The title of this pithy book may either repulse or enthuse potential readers. The author is as honest in her writing as she was in selecting that title, and if you are one of the ones who picked up this book with a dreaded fascination, you definitely need to hunker down and discover what Going Gray is really about.
This reviewer takes mildly amused exception to the categories the publisher chose to label Going Gray, for truly, this book focuses on social commentary, self-searching and understanding, and cultural bias. Whatever category it comes up in, Anne Kreamer put her money where her mouth, and pen, was. Too bad some exec thought it was too fluffy to label serious.
Starting in our teens, and waxing and waning through our lives as adult women, hair dyeing is a topic that focuses on how we feel about ourselves, our environment, and our professional (or personal) predisposition. At 16 or so, we are experimenting with the exterior presentation of ourselves, testing out wild colors, funky hairdos and self-expression. As we mature, we move into the professional realm, and hair dye often becomes the manifestation of our youth, conformity and mate-seeking tactics. Depending on where we are at when we begin to gray, our reactions will vary widely, flowing from one extreme to the other, often on one head of hair.
For Ms. Kreamer, the special pressures to be conventional versus the desire for freedom and self-expression were a battle she didn’t think she wanted to fight. Nevertheless, the case studies, impromptu conversations and her own experiences drove her into an up-close-and-personal look at being gray, choosing gray, and choosing dye. Her researches took her into remarkable places for fascinating interviews and surprising polls. Because of her honest appraisal of her past, present, and future hair issues, this look at both the historical and conventional approaches to hair color is easy and enjoyable to read. Chapter titles include such provocative listings as
No matter what our choices in makeup, hair color, style or footwear, it is a great idea to really think about why we are doing what we are doing. It is certainly best to take honest appraisals of our options, and make them intelligently and personally. This book is highly recommended, whatever your age, gender, or interest in dyeing hair.
- My Mother, Myself, My Daughters – How We Decide How We Want to Look
- Red, White and Blue, but Seldom Gray
- Figuring Out Where You Stand – The Fountain of Youth Index
- Is Gray the new Black?