In my time as a cosmetology student (and undoubtedly in the years to come) the single most frustrating thing I encounter is an idea that age should dictate our aesthetic decisions. This is hard for me because I don’t believe in age. I mean, obviously age is a real thing that advances every 365 days, but I don’t believe it should have any bearing on who you want to be in your life. Age is only important if one is a wine or a cheese and I have yet to meet an entire animate person made of cheese (cheesy people but not people made of cheese). This whole “you’re too old for that,” “why can’t you grow up and act your age” mentality is ridiculous to me. I just don’t understand it.
So when people compliment me on my hair then tell me, “I’d love to do something like that, but I’m too old,” I don’t know how to respond. I usually just shrug, give them a little chuckle, and say no, you’re not too old. I don’t want to dive headlong into a philosophical debate regarding age vs. maturity vs. personality with the cashier at the grocery store. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ that. But the truth is I feel like it’s all an attitude thing.
A new crop of students just started at the ol’ beauty school last week and one of these students has her long blonde hair colored to look like a tub of Baskin Robbins cotton candy ice cream…
all pastel blue and pink and purple swirls. And it could look amazing. Except it’s faded and splotchy which bugs the crap out of me anyway but also she wears delicate, pretty make up and while we can’t do a lot to express our personalities through our solid black wardrobe, her clothes so far have been very conservative and almost frumpy. This makes her hair look that much more out of place. This is where attitude and personality trumps age. She doesn’t exude the attitude or personality to pull off the cotton candy swirled hair regardless of being 18-19-20ish whatever years old.
It really does come down to confidence, presentation, attitude and personality. Some of these 40-year-old plus women who are “too old” for purple streaks in their hair, probably are. Not too old, technically, but because they have talked themselves into that mindset, they probably don’t have the chutzpah needed to make it work. It would look out of place, not because they are middle aged but because they are too timid, too reserved to rock it they way it should be rocked.
I am getting ready to make over my aunt, my mom’s older sister, and I’m not looking at pixie cuts or fire engine red highlights. I’m looking at ideas that she’ll rock. Ideas that will suit her personality and her lifestyle, because that’s what is more important than if it suits her age. We’re probably going to end up with a fairly sedate and subtle change but it will fit her. She will look good and hopefully feel good rather than awkward, self conscious and made up when we’re finished. I’m not leaning toward conservative because of her age, I’m leaning toward conservative because that’s what’s (hopefully) going to make her walk out of the salon looking and feeling awesome.
So, I guess that’s that. I just don’t get this whole philosophy that you can be too old for bold hair colors or that you are too old for neon green skinny jeans. It’s all about your personality, your attitude, your presence to decide what you can and should wear. Age ain’t nothing but a number.