I feel like I’ve been bombarded by two recurring themes in all the recent article I’ve come across. The first theme focuses on “going gray.” Just in the past week I’ve read about a woman being “bullied” at salons to cover her salt and pepper hair (Hair Trigger, Allure) and about women in their 20’s going gray thanks to the major stress of modern life (Why are today’s women going gray at 25?, DailyMail). The second theme concerns surveys pinpointing the most beautiful age. I must have come across at least 4 or 5 of these “studies” over the past 6 months. I’ve written separate posts about both themes (Gray Matter and How Old Is Beautiful?) in the past.
But this weekend the two themes have impacted me more than usual.
Well, like many women, I’m not too excited for my body and face to age. I’ve noticed more and more gray hairs popping up and started to consider getting them colored — a real rite of passage in my mind. Yet, being part of the baby-faced Kolodny clan as my sister calls us (Kolodny is my maiden name), I tend to look a bit younger than I am. You’d think I’d be happy about my genes given my concern for aging. Well, yes and no. While there’s no question that the typical beauty standards tell us youth is more beautiful, I believe there are different standards in the business world.
Sure, there’s lots of buzz about how much business people in their 50’s and 60’s are resorting to plastic surgery to lower their perceived age and combat the ageism rampant in their daily lives. But I’ve always felt that looking too young is a liability too — especially if you’re a woman. If I looked older, would I be seen as wiser, more mature and more competent? Would I have been given a fancier title or sexier positions earlier in my career?
Let me say for the record that the concept of choosing one age over another as the “most beautiful” is ridiculous. There are so many factors that determine beauty. But for the sake of my story, I do wonder if there’s a different age from that of the typical 31 that is considered the most beautiful in the business world.
What do you think?