I’m not sure at what age the chanting and ranting starts – but the words “I can’t wait until I’m old” have probably popped out of every child’s mouth in America at least once and most likely between the ages of 1-10. This is ironic of course because America seems to have the least amount of respect for it’s elderly, especially women, out of every other country. Now, I am of course as usual, making grand generalizations here, so please don’t send me facts disputing my remarkable and highly scientific theory. I will not check them, or read them or in fact pay any attention to them. I personally like to fact check my bold statements in my head where I hold all information to be true and valid. I am only reporting what my eyes and ears – see and hear. And what that is, is an ageist mother fucking country that would like to ship every woman over 60 to some sort of camp. Maybe not one where we get shoved into a people sized pizza oven or forced to take a lovely hot steamy death shower but maybe they are just slowly convincing us to all go away quietly somewhere to some sort of island or state like I don’t know, FLORIDA?
AS I CAREEN INTO 60 – I’m noticing the invisibility more. It’s way worse for women because if your power was tied to your sexuality you’re fucked – or actually not fucked. And for me – it’s become a kind of ‘Zero Fucks Given’ super power. If i know that no one is really looking at me or paying attention to me, well then I’ll just say whatever I want, wear whatever I want and do whatever I want. My friends are reading this saying “Uh, so like always?” But now the difference is – I REALLY DON’T CARE WHAT YOU THINK. I’m no longer saying it for effect , I’m saying it for FACT. Rather than fading into the fabric of our older female hating culture – I’m going to get louder and put my shit on blast. I’m going to do the things that are totally taboo. And first up – I’m going grey.
I announced this to an old hairdresser friend of mine who said “why would you do that you will look so old?!” I could hear the horror in her text. But I didn’t listen. It’s been a difficult process quite frankly. I don’t even know what my real hair color is anymore. Currently it’s grey and red and pink and brown. It’s a skittle kaleidoscope of growing out the grey. It seems even my body’s DNA isn’t on my side either and it’s decided to make the growing out process – longer than a game of RISK. But I’ll get there – even if it’s just to piss everyone off. Even if I take one look at it and think – whoops – that was a bad idea. That’s my prerogative. That’s my choice. And the color shouldn’t come with a bunch of statements you think to be true of me based on that color. Just like my tattoos.
And so the question I’ve begun to ponder based on my going grey is – what’s wrong with looking old? Why is OLD such a bad word with women and such a good word with everything else just by switching it to VINTAGE. Oh these shoes are vintage – they’re priceless. Oh this wine is a vintage blend and it’s priceless. So – how does an actual human being who racked up actual years of life and knowledge and love and lessons suddenly become less important than the patchwork jeans I bought from Crossroads? Why is a life lived longer less cool than a pair of wedge heels from 1960? I’m from 1960 too people.
What if – like most things in life – you were respected and loved and honored as you aged. What if we treated humans like a beautiful Valentino dress that was made in 1932. We protected it. Went to a museum to visit it. Why don’t we give older people permission to look back, take stock, make some tweaks, and get back out there for round two. Why do we define them by where they are now?
Getting older isn’t the end of things. It’s the next chapter. It’s a new beginning. Life isn’t – grow up – work – then die. At least – it shouldn’t be. And my grey hair shouldn’t define who I am. Neither should my age. I happen to be at the very beginning of a new career… and I’m ready to head into it with grey hair.
Life is a very long compilation reel. Let’s keep watching.