My first outing in grey
After this shoot I would become a dab-hand at putting on my 'great to be grey,' face! I am sometimes asked to talk about going grey and I often conclude that grey is best left to those of us who can handle it!
It has always been a choice for me but growing out my normally immaculately-dyed, (thanks Charles Worthington) brunette tresses, which supported my contrasting natural grey streak has taken a bit of time, and careful strategic placement of scarfs. I still employ the services of my hairdresser of 20 years, growing out your colour takes patience and careful strategic placement of a few dark streaks to avoid an unkempt stripe of 'un dyed,' hair making its way slowly, oh so slowly into view.
Many of you will know I have been a vocal campaigner. Grey is not only stylish and a beautiful colour, is represents strength and wisdom. I've written various pieces and even had my say a few times now on Radio 4 Women's Hour.
It was a decision for me at 34 to celebrate my grey streak on BBC prime-time TV throughout my career on the Clothes Show, despite encouragement from some to dye it and look younger. It wasn't for me but I defend any woman's choice to choose how she celebrates her look whether by 'camouflaging' subtle strands, pastel tones or embracing a confrontational bright colour job.
In fact, I'm amazed how much conflict women feel about whether to go grey or not! I have even reassure many a feminist during such conversations, that dying her hair to retain its natural colour is REALLY OK.
It's about choice after all, but recognition that women receive so many value judgements about their appearance linked to age and sexual attractiveness, helps to deconstruct the fear so many women have. Of course we are judged as looking older if we choose grey hair. Good. I'm happy to be a tribal elder and I've lost count of the young women who tell me they like it.
Do everything on your terms. I had the opportunity to celebrate with a photo shoot. But then that's me all over!