A Vintage Perspective to Put an End to Grey-Shaming Chic

 Beautiful grey haired models from a vintage Helena Rubinstein color rinse ad in my collection

Here's a vintage 1952 perspective on the question of whether or not women should cover up their grey hair from Beauty is Not An Age by Eleanor Arnett Nash. Bolded text is my own emphasis:

The woman with fair hair is apt to slip inconspicuously from blonde to gray. Few people notice the turning color. With the light skin she probably has the change (sic) is generally a becoming one. If it is, she is stupid to resort to dyes. But if she must, please let her be careful. Her hair should be in superb condition or, when the dye is applied, it will be hard and brassy. Or it will resemble straw.

You should be really sure that changing the color of your hair is really becoming to you. If it is, go ahead. But let me advance one idea. Looking younger is not what you should be entirely after. Looking lovelier should be your aim. Youth cannot be recaptured once it is gone. The dried-out semblance of youth is pathetic. The woman who accepts her age swings with it if she makes the grey of her hair exquisite instead of trying to conceal it. Rarely does anyone wonder exactly how old she is. She hasn't called attention to her years by protesting too much.

There really was a time when women weren't expected to cover their grey hair! Today grey-shaming is in full effect (unless you are a celebrity. Even so it's a "trend" and not a true option). If you don't color your hair you are drawing attention to yourself. So if you don't protest too much in an outward form by coloring, covering up and feeling ashamed, then that's the equivalent of letting yourself "go."

I believe that anything beautiful starts with the basic premise of accepting the truth of who we are, including our age. That doesn't mean I am against covering up grey hair! I think it should be a conscious choice and not a shameful cover-up to appease a modern beauty concept which is that it's NOT OK to grow older.

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