Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Age Discriminations

In a popular Brad Paisley song called I'm Still a Guy, Brad sings, 'I don't highlight my hair, I've still got a pair.  Yeah honey, I'm still a guy'.  Which led me to think about (now that I'm approaching 50 in the next few - very few - years) the difference between highlighting and hair coloring.  One is strictly an attempt at beautification, the other is an attempt at defying age.  
A small difference maybe.  

Obviously many guys feel the compulsion to keep that virile look going by turning their gray hair to dark via one of the popular men's hair products such as Grecian Formula.  It may be partially pride, it may be partially effective marketing strategy, it may be that their wife wants them to.  

I would wager that those of us who are going gray would say that we don't care as much about the color as the presence of hair.  Especially when you can rock the gray like ol' Gandalf here.  Of course, many times going gray and balding go hand-in-hand.  Same type of problem.  Age related.  Cosmetic and superficial really.  The average U.S. consumer spent $616 on personal beauty care in 2008, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  If there was even 100 million 'consumers', that would come to over 60 billion dollars.  I know that 'beauty care' covers a lot more than hair coloring, but by comparison, less than 2 billion was spent on all types of cancer research that same year (according to the National Cancer Institute).  Gotta have priorities I guess.  

Going gray can be a distinguished look.  It's also probably the single most visible sign of age.  You can be young and fat, but you're not too likely to be young and gray.  
Proverbs 16:31 says:  Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life.
There's also a Greek proverb that goes, 'Gray hair is a sign of age, not wisdom'.


  1. Man. So much tied to that color, huh? I love gray hair on other people. George Clooney rocks the salt & pepper hair like no one's business. I also love it when older ladies have that long shiny silver or white hair, it's gorgeous. But then as soon as I see one popping through my bangs, I yank that sucker right out. Why is that? I guess I'm just not ready to be "distinguished" quite yet ;)

  2. I will admit that I have used coloring on my goatee before. It seems to be greying at a much faster rate than the rest of my head and I think it just looks weird like that.

    Wendy likes my salt & pepper look (getting saltier by the day...) and I don't really plan on fighting it, but I may continue trying to strike a balance between my head and my chin.

  3. Will Howlett11/10/2011

    i think it goes with anything else related to your the athletes say...look good-feel good, feel good-play good, play good-get paid.

    I'm not going to attempt to back this argument up with research, although i am sure it's out there. The way we feel about ourselves does affect our attitude and interactions with others. Job hunters are told to practice smiling before they go into an interview. Clothes make the man. I don't really have a Biblical parallel here other than "So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh" from Genesis 41. We are children of the King so i guess i should shave more often....

    Maybe a better passage would be "as a man thinketh-so is he" from Proverbs 23. So if i think i look good, then it may effect how i portray myself. I know i always feel better after a shower or on those other rare occasions that i dress up.

    We are also warned is Scripture not to worry about what we wear or eat or drink, but seek first the kingdom of God...

    Beauty is skin deep.

    Then when you read Song of Solomon where a woman's beauty is described in detail (PG-13) we know that beauty is something to behold...

    I really don't know where i am going with all of this rambling. I think if your focus is on your looks, this can easily lead to sin. In our culture many of us are driven by the sin of comparison. Looks is just one of the areas we commit this sin, We start looking at those around us and wish we looked different.

    We're also told that women should "clothe themselves with good deeds" so uh...where am i going with this?

    In the words of St Augustine "Love God and do as you please"

  4. Will, I'm glad you mentioned the sin of comparison, that is a HUGE one that comes up a lot in discussions between women. Not just with looks either but also a "well, so and so has this, so why don't I?" comparison trap. We definitely need to fight against this one, it's so dangerous.