Kristín's Hair Day Revisited
My Icelandic correspondent Kristín's post about her "Hair Day" triggered a personal rumination on the sensitive topic of the effects of aging upon one's sartorial splendor. It is an aspect of one's appearance that time relentlessly alters. Less color in the hair, less lustrous hair, less hair, period. She commented on the difference between men and women with gray hair: the man gains appeal while the woman loses it.
And why would that be? A man's gray hair could signify that he would be at the height of his powers with wealth and influence- a desirable combination in a potential mate. In a woman it could indicate experience and the wisdom that accompanies it- not so desirable to a man who might want a partner he could dominate, one that would selflessly (naively?) sacrifice herself in his support. A woman's sexual attraction to a mature, confident man, rather than a irresponsible youth, might overcome the beauty of 'Venus as a boy'. Conversely, a man's hormones trump his intellect- 'Venus as a girl' is a myth firmly grounded in reality.
Of course there has always been the cosmetic option. Dyes, wigs or toupees can fool some of the people some of the time, it all depends on how much the actor one wishes to be.
My hair, what's left of it, is 95% gray. Assuming I'm clean-shaven and neatly dressed, yes, it does make a difference. I'm apparently more respectable than I used to be, people will initiate conversations with me (what their intentions are is another matter.) That this assumption on their part is wholly without merit is about the only benefit of the situation.
But it's the unwanted hair growing everywhere on me except my scalp, growing with increasing vigor as I age, that is the worst part of it all.
The naked ape? Not quite.