As parents, we want to be good role models for our kids and like most moms I work hard to set a positive example for my children in everything from manners and compassion to strength and sense of humor. But, on an admittedly more superficial level, I also want to set an example in terms of style, particularly for my daughter.
Even on days when I’m sagging and dragging, I shower and make myself look fair (on a bad day) or mildly fashionable (on a good day). Usually that involves figure-flattering jeans, wedges, a fresh pedicure, and some piece of jewelry to make me look polished. I won’t take the kids to school until I’ve put myself together — even sleep-deprived and sitting behind the wheel of a minivan, a girl’s gotta look her best!
Once you become a mom though, it’s not nearly as easy as it once was to look good. Beauty regimens get streamlined or skipped altogether — and primping and prettifying is tough to fit into hectic, kid-crammed days. Recently my efforts to keep up appearances took a turn for the worse when I noticed a line of gray hairs marching down my part line. My first impulse was to panic, grab my phone, and call the salon for the soonest possible appointment. Then, I recalled the Kate Middleton dustup a few months back and it gave me pause…
When it comes to having a gorgeous, style-savvy mom, royal cutie Prince George won the genetic jackpot. Kate is admired as one of the most fashionable women in the world and at 33, regularly wows in Issa dresses, LK Bennett wedges, flowing knee-length skirts, and designer fare by Alexander McQueen. The Duchess works with her friend-turned-stylist Emilia Jardine-Paterson to ensure she always looks picture-perfect — not a chipped nail in sight, not a hair out of place.
Except maybe a gray hair. When infallible Kate appeared shortly after giving birth, The Daily Mail reported: “The Duchess of Cambridge was as elegant as ever today in a claret LK Bennett coat… However, the glossy mane that inspired a million Chelsea blow-dries looked rather different: silver roots were clearly visible along the parting of her normally chestnut hair.” Sound the alarms! The appearance of Kate’s stray gray strands launched a firestorm of Internet chat, commentary by hairdressers, pregnancy experts, style columnists and others. Tom Sykes who writes The Royalist column for The Daily Beast, joked: “Alarming evidence has reached the Royalist that Kate Middleton may in fact be a mere mortal after all, after her second post-natal appearance yesterday revealed a shocking truth – Kate’s going gray.”
Good for her! Kate has proven time and again she isn’t unafraid to show some real mom moments. In her very first public appearance after giving birth, she allowed her baby belly to visibly show under a sweet, polka-dot dress… in other words, a mom showing proudly she is a mom.
Why can’t I do that? After all, plenty of fabulously stylish famous women aren’t afraid to go gray — from singer Emmylou Harris to actresses like Diane Keaton, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Helen Mirren. Even younger women like the stunning designer Maayan Zilberman have embraced it.
I applaud the empowering example set by moms like Kate Middleton as I consider how to handle the gray days that lay ahead of me. I can see a healthy dose of silvery strands emerging. Do I let them invade or fight them off?
For now, I’ve decided I’m not ready to be a silver fox. I want to salvage my golden-brown locks just a bit longer and I’m willing to pay big bucks to do it!
Of course, none of this has anything to do with setting a good style example for my daughter. It ultimately has to do with me – wanting to feel and look good. I love being a mom, but I also want to feel like a woman. Dressing and primping is for me, not my kids. They don’t notice my gray hairs… but I do… and before I can set a good example for my kids, I have to set a good one for myself.
So, I’m picking up the phone and making an appointment today. Kate has her chestnut tresses back in fine form with the gray now washed away — and I’m following in her footsteps. I’m happy to show my true colors… just not all of them and not quite yet.