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Marcia Barhydt
Author... Contributor to We Magazine and Maturity Matters.

At 64, Marcia Barhydt started writing for women over 50. She is a monthly contributor to Kalon Women, WE Magazine for Women, BoomerCafe, Boomers Forever, and Women's Post.

Marcia's new book, Celebrate Age! is a collection of her thoughts, rants, raves and wisdoms learned after 50. Marcia lives in Brampton and is the proud mother of 2 grown daughters, Heather and Allison, and the even prouder grandmother of her 3 "perfect granddaughters".


REINVENTING OUR APPEARANCE - OR NOT

If we boomers are to continue to be successful at reinventing ourselves, then we need to make some decisions about how we're going to choose to reinvent ourselves physically.

This continues to be a question affecting women for the most part, but I believe there are many men who also have concerns about their physical appearance as we age. We women have a much heavier burden in choosing how we look because of the dominance of our "young is beautiful" culture.

Women have a hair colour issue. And a facial skin issue. And certainly a body issue. We make choices about accepting or using some/many products to fight these changes as we age. And it's a very personal choice with the correct answer being the answer that's correct for each of us personally.

Do we colour our hair or let the grey grow in? Do we accept the new lines in our faces or diminish them with lotions/injections/surgery? Do we allow increasingly saggy muscles or attack our bodies at a gym?

When I retired, having not seen my own natural hair colour in about 20 years, I let it grow in. And holy cow, it wasn't grey it was white! Pure white! I must admit I liked it; loved it even. It was striking. It was a head turner. It was sharp. And after a while, it was just boring being the same colour all the time.

The thing is, if I embrace this second half of my life, if I welcome reinvention with open arms, as I'm so often preaching, how can I justify colouring my hair to appear younger? Am I in denial? Am I hypocritical? Am I vain instead of accepting? Am I really a pro-ager?

Many women who've chosen to allow grey say it shows their sense of self- confidence. Are they suggesting that we colour-opting women are missing our own self-confidence? I don't think so. I'm pretty sure who I am no matter what my hair colour. And many women who continue to colour their hair say that their sisters who go grey are giving up on their looks. That's simply not so either.

Reinventing myself at this age has, I believe, very little to do with external physical appearances. True reinventing for me now goes on in my mind when I accept that physical changes will happen, whether or not I choose to camouflage them. I can accept white hair, but choose to colour it for now.

I now have the ability to reinvent what really counts in the way I look. Colour does not make a bad hair day. Frame of mind does. Acceptance of physical change IS my reinvention of myself; acceptance of aging is my reinvention of my soul.

 

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