Silver Foxes

Do silver foxes really exist among femmes or is being considered gray and foxy only possible if you’re Anderson Cooper?  My beloved grandmother died at the age of 96 (actually, we’re not exactly sure how old she was) and she was still coloring her hair brown right up until the end.   I’ve been coloring my hair for years, and I’m not ashamed to say that I do it because I’m vain.  Period.  (Have you seen buddhistfemme’s interesting post on the decision to color her hair, “To Dye or Not to Dye?”).

I always thought I would meet my maker like my grandmother–with my hair “done”  in the fullest sense of the term.  But since my last post on aging as a femme, “Stay Young and Beautiful,”  I’ve been wondering if it’s possible to be glam and gray.  I must confess, I’ve had a fantasy of one day becoming one of those “women of a certain age” with silver-white hair.  In fact, some time ago at a party I couldn’t take my eyes off a stunning woman of mature years (a friend of my mother-in-law’s) with absolutely gorgeous white hair.  After we were introduced, I gushed about how much I loved her hair–which she didn’t at all seem to enjoy–only to discover later from my mother-in-law that the lovely hair in question was a wig.  Oops!

I looked far and wide for pics of beautiful gray-haired women and there aren’t a lot.  Here’s what I came up with.  My favorites, of course, are the cinematic ones–Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada and Anne Bancroft with those great grey streaks in The Graduate. Let me know what you think!

emmy-lou-harris3

anne-bancroft1

nichelle-nichols

meryl-streep2annie-lennox1

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17 Responses

  1. Annie and Meryl for sure. I started going grey after my 30th birthday and I immediately started dyeing and pulling out stray hairs. I’ve been afraid to let my hair go but I do admire our gray haired sisters, UBER sexy! Kinda makes me want to good find a cougar……

  2. I always check out the old gray butches and their plaid flannel attire…

    Um, who doesn’t? *Love* the old/old-school gray butches. Thanks so much for bringing this up, Nikki! It helps us to see what is in my opinion an obvious difference between aging for femmes and butches. Obviously, butches do not have male privilege, but one of the privileges that does come with being a masculine person in our society is that aging–and its most visible symbol, gray hair–does not necessarily = a loss of vitality and sexiness, as it does for femmes and feminine persons. Case in point: Hugh Hefner. Grrlchef brings up cougars, which is interesting. Here’s where you can really see a glaring double standard because cougars seem to look 10 or more years younger than their actual age, unlike the dottering Hef. I can’t think of a single cougar with gray hair, can you? I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this. xo SF

  3. I stopped dreading the whole aging thing when I saw Meryl in Devil Wears Prada. When my blonde starts looking too ashy for my comfort, I’m going Miranda Preistly on the world. I may even pick up some of that attitude…it seems like it might just be part of the package. (See Mrs. Robinson.)

  4. oh, i think grey hair is swoony! granted, i also have such a thing for women older than me. i think one of the reasons is that there is such a confidence about accepting your age and “aging gracefully” – it’s like a big fuck you to everyone who says you have to look young to be hot. because that just isn’t true, and confidence is among the sexiest of features. (i also think it’s sexy the way you can see someone’s story in the features of their body – it’s the “imperfections” that make bodies so amazing – hence my disinterest in the youth and beauty thing).

    i say that – but i only mean it with regard to others. i started greying at 18, and so far i’m fond of it, but we’ll see how i feel about my lovely grey hairs when they start to multiply. i’m not always so zen about my *own* body! plus, the grey hairs are even more unruly than the brown ones…they might really take over if i don’t do something about them 😉

    hmm, naturally greying does seem more of a butch/masculine thing; i can only think of one femme i know who is significantly silver – it looks fantastic. there’s also one of the first girls i had a serious crush on, who was a fierce femme with absolutely white hair (not naturally, though, this was college). that’s that attitude thing i was talking about

  5. SF: Can I just say I think silver and white hair is so beautiful that i tried to dye my way there. One bald femme later I realized that you have to live and grow enough wisdom to earn that kind of beauty status. Looking forward to the day I can call it mine!

  6. I love it on others. I’ll never let my own hair go gray. You can quote me.

  7. Don’t forget Helen Mirren! She’s powerful, classy and super sexy – STILL! It’s amazing. http://stylefrizz.com/img/helen-mirren-by-lord-snowdon-1995-vanity-fair.jpg

  8. OMG, these are amazing:

    And we cannot possibly forget her body:

    Thanks for the great pics of Helen Mirren. You’re right; she definitely deserves to be on this list! How hot is that Vanity Fair photo? xo -SF

  9. Haha, I think it’s totally possible to be glam and grey. I never got what the big deal was about having gray hair – uh, maybe that’s because I haven’t experienced it yet – but I never thought it *looked* bad or different or anything at all, I always assumed it was just the embarrassment of your age showing through that made people want to hide it. But I think you should own and rock your age as well as everything else…

  10. i can’t think of a hot cougar could-be-femme-maybe with gray hair other than Iceland’s new prime minister….

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  12. If I had the looks to go with it, maybe, just maybe I’d let the grey show, however, as someone who’s done the highlights for the last millennia, I’ll stick to the blond touch-ups till I’m well into my 90s!

  13. I *love* grey hair, white hair, and older women. This post was so fun! I’m iffy about the cougar angle, just because I’m not sure that’s a tremendously flattering portrait of an older woman (large predator? really?). But I love seeing the signs of life and experience in a visible way on another person. It really is a social-fuck in the most fun way.

  14. i’m in my twenties and i’ve had some grey hair since high school! in recent years my streak has come in more prominantly and i adore it! i can’t wait to have more and more grey!!! i think it’s really beautiful

  15. Nichelle Nichols for the win!!!

    Grey hair is way sexy.

  16. Just found your blog … I’m butch, but can I play along anyway? I like to know how femmes think.

    I’m 34 and still don’t have any gray. I won’t mind it when I do get it, because I think it’s sexy – on femmes, especially. Not that I mind it when you all highlight and maintain the color too, but to me there is something incredibly sexy about a woman who’s not afraid to show the gray; it’s self-confidence at it’s finest.

    Thanks for your comments. Any butch who thinks gray is sexy on femmes is most definitely welcome here! xo SF

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