From a young age, I was aware of the unrealistic beauty standards society set for me. I must be thin, emaciated if you will. My hipbones should protrude and my collarbone should be visible. Ah, and those cheekbones. Prominent cheekbones are praised by many. I must be blemish-free. Pimples, acne scars, freckles, they just won’t do. I must be hairless. My legs, underarms, bikini line, and face (upper lip, cheeks, and chin) should not show one speck of hair. In terms of hair, women must not have grey hair. That’s why hair dye was invented, of course. From a young age, I knew I would never achieve these unrealistic beauty standards.
As I aged, I felt betrayed by my curves, instead of grateful for my genetics and womanly figure. I became angry each time I saw pimples pop up on my cheeks, nose, and forehead. I developed a hatred for the hair on my upper lip (which I painfully waxed). I felt ashamed of the gray hair I began to get when I was only eighteen years old. Yes, eighteen! I know it may seem minuscule, silly even, but every single grey hair that sprouted from my head made me feel less than beautiful. I combed my fingers through my hair and thought, “Ugly, ugly, ugly.”
I am now 26 years old, and my grey hair can be described as dreadful and hideous. I dye my roots black and within a matter of weeks, the grey begins to show again; a stark contrast to my remaining raven-colored locks. People close to my age question my grey hair. “How can you be so young and have gray hair?” Yikes! Yikes is written all over their faces. The young children I teach also question my gray hair. They’re painfully blunt with their comments.
“Why do you have grey hair like my grandmother?”
“I thought only old people got grey hair.”
Well, for whatever reason, I already have grey hair… And, I hate it.
Actually, I should say hated it. Past tense. Because I really don’t hate my hair anymore. This is all thanks to one of my favorite actresses, Paget Brewster.
It is evident that the unrealistic beauty standards for women are prominent in Hollywood. Actresses and singers alike are constantly scrutinized. They are picked apart, judged, and rejected as if they aren’t even human. They are dolls on display for everyone to observe. And, this all has to do with their physical appearance.
Some actresses and singers surrender to Hollywood’s unrealistic expectations. They go through the motions required to obtain the perfect image, the one that Hollywood drools over. But, not Paget Brewster. She took a stand against Hollywood and no longer dyes her hair.
Back in December, she tweeted:
Also, I wear a wig on @CrimMinds_CBS . I cut all of my long, dyed hair off to grow out my real hair. It’s 5 shades of grey and I love it. I will no longer try to look 30 until I’m 70. Suck it, Hollywood. pic.twitter.com/bIaQqpU9Yf— paget brewster (@pagetpaget) December 19, 2018
Since then, she has proudly donned her real hair. It makes her happy, liberated, and truly, unapologetically herself. Because of Paget, I wear my real hair more often than not. I do not obsessively buy hair dye to dye my roots every four weeks. Instead, I let my grey hair show. I learned that I am beautiful exactly as I am, greys and all.