Lady Gaga, Kristen McMenamy | All the Grey-Haired Ladies

The grey-hair trend continues for fashionable women of every age. The initial buzz this week focused on Kristen McMenamy’s long grey locks on the September 2010 issue of Vogue Italia. The real jolt is seeing Lady Gaga grey on the cover of Vanity Fair’s September 2010 issue, shot by Nick Knight. (See all the photos on Sensuality News.)

Kristen McMenamy, now 46,  remains one of the first of the older models to go grey. Here she is in the current issue of youth culture/fashion bible “Dazed and Confused”.

Both Lady Gaga and Kristen McMenamy are ultra-confident women. We must take a grey hair-color detour for a moment. After all, this is the Body | Beauty | Culture channel.

Dazed Digital shares the recollection of Kristen McMenamy strutting down the fashion runway, saying “f*ck you” under her breath. Can we not see Gaga doing the same sister act? Better yet, Kristen McMenamy famously breezed right by the security at the Paris Ritz, striding into Versace’s fitting room and stripping down to her heels.

Furious that he thought she was too plump to model in his runway show, Kristen McMenamy confronted Versace saying “you call this fat?” She was hired on the spot.

Grey Hair and Sex Appeal

Virtually all London newspapers are running a story on going grey. The Independent makes some of the most provocative points about grey hair. Without a doubt, every woman should be a peace in her own skin. First and foremost, women must stop trying to be what everyone demands of them.

Like black lipstick and jumpsuits, grey hair marks you out as someone a bit outré – someone to fear or envy, but not to cuddle up to on the sofa. Unless you’ve gone naturally grey, of course, but in that case you’ll have droves of children or cats to do the cuddling, rather than a chap. via The Independent

The Independent’s Harriet Walker agrees that wearing grey hair is fierce. She’s not convinced it’s sexy, although we say the cut can work wonders in communicating that message. The Brits are also quoting a new UK survey saying that grey hair is what men fear most in themselves. If so, the implications for their views on women with grey hair are predictable.

Without a doubt, global culture is experiencing a backlash against the mantra of looking younger at any and all costs to a woman’s self-respect. Nicola Moulton, beauty and health director at UK Vogue, says that grey hair is about the total woman.

“I think there’s beginning to be a backlash to this eternal quest for anti-ageing that has led to so many celebrities looking falsely nipped, tucked and squeezed,” she said.

“Stopping at nothing to look just a few years younger is starting to look dated itself … which is why I think we’re seeing models and younger celebrities embracing things like wrinkles and a smattering of grey. via Telegraph UK

Both Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham have added grey streaks to their locks.

We say bravo to all the grey ladies, whatever their age. Fashion’s influence on self-perception is well established. Sending messages to women that we have a wide range of choices about looking glam and youthful is a win with great benefits for all women.

If you could care less about looking youthful, then you’ve earned the entitlement of being great at any age. The majority of us are working our way through the particularly unique challenge of looking youthful in America, when our culture still says we’re washed up at 28.

We’re wondering if French and Italian women dye their hair to the same degree that American women do, given their greater confidence as older women. With all Anne’s time in Europe, she doesn’t have a sense that older women there are particularly grey-haired.

Ideas anyone?

More reading:

Grey Hair on Young Women | Radical, Subversive Chic or Just Playing Around?