May 19, 2013
Written by Joe Pisani
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 17:25
I recently stumbled upon a photo collection of aging celebrities that was titled, “Gray is the new black,” and I got really excited because I realized that all these years I’ve actually been a trendsetter, ever since my black hair started to turn gray around age 18 ... and never stopped.
When I considered dyeing it red — so I could look like Ron Howard in his role as Opie — things took a turn for the worse and it began falling out. Problem solved, at least in theory.
Even Rogaine and those herbal concoctions, which smell like sweet ‘n’ sour soup and are supposed to stimulate new hair growth, didn’t help. It was a trying time in my young life, but eventually I progressed through the stages of denial, anger and depression to reach acceptance, although I think I’m back at depression again.
Of course, the advantage to losing your hair is there’s less gray, and while there may be other advantages, I can’t think of any.
A lot of guys I know are dyeing their hair, but you can detect artificial coloring across a crowded room, and in the wrong light, your head looks a little like the Empire State Building on the Fourth of July.
A new day is dawning, however, largely because of celebrities gone gray like George Clooney, Bill Clinton, Lady Gaga (who looks like Mrs. Havisham in Great Expectations), Ted Danson, Richard Gere, Tim Robbins, Jamie Lee Curtis (who has slightly more hair than I do), and Judy Dench.
While I never looked up to these people before, now that they’re blazing new trails, I’m going to fall in line and promote the gray fox look.
With 76 million baby boomers trudging into their sixties, there will be a lot of gray around pretty soon. Rock ‘n’ rollers Graham Nash and David Crosby were recently singing at an Occupy Wall Street rally, and they looked like they were the grandparents of the protesters.
The insidious thing about going gray is that it just creeps up on you. One day you have a full head of black hair, and the next you look like Anderson Cooper’s grandfather, and pretty soon even your kids don’t recognize you, or don’t want to recognize you unless they need a loan.
This genetic tendency to go gray prematurely was one of several annoying defects I inherited from my mother, who started showing signs of gray at 16, while my father had a full head of black hair until his 70s. A couple of my daughters have already begun plucking out gray strands, and they’re still in their 20s. Life is not fair and neither is heredity.
But I’m taking my inspiration from the celebrity world, where people are so liberated and in love with themselves that they’re comfortable going gray even if it means they’ll never work again in Hollywood, where they produce films that target audiences with an average age of 13.
I mean, adolescents have pimples, and we don’t discriminate against them so why should they discriminate against us?
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