It’s 5.00 pm ish on a Saturday afternoon in Sydney and 7.30 am in Glasgow.
Or so Sarah tells me when she phones. She hasn’t been been to bed yet and has been up listening to music, posting YouTube videos on her Facebook wall and feeling a bit nostalgic.
We have a running joke that she always calls at 3.00 am. “I’m knackered” she says.
“So am I” I say.
Lack of sleep can be due to so many things. In my case, the usual suspect is the Minx who has unilaterally given up her daytime nap with the repercussion that she wakes up at 11 pm every night and wails piteously before zombie walking into the living room and clambering on my husband. In Sarah’s case it is because she has a head buzzing full of song ideas and business ideas. We met when we were both teaching in the same dull grey Sighthill building a long, LONG time ago.
Sarah is exactly one day older than me, single with no children and tells me quite justifiably that I should count my children as blessings. She has an immaculate penthouse flat in Glasgow with 180 degree views of the Clyde and no child mess. I am envious.
“Have you heard this?” she asks and repeatedly hits the volume button on her computer singing along in that easy, natural singing voice of hers to something light and poppy – Empire of the Sun – Walking on a Dream.
I notice from her Facebook photos that Sarah’s hair has not even the slightest hint of grey. In many ways she looks younger than she did ten years ago. Her gran had dark brown hair with no evidence of silver into her nineties. This has always intrigued me since I have been covering my white hair since I was 17 years old.
There was one period of time (when I worked for Bastard & Ratshit WS) when I didn’t colour my hair. But then at that point in my life I was so stressed and discombobulated at work, I used to drink a litre of red wine just to get to sleep at night. One of the partners there told me that my grey hair was distinguished and gave me gravitas. I was 26 years old.
You may have noticed that going silver has become a bit of a mark of distinction among twenty something celebrities these days.
Lady Gaga recently featured on the September 2010 cover of Vanity Fair magazine with a granny lavender rinse
The only thing that I should mention is that those who are flaunting the grey hair are in their twenties. Like Halle Berry as Storm in the X Men
or Meryl Streep in the Devil Wears Prada
Unfortunately these grey locks are entirely for Hollywood show.
The real world is not so accepting of grey hair. I know – I have been surfing the edge between black and white for 20 years. “When” I ask myself and my husband frequently “can I just get old and forget about the hair colouring?”
The answer would seem to be – NEVER.
It seems grotesquely unfair that men can become silver foxes and yet women must continue to perpetuate an ever more undignified image of youth and lack of grey.
White hair on a young person is unusual and eye catching but has the effect of enhancing that person’s youth. Funnily enough, when I asked hairdressers about going white in my twenties they all shook their heads. Now I am faced with expensive and timeconsuming processes to slowly bring out the grey in a subtle but not blatantly unrealistic fashion. This is insane, I think every so often, my mother was silver haired in her forties, why am I doing this to myself?
The answer is of course, once you get into your forties and beyond the way of grey becomes harder to navigate. If you are an older gentleman with a good head of thick steel grey to white hair it is easy. You, my friend, are a silver fox. There is even a blog Silver Feast dedicated to your trichological charms.
There is some argument as to whether or not the term silver fox is male gender specific or gender neutral. If you use Google to search ‘silver fox hair’ the first three persons depicted in the images are male, the third is Jamie Lee Curtis.
What’s not to love about Jamie Lee Curtis? I mean, I didn’t love her in Trading Places when the guy I was in love with then was sitting next ne to waxing lyrical about her perfect breasts all through the film and for weeks afterwards
but that was his fault, not hers right?
After years of holding a bit of a grudge, I finally forgave her for freely, openly and laughingly admitted that the gravity defying arse that she displayed in the film Perfect
was not been the product of exercise alone. As soon as she stopped getting liposuction and exercising excessively she started to look – normal.
As the UK Telegraph reported in 2002, she broke the unwritten unwritten Hollywood rule yesterday by saying that the movie industry’s nip-and-tuck culture of eternal youth did not work and insisted on having her photo taken in unflattering knickers, sports bra top and no make up.
She doesn’t look like a fembot anymore but is this a bad thing? Maybe we just are not that accepting of women getting old. I can’t for the life of me determine why this is.
Kristen McMenanamy still looks as stunning as ever, in her slightly off the wall way, with silver hair.
And I have never had any trouble seeing Debbie Harry transition from punk sex goddess
to scary headmistress of a small girl’s private school
(The cheekbones could still etch glass after all, so surely the hair colour is irrelevant?)
It seems to me that if you are a female star you have two choices – go down the character route in which case it is irrelevant if you get older, greyer and larger or fight the ghost of christmas future to the death every day in the gym and every fortnight in the hairdressers. Which leaves the rest of us non-star people in a bit of a bind really doesn’t it?
So here is my entirely selfish question. Should I:
(a) go slowly and surely more blonde with an ever escalating number of highlights;
(b) continue to dye it successively lighter shades; or
(c) go the expensive weaving multi coloured low lights through my silvery strands route?