There are times when we make profound judgments based on appearances. Whether it is the color of our skin, or quality of clothes, or the way we speak or even as simple as our hair or the lack there of. I find myself also falling into biases from decades of conditioning yet letting go of many prejudices as I pause to reflect. Let us pick a simple one that is so common that we almost take for granted yet subconsciously will have preprogrammed judgments.
Hair. The color of hair seems to tell us a lot about a person’s personality. The more exotic the color the more outward their personality. The greater chance that they are risk takers or do not seem to care for societal norms. Yet that would be completely incorrect as there are plenty of exotic spectrum colored haired individuals who could be rebelling their own inner worlds and are not as outgoing as you may think.
What does grey hair signify?
Age, wisdom, experience are all synonymous with grey hair and totally normal. Some get grey hair sooner than others. Yet how do we judge men versus women with grey hair. Differently. A man who has grey hair is revered as having wisdom and experience and treated with higher status than a great haired woman. A man is expected to have reached the pinnacle of his career and the sign for that may be grey hair. Yet a women can have grey hair and be subliminally thought of as an old crone whose days are numbered. Studies demonstrate that going grey ages women twice as men.
These lead to a tremendous number of observations that we make and how we treat someone becomes apparent. Men who turn grey are deemed “silver foxes” A term of obscure successful rank and status. Grey haired women are considered to have been worn out, and past their prime usefulness in society as we deem their responsibility of bearing children is over. And so the more grey haired they are, the more aged and so no longer “valuable ” contributors to society. Yet we forget that this may have negative influences. Confidence, self worth and employment are all factors that are influenced negatively in older women. Their chances of finding a meaningful relationship partner becomes harder too, based on these ridiculous subjective ideas.
Yet when a man looks at a grey haired women they may see “age” yet what they are really seeing is themselves becoming older, even though they may already be older. It’s a perception. Studies reveal that greater than 70% of women start to dye their hair within at least a year of seeing a grey hair. This mounts to considerably large expenses of time and finances spent in covering up a normal aging truth.
Pigment cells in our hair follicles die and then naturally the hair will have less melanin and thereby lose their coloring, ergo leaving the hair strand grey, silver, or white. This can occur at ANY age. So for the simple normal process of loss of melanin, we create such a great issue and judgment that effects women profoundly in every aspect. I am guilty of having these thoughts without a doubt. Yet once aware of my thoughts the less likely I am of recurrently falling into the trap of them.
You may be turning grey. You look marvelous.
I may have lost my hair. I look marvelous. But that is another topic of discussion
I love you