Oh, the dreaded first gray hair.
I have yet to spot mine, but I'm fairly certain my grandma was white in her 40s, so that day might not be too far off. Until I met Cindy Joseph, I hadn't given much though as to what I might do when my 100-percent natural blonde hair is no longer. Cindy makes silver (not gray!) look fabulous and I'm not the only one who thinks so: Dolce & Gabbana, Ann Taylor and Boden all think she's pretty hot stuff, hiring this beaut for national ad campaigns. I talk to her about embracing her natural hair color, beginning a modeling career in your late 40s and why embracing, not fighting, age is more fun.
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Let’s get down to business: What did you quit & why?
I quit coloring my hair. I felt like it was a lie. I wanted to know what it felt like to experience what it is like to surrender to what Mother Nature painted and embrace authentically all the aspects that the next stage of life was offering me.
I wanted to show the world that over 45 can bring a realistic and genuine beauty. I wanted to create a beautiful and positive image of age, without covering up the physical signs of age.
What did your life feel like before you quit coloring your hair?
Trapped. I was not free. I felt my energy was stuck because I was hiding something.
What pushed you to quit?
I had been discovering how wonderful aging was. I was getting better as time went by, as the world was telling me that I would get worse. I realized that most people in our society do not have a positive image of aging. I wanted to show my age so others could see that age is sexy, healthy, full of vitality and enthusiasm as well as came along with silver hair, crows feet and age spots. I find all of these physical traits as badges. They are medals of honor we earn as we live a rich and passionate life.
Was it a specific moment, a constant internal nagging or something else?
It was an epiphany I had during a conversation I was having with someone about age.
The hardest part about quitting?
Waiting for the real hair to grow in. Being patient is the hardest part.
Was quitting scary for you? Why or why not?
I was excited and a little nervous wondering how I would look. I had to break through my own conditioning and prejudice about looking older.
How did you feel immediately after you quit?
Exhilarated. Scared. Thrilled.
How do you feel now?
Free and fabulous!
Not one bit. It started a whole new career for me! I was approached in the street the day I cut off the last bit of dye and asked to model for a world wide fashion campaign! [check out some of Cindy's modeling photos.]
The most amazing thing that’s happened since you quit?
Well, that was it. It was like the Universe gave me a reward for facing my fear and going for what I believed in!
How has quitting changed your life?
I not only have had a 15 year career modeling specifically because I went silver, my modeling career was the platform for my pro-age skin care line, as well as the impetus to spearhead the Pro-age Revolution!
Advice to someone who’s considering going silver?
Do not judge your natural hair color by three inches of silver roots. Let it grow all the way out. Get a fun hair style.
Show off your locks! You might be amazed by the color you discover. Grey, snow, silver, pewter, salt and pepper. Silver comes in many different tones and colors and dimensions. Just like blondes, reds, browns and blacks Be proud in your age and your body and your features.
Give those younger than you hope that age is fun and challenging and exciting. Let them know that you become more of who you are and that you become better with time. You are more experienced and skilled. You have more self knowledge and wisdom. You can only add on to who you are as time goes by. Remember that aging is simply another word for living.
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Want more Cindy? Of course you do! Find her on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Her makeup line, BOOM! by Cindy Joseph, is designed "for women who want to reveal their genuine beauty with an honest and realistic approach." No shellac here, just nice natural stuff to enhance what you're already working with.
Check out my other Quitters stories in the archives.
Have a great Quitter story? Share it! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.