Today’s short minisode is about the thoughts I’ve had over the last couple of weeks as my salt and pepper hair continues to grow out. I know, it might sound trite and boring, but I do spend a decent amount of time thinking about the journey of aging in a culture that is obsessed with youth and beauty. 


In this minisode, I pose a question of curiosity for you. Not to tell you how you should age (dye your hair? Get botox?), but more importantly getting clear on WHY you’re making the decisions you are. 


Book recommendations:
You know how I love a good personal development book, right? I’ve compiled a list of book recommendations, as mentioned in past episodes. Check out these amazing book recommendations here. Happy reading!  

Right-click to download the .mp3



You're listening to Make Some Noise minisode number 476.

Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast, your guide for strategies, tools and insight to empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.

Hey, everyone, I hope you're having a great end of summer. It feels to me, I think just because I'm so excited that it's going to be fall, it's that in spring is my favorite are my favorite seasons. But alas, it is still summer and the humidity tells me so. Speaking of humidity, and what it has to do with my hair, I wanted to jump on this minisode to talk to you about something that I posted on social media last week and I had a different post on insert was the same picture, but it was a different post on Instagram than it was on LinkedIn. Are we connected on LinkedIn by the way? If we're not you can find me there. I think I’m @HeyAndreaOwen, or maybe just Andrea Owen, and just send me a message because I don't typically accept people who don't send me a message because makes me more nervous. Send me a message, tell me you listen to the podcast. Anyway, that's not what I came here to talk about.

You know, it's a different audience on Instagram than it is on LinkedIn. And I got my hair cut and I've been thinking about cutting bangs. Don't laugh. Oh, no bangs. I know. I cut bangs maybe once every seven years or so. I don't cut them, thankfully. I have before and it usually doesn't turn out well, but I have a fantastic stylist, she's been…so shout out, shout out to Kayla. And she's been so supportive in growing my gray hair out. Whereas my previous stylist was fine, but every time I brought up growing my gray out, he said the same thing. First thing that came out of his mouth, it's going to age you 10 years. And I was like I really, really just want you to be supportive, you know, and just… Anyway, there was other reasons that I left that salon. But as soon as I sat down, it was like I'm thinking about growing, migrate out waiting for the impact. And she was like, cool, okay, here are the options we can do to help with the transition if you if you don't want to go cold turkey. So she's been helping me through that and I have a pretty significant amount of regrowth out. She said I have about eight months left for to completely be grown out, which was so nice to hear. The whole process has been both a spiritual experience and small moments of panic. I would be lying if I said, I haven't regretted it that it's been great the whole time because there has definitely been moments where I have… Especially when I see. Like when I go to my tick tock videos that were just that I just did last summer, summer of 2021, and I'm blonde, and highlighted. And I'm like, oh, wow, that looks really good. You know, and I'm like, maybe I should just maybe I should just do it. Maybe it's just go back. And I have to talk myself out of it. It's like thinking about it. When I was in my early 20s I had a job that was the job that everyone was like, oh my God, that's the coolest job ever. How did you land that job. And it looked really great on the outside but it was it was terrible. I was an assistant buyer for a chain of a retail chain of surf shops. And it was awful. And I when I went to quit when I was going to put in my notice I wrote myself a note or myself a letter and it said if I ever think about coming back, and I was like a Dear Diary, this is how stressed out you are, this is how much you look at the trajectory of getting promoted and you don't want that for your life. It's the same… I've done it in relationships, too. If I ever think about coming back to this partner, here's all the reasons why you should not and I've done that with them on a smaller scale. I've done that with this decision to color my hair. And I've said it before and I'll say it again. A woman growing out her gray hair, especially in her 40s I think is an act of rebellion and I think it's a major decision that comes with, for some of us, it comes with some stuff. And I had told myself, when I turned 50, I'm going, that's when I'm going to do it. I'm going to grow it out and I kept seeing women that look like they were in their 40s with gray hair and I was like, well, there's one. There's one, you know, a little representation matters. Like there's someone, and sometimes I would stop and talk to them and ask them about it. And I finally, last fall, I just I made the decision. I saw it growing out, and I got so tired of being stressed out about my regrowth, I told Kayla, and I'm like, Alright, I'm gonna go for it. Don't do any more. Don't do any more highlights.

So last week, I want to get my hair cut. I knew that if I cut bangs, I do have a point to all this. I knew that if I cut bangs, you were really going to see that salt and pepper. And that was part of the point. I wanted to see if I liked it on my face. I wanted to really make a statement. Like look at what's happening to my hair, I'm growing it out. And it was a fantastic haircut. I mean, she's an amazing stylist. And I wrote on LinkedIn, this one particular story. I got some advice 10 years ago, from someone whom I had met, and she was in her early 60s at the time. She was a seasoned keynote speaker, and it was when I had just first became interested in speaking. And she asked me how old I was. And I said I was 37. And she said, oh, perfect. You're at the sweet spot age where you're old enough to be taken seriously, but not too old to the point where you're irrelevant. And I remember being kind of like, okay, I'm just kind of taking it and then also terrified to ask her what is the age where we're out of this sweet spot, when we're irrelevant, where we're not getting speaking gigs anymore, because we're considered too old, which I'm assuming men don't have this issue. It's just women. And I didn't ask her. I didn't ask her what her opinion was. And I have a feeling that she was saying it kind of tongue and cheek, but there was there was some damn seriousness to it. And it just got me thinking about the industry and for people who have, for all women, for sure. But especially for women who have what I call a face forward career, where me showing up on social media, me showing up on video, me showing up in the media, I'm gonna get up on stages, where my quote unquote, headshot matters. And the pressure that we face to stay in this sweet spot. And I scroll through social media, and I see women that are in their early 30s, or even younger and I feel that pang of like, okay, I am not that person anymore. I'm not that person.

And it, I just, I wanted to come on here, just to normalize… I'm not here to, you know, flip the middle finger to the patriarchy, which I often do, which I love doing, it's on my list of hobbies. Hobbies include flipping off the patriarchy. But you know that about me. Today, I want to just emphasize the journey that we're all on, regardless of what age you're at listening to this. But it's not linear and the thing that I can't stand, I can't stand this, I see this in the communities of women who are growing out their gray hair, I'll see a post where they'll, they'll talk about it, and they'll say things like, I'm never putting a mask on myself, again. I'm never going to conform to the constrictions of our culture. I'm never going to try to look younger than I really am. And do you see where I'm going with that? Like, that's all fine for you, but it's sort of like someone who loses weight and they post their pictures of when they were in a larger body, talking about how much they hated themselves when they were that size and just talking so disparagingly about their body. And I have probably done things like this before. I'm not saying I've been perfect. However, I have come to notice over the last probably you know handful of years, decade, how this can be dismissive and insulting and hurtful to people who are kind of like their quote unquote before picture. Their gray hair. Like if you want to keep dying Your hair until the day that you take your last breath, then do that. If you want to get all the plastic surgery that is offered that you can afford, or sometimes not afford, and that makes you feel beautiful, then do that. And it's a very slippery slope. And there are feminists out there who would argue with me, there are choice feminists, there are feminists who say, absolutely not, we need to turn the beauty industry on its head. And I see all arguments. However, I just want to tell you the thing that changed my mind about all of this.

So about maybe it was 10 years ago, I was interviewed for a documentary, I feel like it was called Milking It. I think that was the name of it. And they were talking about breast augmentation, and what's hilarious I don't even know if you can watch this documentary. But I was nursing Sydney, my daughter at the time. So it had to have been 10 years ago, at least. And I had milkers. Probably looked like I either was born with naturally large cheese or had breast augmentation. Neither were true. I just was breastfeeding and was a size probably D at the time, which is non-natural breast size. And I don't remember exactly what I said in the documentary, I probably would edit what I said and reframe. But I know that I said something to the extent of, if you're going to choose that, just make sure you understand why you're doing it and be honest with yourself about it. If you are saying because it makes me feel beautiful, like why does it make you feel beautiful? Is it because that we have a culture that values us more when we look a certain way? Just as long as you're clear. That's all I want. I just want to make sure that everybody knows the reason why. Because for a long time, I kept dyeing my hair because I was afraid of looking older. I was afraid of speeding up the process to feeling invisible in our culture, and in my career. I was dyeing my hair because I felt like it made me look more beautiful and I felt like it made me more acceptable, more worthy. All those reasons.

And this whole process, and somebody might say, I feel like you're overthinking it. Well, they can kindly fuck off. I have said so many times, we'll continue to say it. Just aging for a woman is for many of us. Not all but for many of us, is quite the experience that we have to rumble with. And sidebar, it's not just our appearance. As I record this right now… So my periods have been getting like close and close together. They've always been around 25 days. What am I on right now? Okay, 40 days. 40 days. I'm like, is this it? Like bracing myself. Anyway, I need to call my gynecologist. But it's not just our physical appearance. It's what starts to happen to our body, the physical changes. It's a thing. It's a thing. And I mean, you all know, this is no secret that I've, I've had a complicated relationship with aging. I'm not going to lie about it. I'm not going to pretend like it's no big deal or I'm so evolved, that I embrace it with ferocity. If that's you, or another podcast person who's in women's empowerment, fantastic. I applaud you so much. I on the other hand, I think I'm like the majority, grappling with it very messily. Very, very messy. But I'm doing it nonetheless, and I you know, I talked about things out loud.

But again, getting back to my point, just get curious, get curious as to the reasons why you do the things that you do. And the reason that I want you to get clear on it is not because you can feel like shit about it or get angry, is really just so we can have conversations about it. I think the more that we have conversations about it, like that's baseline. More that we talk about it the more we can talk to our adult daughters, the other women in our life, to our children, you know of all genders. It matters. If we are ever going to see ourselves out of these sorts of Eurocentric beauty standards, it has to start with having conversations about it that are candid, that are brought with some levity with complete transparency and not making people wrong for what they decide to do. Because once you do that, everything gets shut down. And that's when shame happens. And you know how I feel about shame.

Anyway, I think that's all I have for you today. I love you so much. I'm just so honored that I get to do this podcast and talk to you about these things that are important. Again, find me on LinkedIn. If you don't follow me on Instagram. I'm @HeyAndreaOwen, both of those places. I hope that you have a fantastic remainder of summer and remember everybody, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye for now.