Anne Kreamer considered herself a youthful 49 until a photo of herself with her teenage daughter stopped her in her tracks. In one unguarded moment she saw herself for what she really was -- a middle-aged woman with her hair dyed much too harshly. In that one moment Kreamer realized that she wasn't fooling anyone about her age and decided it was time to get real and embrace a more authentic life. She set out for herself a program to let her hair become its true color, and along the way discovered her true self.
Going Gray is Kreamer's exploration of that experience, and a frank, warm and funny investigation of aging as a female obsession. Through interviews, field experiments, and her own everywoman's chronicle, Kreamer probes the issues behind two of the biggest fears aging women face: Can I be sexually attractive as a gray-haired, middle-aged woman? and Will I be discriminated against in the work world? Her answers will surprise you.
In searching for the balance between attractiveness and authenticity, Kreamer's journey of middle-aging illiminates in a friendly, useful, and entertaining way the politics and personal costs of this generation's definition of "aging gracefully.
Kreamer has been creative director of Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite and columnist for Martha Stewart Living. She has a loving husband (author and radio personality Kurt Andersen) and two daughters. She was 49 and still pretending to be young. So not only did she decide to stop coloring her hair, she set out to discover the practical implications of going gray. If she wanted, could she still find men willing to date her? Was gray a handicap in the job market? Not surprisingly, she found that it isn't so much what other people think, it's how we feel. Her consultants reminded her that hair color is only one part of a woman's appearance; a new haircut, well-selected cosmetics, new clothes and even plastic surgery will affect the success of a woman's look. Kreamer's chatty, confessional style is appealing, as are the gray-positive cultural icons she invokes (George Clooney, Helen Mirren, Emmylou Harris). But when she declares, I remain at least as vain as the next person. I intend to continue spending large sums to have my hair cut and styled, she undercuts her own argument that repackaging ourselves can be a dangerously slippery slope. In the end, she's learned to accept her own aging; readers over 55, however, may find that premature.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Thank you, Anne Kreamer, for a wonderful, insightful look at your “Going Gray” journey! Having recently decided to go back to my natural color and being 4 months into the journey, I found Anne’s experiences, experiments, and humor immensely comforting and validating. This is a must read for any woman who has decided or is contemplating becoming comfortable with her natural self.