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Slaying the grey disgracefully #ilookmyage Part I

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

I am Fiona, I am 56 years old and I look my age!

I really do, and I love that!

For those who know me, have worked with me and have visited my therapy room, you will know that I am a huge advocate for natural beauty and feeling comfortable in the skin that you are in.

I have recently signed up to support the Ageism is Never In Style “I look my age” campaign and it really got me thinking about what that really means to me.

Ageism is Never in Style’s manifesto is “ending ageism means feeling empowered with the choice to age however we wish” and this really struck a chord with me.

So I wanted to write about it, and what a better way to do this than to share it with you in my blog!

This is the first in a series of blogs where I am looking at parts of my life, and sharing with you in a raw and honest style how I feel about “looking my age”.

Looking My Age

Looking my age certainly doesn’t mean I have “given up” and” let myself go”, in fact it is quite the opposite!

Finally, I have reached a stage in my life that when I look in the mirror, I am proud of the woman who is looking back at me and I know her well – she has lived, she has made mistakes, and she has learned from them.

More importantly, she is fierce, and she is strong, and she loves unconditionally in equal measures. She knows her own mind, what is important to her, and she owns it with confidence and pride. She is 56 and proud!

This was a definite shift from the woman I once was.

And how did this happen?

It has taken time, it has taken tantrums and it has taken a great deal of honesty from myself to myself.

One of the most pivotal moments for me was when I decided that I was going to go grey disgracefully! This was so much more to me than just changing my hair so bear with me.

In September 2020, after a trip to the hairdresser to have my blonde roots and highlights “fixed” after lockdown, I made the bold decision that it would be the very last time!

This was a huge deal for me. I started tinting my hair at the age of 13 with Toners & Shaders.

Do you remember those?

Sometimes they were attached to the front of your teen magazines too! I then started working as a Saturday girl in the local chemist and I was surrounded by temptation! The rest is a very colourful history.

My hair has always been my “saving grace” – the one part of me that I always loved, even when my self-esteem was at it’s lowest.

I have invested heavily in it over the years, with hair appointments every 5-6 weeks, a myriad of products and a great deal of perseverance in mastering the perfect blow dry, never mind the straighteners and heated wands to get that perfect look, whether straight or wavy.

Something had changed though. I didn’t relate to that blonde woman looking back at me from the mirror. In fact, hardly recognised her.

Through years of self-development in many forms, I had experienced some dramatic and yet incredibly enlightening emotional and spiritual growth, my perspective had changed and was finally focusing on living in the moment. I was living my life in balance, and that girl in the mirror seemed to me like she had been left behind. I no longer felt the need to disguise the real me to fit into society.

So, I cut off the blonde – well, my hairdresser cut if off, and it was short!

It was emotional. I cried, actual torrents of tears, in the salon, in front of everyone – this was shock, disbelief and if I am honest a bit of relief too – a fresh start – I was leaving the past behind.

And here was the thing – hair grows, just like we do – with work, and time and patience, we can rebuild something new.

Less than two years later, my hair is back to it’s natural colour, and it has never been healthier and I don’t recall ever loving it more! That natural colour is me!

I went to a different hairdresser recently and I was horrified when she told me I should dye my hair, because I didn’t suit it the natural colour it was – how can that be? And why did she think it was ok to tell me that in the first place?

My hair is a work in progress – I would like it to be longer. How long? I haven’t decided, I will know when I know!

I really want to burst that myth that older women shouldn’t have longer hair – “says who?” I say!

Who are that secret society of hair tamers that rule out any hair frivolity in older women?

I mean, how dare we have hair that moves around instead of a perfectly coiffed short “do” or a stereotypical “helmet” hairdo?

I, for one, have a mind of my own and I’m sure as hell going to use it!

Crazy long grey hair loading ....

Of course, my hair, whilst playing a huge part in how I feel, is only a part of why I am comfortable to look my age.

Feeling empowered to be yourself through your clothing, your make up, your skin and how you feel are equally important.

I have learned that the only thing that matters is that you feel comfortable with what you are wearing or what you are doing and that you have the confidence to own it!

Loving the skin I am in is another important part of my confidence in looking my age – this is another blog in this series and will follow on from this one! You can find it here.

Sign up to my site at the bottom of my homepage and you will receive automatic updates on additions to my blog so you can keep up with this series.

I would love to know what your thoughts are - please feel free to leave comments below!

Much love Fiona x

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