Updated: Apr 29
Recently I was asked why I have chosen not to dye over my grey hairs anymore. It was an interesting question. However, when I delved into what was behind the question, I found something rather interesting. I was faced head-on at an intersection point of equality and social conditioning.
As a mindfulness coach, I love how conversations like these uncover things like conditioning and inequality. They are frequently so subtle, that it becomes easy to brush over them, without so much as a second glance.
I decided to ask a few questions and take some time to ponder what lies deeper below the surface. What I discovered was both interesting and alarming.
So let’s take a look at what is potentially at play here. I’ve recently turned forty-nine, and I have a few grey hairs. Not unusual for my age, many women do. My hair is far from being completely grey, like many women I know of my age. However, for many years I dyed my hair to cover the grey hairs I have. In the last twelve months, I simply decided to stop.
So in this recent conversation, my friend made a strong statement. He said, “wouldn’t it be better for your career if you covered your grey hairs, that’s what celebrities do”. I was intrigued by this statement. He was kindly sharing his view openly and honestly, which I value. I asked him would you dye over your grey hair for your career, and I got an emphatic no.
When I asked why he said, it isn’t necessary for men. He simply said, "It doesn’t matter for men". I was aware that he was not trying to be rude, arrogant or disrespectful. He was showing raw honesty. In my mind, I thought WOW! How did the equality of appearance get so out of wack? Who started this and how as a woman can I participate in a better way?
The answer here is simple, acceptance and conditioning, is where it all begins. In these deeply rooted, yet subtle socially accepted conditions, we have created a significant void of inequality. However, as women, we have continued to exacerbate the situation of our own free will.
So in a time when women are seeking equality in the world, we are subtly undermining our very own desires. This example is merely one of many subtle inequalities that women perpetrate on themselves, every single day.
Ask yourself! As a woman, are you perpetuating the very same things you complain about in the fight for equality? Even when we stand by silently and do nothing, it is the same as supporting the objectives that we do not wish to exist.
To apply mindfulness to this situation, we need to look deeper within. We need to go to the root of the problem, not the bandaid, which in this scenario is the hair dye we so liberally apply to our demise.
So what lies below the surface? Is it fear of aging? Fear of acceptance? Or something else.
Clearly, I seem to have taken a stance. Why? You might be asking. I don’t fear aging or acceptance because I love myself and accept myself as I am at this moment, grey hairs and all.
So my question for you is; If women want equality, why are we undermining our very own desires by doing things we have complete control over? Like dying grey hairs! What else are we doing to participate?
Firstly we need to learn to accept ourselves as we are before we ask others to do the same. So equality it would seem, lies at the beginning with us, in the simple, yet powerful, path of acceptance.
Want to know more about the power of mindfulness to redefine social standards and equality for women?
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