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The Scoop on Aging & Beauty from the Pros – Part One

Who made Usher, Avril Lavine, Kendrick Lamar, Fitz and the Tantrums and Boyz II Men, to name a few, look SO good? I’ll tell you who — It’s Wardrobe Stylist and
Costume Designer David Royer, from David was with me on this week’s Little White Lie show.

Part of my LWL journey has been to explore the concept of aging and beauty, and I decided to tap into the wisdom of the pros (tune in for the upcoming Little White Lie show with my panel of 5 accomplished, amazing stylists and image consultants).

David Royer is such a great guy – supremely talented, someone “we can rumble with” (to use his term), and with so much to say that’s important – that I decided to just share our conversation with you here. So, check out the LWL show and/or read on to catch the gems you might have missed…

We start with what I affectionately call “The Clairol Days” (You may remember this post, “Gray Hair – The Heartless Dictator”...) when ads for women’s products like Clairol basically dictated what “older” women — all women, really — were supposed to wear, what color their hair was supposed to be, how they were supposed to act, how to do anything to “look young.”

LWL: Have things changed about aging and beauty since The Clairol Days – a lot, not at all, a little bit?


David: I think things are changing more than just a little bit. There’s a very large embracing of our “natural state.” Not in the sense of letting ourselves go — there’s much to be said about taking care of your hair, your skin, taking care of your insides and being healthy. But it’s more about not being preoccupied with covering up something that’s considered a flaw. I find it bizarre that something like going gray would be treated as an ailment, as opposed to a natural process in life.

LWL: How is the media and entertainment industry changing the way we show up? From your perch how do you believe societal norms are changing?

David Royer: I would say the Baby Boomers are embracing that there are so many options, so many states of being. And the young really embrace variety, so they don’t expect these “older” people to look a certain way anymore.

The way things are campaigned (in the industry) isn’t the same anymore. Even in the upper echelons of fashion you’re seeing people of size, men and women with wrinkles, gray hair. So when you see the diversity and you see how amazing it can look, I feel that it adds and enhances. I honestly don’t think there’s any such a thing as norms anymore.

LWL: Let’s talk about young women dying their hair white or gray. What does this say, if anything, about perceptions of looking “old?”

David: I think it’s just a cyclical trend; I remember it back in the 90’s. The idea of what a woman should be and should look like is changing dramatically, because women like you (which … Bravo!) are starting to embrace their hair color. Because there is nothing wrong with it. It doesn’t make you less intelligent, less strong, or less assertive, it’s just simply a pigment change.

You look at older women like Helen Mirren and Judi Dench who haven’t been plucked and pulled, and they’re stunning. Beautiful women! Younger women, even girls, can see that and go, “Oh, it’s OK, I don’t have to live up to these impossible standards, because look at what these women have become and they look fantastic.”

I don’t think age is a thing we need to hide anymore. I mean, we’re not trees – we don’t cut us in half and count the rings!

LWL: What would you like our viewers to know that, if they’re going to take this journey (whatever their Little White Lie is), might help make their journey a little bit easier?

David: Take it in stages, because there’s no need to revolutionize yourself overnight. If you make small choices along the way, you’re not going to look in the mirror and all of a sudden see a stranger. You’re going to feel like you’ve grown into this person organically.

So simply letting your hair grow out or maybe not wearing as much makeup as you used to or lowering the heel of your shoe, dropping the contacts and embracing the fact that you wear glasses, or changing some article that people associate that you always wore, like, ‘I don’t want to wear skirts anymore; I’m done, I really like my jeans!’ Something as simple as that.

Then there are the Bolds – the ones who say, I’m going to cut my hair short, let the white show, wear funky new clothes – the NEW ME! Great, more power to you!

There are no wrong choices in this regard that can’t be corrected.

LWL: My hairdresser told me, “If you decide you don’t like it, just color it.”

David: It’s whatever makes you feel like the best you. Additionally, it just has to feel organic and honest. What’s honest is like what you’re doing, Caren — almost a badge of honor. Here’s a strong person, we can rumble with this person, it’s fantastic. Most of all, I feel more drawn to people who just let themselves be the best that they are.

Do you, fellow Little White Liars? Post in the comments.

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Post in the comments. Also, when you share your thoughts use the hashtag #LittleWhiteLie
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Think of David every time you see Usher (or anyone on the Red Carpet) and check him out at: to see how he has transformed the fashion world as a sought-after and respected style maker … for all ages.