I found myself hesitating with my answer because if I was honest, was it really one I wanted her to hear? One she'd likely internalize and apply to herself, much like I had? I was dying it because I saw myself aging, and thought that needed hiding. But wait, why? Shouldn't people over 40 look like, well, people over 40?
I know many women feel more confident or expresses their unique style by coloring their hair, and that's absolutely wonderful. But how many of us color because we think we HAVE to? Because we think it's not possible to be considered attractive if our actual age is visually apparent. How many women of color are convinced naturally curly or kinky hair has to be straightened in order to appear professional? How many women with straight hair believe it needs curling so as not to look boring or fine hair believe that it absolutely requires product, because only fuller hair is good hair? Who decided all of this? Do we have to buy into it?
What if we just love who we are and make choices about ourselves for ourselves,
expectations of others aside?
I thought about her simple question so much that it led to the beginning sketches for this tee. I also cut off all the hair I had dyed and grew it out. Years later, the tee is about to be released and my hair is long again. It's even more grey, and I look... like I'm about to turn 44. I imagine I do look older. But... I am older. And that's okay. This is how my husband and our daughters know me. This is who they love. The color of my hair doesn't matter to them. It also doesn't matter to me.
To every girl and woman, whatever you choose to do with your own hair - shave it, dye it, let it be - celebrate it, because it's yours and that's what makes it beautiful.