Men Who Have Embraced Their Gray Hair Are Not Exempt From Ageism

The latest hair trend in Hollywood is taking color to a whole new shade. Over the years, women and men have tried to maintain their youthful looks by coloring their hair. The sight of even one gray hair meant a trip to the salon. Nowadays, that appears to be changing. Even A-list celebrities are giving up color and keeping their hair gray or even white. Does this latest trend show that society is now post-ageism?

From Andie MacDowell to George Clooney and Steve Carell, celebrities have recently been in the news due to the color of their hair. As these celebrities continue to age and star in hit TV shows and movies, people from all walks of life are jumping on the bandwagon.

Social media is just one example of where you can find men and women accepting their hair au naturale. Just search for #GrayHair, #SilverSisters, or #GrayHairDontCare on Instagram or TikTok. You’ll find millions of posts and videos using these hashtags. However, as you view these posts, you may start to see a trend. Women make up the vast majority of people posting and sharing these pictures and videos.

As we noticed more women posting their gray hair, we became curious about the lack of men sporting their silver hues. Do men have the same type of supportive community online like women? Although we often think of men as silver foxes as they age, is this realistic or do silver foxes only exist in the movies?

When COVID-19 began, many people were unable to go to the salon to have their hair colored. As stay at home orders were enforced, more and more people began showing off their graying hair. One celebrity who chose to let his hair return to its natural state was James Gunn, the actor and director best known for the Guardians of the Galaxy volumes. Back in November 2020, Gunn posted a picture after letting his hair go white.

Although many people praised Gunn for his white strands, a few people replied with ageist comments. One person commented, “Why would you dye your hair white? Is it real? I mean who wants to look like a grandpa at age 55?” Another person even questioned how long Gunn has been coloring his hair. “How quickly did that happen?” they asked. “Or have you been covering it up, like apparently Johnny Knoxville has been secretly gray since like season 1 of Jackass the TV show.”

Although men who have accepted their graying hair have been thought of as silver foxes for decades, apparently ageism still exists even for men in Hollywood. Plus, even as women have found a very supportive community on social media for their graying hair, ageism still exists in real life. Just ask Lisa LaFlamme, a Canadian news anchor who was fired from her job after growing out her gray hair. Obviously, we still have a long way to go when it comes to accepting aging.

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