different, a beauty of grace and of gentleness, a beauty of wisdom and of ease. A beauty of being and of knowing. A beauty of truth. A beauty where each day that passes, the fire in the eyes burns brighter and brighter still. A beauty where the spirit out shines the shell. A beauty that has a peace for her self, and a slight sadness for everyone else, that can’t quite yet manage to believe, that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. A beauty which outshines being young, a beauty where every new day the soul is at her most radiantly beautiful, than ever before.
Having been thinking of writing this post, today my T O A S T catalogue (which I absolutely love) arrived in the post. I subscribe because I am an admirer of the unique and exclusive photography, it has a natural chic classic timeless style and always beautiful settings. And much to my delight Autumn 2011 has very beautiful and special models too.
Models aged kissed by life, and naturally greying.