Hair Dye

>> Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Many years ago, when Gloria Steinem turned forty, someone complimented her on how remarkably young she looked, and she replied, "This is what forty looks like." It was a great line, and I wish I'd said it. "This is what forty looks like" led, inevitably, to its most significant corollary. "Forty is the new thirty," which led to many other corollaries: "Fifty is the new forty," "Sixty is the new fifty," and even "Restaurants are the new theater," "Focaccia is the new quiche," et cetera.

Anyway, here's the point: There's a reason why forty, fifty, and sixty don't look the way they used to, and it's not because of feminism, or better living through exercise. It's because of hair dye. In the 1950s only 7 percent of American women dyed their hair; today there are no parts of Manhattan and Los Angeles where there are no gray-haired women at all.
~Nora Ephron, "On Maintenance," I Feel Bad About My Neck

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