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What’s My Little White Lie? Well…my hair is actually pure white. My mother’s hair started turning white when she was just 30 years old. So, when I turned 30 and my own hair began to do the same, my future was pretty clear. I knew I had a choice to make: Did I want my hair to be white or did I want to color my hair to disguise the white? Guess what I decided to do – and have done, every 3 weeks for the last 30 years?

Let’s take a social history break here

It’s no secret that for centuries women have gotten very clear messages from society about their appearance. In the early 60’s “youthquake” happened – youth-oriented culture – which focused on staying young and created negative stereotyping of what ‘old’ was. This attitude of ageism still prevails today in lots of subtle and not-so-subtle ways.

Laura Hurd Clarke in her book, Facing Age: Women Growing Older in Anti-Aging Culture, put it this way: “Beauty and gender norms place a premium on women’s looks and establish an impossibly narrow and elusive standard of feminine physical attractiveness that oppresses and excludes older women.”

Harsh but true! So, 30 years ago I made the decision that most of the women I knew at that time were making – I colored my hair, like I said, every 3 weeks for 1-1/2 hours waiting for my hairdresser to turn me back into what I had considered was a young woman.

Back to my story…

As the years went by, I became very visible, standing in front of a congregation when I was a cantor, as well as on a big screen for thousands of people. Making the transition from brown to my natural white hair, publicly? I don’t think so … I was feeling vulnerable. Let’s face it, people can be mean and I just wasn’t willing to put myself in a situation to be talked about, ridiculed or judged for looking old.

Then I began to appear on WebTV shows as well as online video all the time, so I became even more visible to an ever-widening audience. I was known as the Digital Diva, talking to business people around the world about getting visible using video online.

It began to dawn on me: Here I am hiding who I AM, while I’m telling you that YOU should be showing up authentically and be who you really are! It wasn’t feeling right at all.

Little White LieThe experts agree …

“Gray hair is universally seen as an indication of advancing age, though the age at which hair begins to gray varies widely among individuals.” (Source: Women, Aging and Ageism, Evelyn R. Rosenthal, editor) “The coloring of gray hair disguises the physical feature associated with aging that is most obvious and most easily changed.”

Yep, that was me. Not that my hair defines who I am, but it is that ‘marker’ of age and I’ve been disguising it. This goes way beyond just hair color. It’s about my – our – personal definition of beauty and aging. It is about how I’m going to show up in the world, and how I’m going to age going forward. I thought about this for quite a while, and decided I want to show up as my true, authentic, beautiful-as-I-am self. I decided at the major milestone of turning 60 that it was time to make the transition.

Revealing the Little White Lie, one hair appointment at a time …

So, here I am, starting this journey of uncovering the Little White Lie, of transitioning to my natural hair color, revealing my natural self. And I want to do it with you. I want you to come on this journey with me. You might be thinking of making this transition yourself – if so, welcome aboard!

I know that it’s not going to be easy. This is not something you do overnight or even in a month. There are a lot of things to consider. First there is deciding when is the right time – is there ever a right time? I have formal events to go to soon – I can’t wear a hat to them! I’m going on a cruise in March. What am I going to look like? Will I love it or hate it? How do I care for my hair now? I don’t wear makeup but I’ll have to start thinking about it. I’ll have to change the color palette of my clothes. And the most vulnerable…What will people say? I’ll be exposed to 4000 virtual eyeballs at any given moment of the day online, not to mention meeting people on the street every day. With the evidence in plain sight!

Are you coming with me?

Yet what’s emerging is the real me! I’m embracing this, and I’m really excited about the idea of making a choice of how I want to show up. I’m hoping you’ll come on this journey with me.

Over the next several months I’ll be sharing my personal experience here on the Little White Lie page and on social media, whether it’s about buying hats, feeling doubtful, techniques to make the transition smooth, hair products to use, new makeup or colors to wear, celebs who are rocking their gray (and aging), the ups and downs of my process.

And sharing what you have to say. You’ll have a chance to comment on your own experience and opinion of gray hair, making the transition, beauty and aging. I’ll be interviewing women and men who’ve gone through their own transition. We’ll have conversations through Facebook Live and take surveys on what you think. We’ll learn about it, laugh about it, and do this together.
Because, again, it’s way beyond just hair color. It’s about who we are and how we want to show up.

Watch the Facebook Live I did on the Little White Lie here:

I want this to be a journey we take together, so stay tuned!