Am I too old?

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Watercolor painting by Wendy Bloom of beautiful young woman

There is this weird thing about aging. I feel like I did when I was 25(emotionally), but it’s hard for me to connect the image of myself in my mirror with my current self, because I most definitely don’t look 25.

I just got my hair colored and cut, by my stylist, who is about 30.

“Same color?”, She asked.

The way she said it made me feel like perhaps I’m getting too old for Burgundy hair coloring. It’s really bright in the sunlight, and glows a bit.

Angela, my hair stylist, mentioned how nice it would look, if she bleached out the gray bits of my hair, so they are sort of streaks, and did the rest in my natural, boring dark brown.

Maybe I’m just being paranoid, but I began to get the sense that she sees me as an old lady, or at least middle aged(I’m 51). I’m concerned that she’s afraid that my intense hair coloring is inappropriate for someone as old as I am.

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Selfie of 51 year old Wendy Bloom, in her thick reading glasses.

So, the question is, am I embarrassing myself? I’m just thrilled by the way my eyelids are drooping, and how the skin along the bottom of my lower arms is beginning to get all wrinkly and crepe like in texture.

I don’t want to give in to societal expectations concerning how I should dress and wear my hair, just yet. Or every. I mean, I’m an artist, I’m supposed to look weird. It’s supposed to be a kind of funky weird, though, not a creepy weird.

One time my dad showed a recent housemate of mine a photo of me from high school graduation. My housemate’s expression conveyed, that wow, at one point I was sort of hot, so what happened? I have no idea why my dad pulled out that picture.

You know how there are some people where you look at their high school photo, and still can recognize them quite clearly? I’m not one of those people.

I’ve lost over 20 pounds in the past 6 months or so, because I’ve been sick. Can you believe that I am trying with everything I’ve got to maintain my current weight?

It’s kind of sad, and ridiculous, at the same time.

Perhaps it’s alright to be a character? Some older women I know have jet black hair down to their bottoms, and wear bright clothing, and lipstick, daily.

Maybe I’d prefer this to the alternative of aging gracefully, and adjusting to just fading into the background?

Many women in Ashland, grow their hair out white, and wear it long. I’m just not ready for that look. My grandma died her hair blond, until she was about 80. So what? Good for her.

Have your looks changed dramatically in the past 20-30 years? Can people identify you from your yearbook?

How do you think 50 plus women should dress and wear their hair?

I refuse to wear a tweed suit. Especially in this 90 degree heat.

6 Comments

  1. Girl, at 51, you have earned the right to do your hair however the hell you want.
    Iris Apfel says it well: the alternative to old is not very pleasant.
    If you want to dye your hair burgundy or white or purple, you go for it. We’re not age inappropriate or weird, we are eccentric🤗

  2. I love your hair color in that photo! I plan on dying my hair until I’m in my grave and I’ll probably have the sam hair style too. However, I am thinking about doing blue or purple/red fringe around the edges–I think that would be fun. Cheers!

  3. I can’t really say much because I’m 30, but I know I feel weird thinking about it as it feels like a lot of my 20s disappeared. I would say that you’re never too old for hair colour, whether it’s burgundy or bright blue. It’s so lovely to get to see you, well done for the selfie – I think you look gorgeous! Your hair looks great, and there’s no way you’re in ‘old lady’ territory.
    What’s wrong with tweed? I’d actually really like a tweed jacket, but a whole suit may be a step too far 😆
    Honestly though, what I’m feeling more and more is frustration against these societal norms and expectations, and the worries we have about what other people think. I’ve spent so much of my life worrying about it, and although my mind set has changed, it’s still challenging. My thoughts would be – screw it, wear whatever the hell you want, wear what you’re comfortable in, have your hair however YOU want it, be the woman you want to be – however that looks – whatever your age. Screw what others are doing or others think you should be doing. Bring out that badass 25 year old you’re hiding inside 😉
    Caz xx

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