This question and topic is primarily directed to the women in the audience, especially maturing women. Why are so many women of a certain age starting to request silver gray buzz cut hairstyles? I mean crew cut type buzz.
I was nominally aware of this seeming trend earlier but since I didn’t know the women I allowed that possibly they actually had gray hair and the buzz cut was their usual. However, in the past couple of weeks I have come across some women that while I don’t know them extremely well I am familiar enough to know they are not that gray and a buzz cut was not a style they wore in the past.
These women stayed in memory for a couple of reasons: I was familiar with them, and I didn’t think their interpretation of buzz cut was particularly flattering. Another reason the last one stood out was that she wore skin-tight denim
The crux of my query is the age of these new women showing up with buzz cuts. Across time women in various cultures have turned to very short cropped or clipped hair. In current fashion though, buzzed hair has tended to run among hipper younger women such as singer Sinead O’Connor or marketing and business blogger Naomi Dunford. (This is not a kiss up to IttyBiz. Naomi just happens to have one of the most flattering photos of a woman’s buzz cut available that is not associated with a questionable morality website.)
Usually around here we talk about writing, or how to handle a life transition, or goals, or even photos; which is why I bring this up. I think, and I could be wrong, that this transition might be an attempt to reinvent self-perception. Why I think this is that the women that pique my curiosity are later middle age and probably flirting with the onset of menopause. Also some of them have late teenaged children, especially daughters. In my mother’s generation of women approaching menopause there was a tendency to compete with their daughters through weight loss, skirt length, more cleavage, blonder hair, and a lot more make-up. Some of them looked pretty funny, others almost scary.
So how did we get on the topic? The heart of the matter is change and how we cope with change either real or perceived. A woman who is transitioning from hands-on stay-at-home mothering into her second career, whether it’s full-time or part-time or whatever, is likely entering some phase of the menopause cycle with its twists and turns orchestrated by her particular physical, emotional, and hormonal blueprint. Menopause is not often a welcome word in our society. In the past it was interpreted as the end of womanhood for practical reasons. Menopause today, while not quite welcomed by trumpeters, is becoming more frequently projected as a time of rediscovery rather than merely an end time.
What do the definitions of menopause have to do with silver-gray buzz cuts? It probably depends on the woman but I have two guesses: the women are looking to be the redefinition of modern mature women, or they have decided to not wait for gray in its slow haphazard pattern to takeover and instead meet it head on.
So what do you think about older women making such extreme changes in their appearance? What about your own journey into and through the events of the change of life? Do you see it as an end or a new beginning? Even though males do not have a physical phenomenon that correlates to the female menopause they too experience a midlife season of change and questioning, and so are welcome to comment on this topic.
Edit: Okay, I'm a dork; the links have been inserted. Sorry.