Friday, 20 April 2012

purple rinses

So it happens to all of us - age. We all grow older and when you're  young you're told that you should enjoy your youth and treasure every moment of it but that doesn't seem to make any sense really because you truly don't understand what it is that you apparently have.

Now, in the worlds that I come from looks are a hugely important thing, at times seemingly more important than health if you take cosmetic surgery into consideration. Growing up, there was a heavy demand on looks in the communities I lived in and I had all sorts of confidence issues and for a couple of years I remember trying very hard to never look in a mirror or a reflective window because what my head had to say about what it saw. I got through a lot of my teens and twenties turning the volume up on my personality so that I didn't have to face how I saw myself.

As a singer, a female singer, looks have always come into my work especially when I was signed and was told I shouldn't wear a dress shorter than than the knee due to someone's opinion that I didn't have 'good legs' or a few peoples questions about whether I had thought about losing some weight as I put a fair bit on. Even at university I was told I had been marked down by one of my tutors for not appearing as sexy as one of the other singers being marked. Difficult for the confidence - those types of comments really, and the demons started to lurk over my shoulder and it was a tough job shaking them off.

I had a streak of white hairs right through my teenage years - just a few of them that I never even questioned - in fact they made me feel quite special. I've fluctuated in weight all my life and gone from skinny skinny skinny to voluptuous. It always seems to be a shock to me a few months into either shape and then I buy a few new pieces for my wardrobe that make me feel good about my new shape and all is good again.

Now, this new change I face now is a tougher one it seems for me as I have been messing with my hair since I was 12 and have dyed it blue, red, orange, turquoise, pink, dreaded it, shoved it off, cropped it, grown it long and tye-died it, streaked it, extended it - you name it I have probably done it to my hair and enjoyed it. So, recently when I noticed that a fair percentage of my hair was growing in white I spent quite a while thinking about it. What to do? Do I keep dying it forever? Do I embrace the white? The crazy part is - I have been dying it for so long that now that I have stopped it feels bizarre every time I look in the mirror as I seem to be ageing in years daily ! Ha ha.

I am, however, curious about this new look. If white hair is natural surely it must suit us all?

Coming back to being a female singer... if not having 'good legs' or needing to lose weight is an obvious issue for the industry I am in - are white hairs going to be welcomed? He he. Don't think so. What to do? Have we really got a society that frowns upon ageing so much that we can't embrace it and see it as beautiful and a sign of wisdom. Must all singers in my field reflect youth? Do men have the same problem in the industry? Will I get less work?

Cool Down Rewind is out in two weeks as a single for radio with a brand beautiful new remix by the unbelievably talented Davies Quiet my long time wonderful friend and guitarist and I'm getting radio play and hopefully some tv features soon. What to do? Do I go on breakfast tv with my new found hairdo or do I play the game everyone's playing and does that then lead to pulling my skin over my head and into my neck?

Will I find it even harder that I already do in my career if I have a peppered hairdo? Should that matter? Should I be one on the ones to embrace it and make it feel beautiful to me. Should I just get on with this and find some new outfits to suit my new hair? Please please send me your thoughts. I'm intrigued to see what you all think.


Ps here's are some lovely words to listen to about ageing...


  1. stephanie perrin20 April 2012 at 19:02

    Just look at the truly beautiful Judy Collins, Emmylou Harris and I am sure there are a lot more.... You have a choice and it is YOUR choice. S*d everyone else.

  2. Here's my suggestion - read this poem RIGHT NOW! "Warning - When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple" by Jenny Joseph. Go on - google it, and when you've read it make your own mind up! Love you just the way you are - whatever that way is xxx

  3. Warning

    When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
    With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
    And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
    And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
    I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
    And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
    And run my stick along the public railings
    And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
    I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
    And pick flowers in other people's gardens
    And learn to spit.

    You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
    And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
    Or only bread and pickle for a week
    And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

    But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
    And pay our rent and not swear in the street
    And set a good example for the children.
    We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

    But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
    So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
    When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
    Jenny Joseph

  4. Hi Kirsty,
    thanks for sharing these thoughts... My first white hair appeared when I was 18 years old, and twenty years later, well: quite a bit of salt in the black pepper there is, and in the interim there have also been a few comments that took some reflection and humour to accept.
    Luckily, not being a performer means that pressure hardly builds up and I'm now comfortable with the lightening; I choose healthy hair over some convention telling us that only men can carry off the silver fox look with aplomb.
    To be perfectly honest, there is also the time it would take to maintain a groomed and coloured hairdo (quite apart from the cost) and I can think of many things I'd rather do than put dyes on those follicles!

    So if you can find it in yourself to resist the urge to cover up, by all means do so!
    Anytime I look in the mirror and catch myself equating white hairs and "old", I just remind myself that many people I would describe as beautiful aren't as dark as they once were...

    And to finish with a song, here's a link to a song entitled "The White Haired Young Woman":,la-jeune-fille-aux-cheveux-blancs,vpxk5.html

    I wish you well