About 10 years ago I decided it was time to be honest not only with myself but with the world. I stopped coloring my hair. In doing so, an interesting result has me rethinking that decision. I’ve become a non-entity. Sometimes it manifests in disregarding my opinion or my professional expertise. Other times I am simply invisible.
I have an expertise in a certain type of educational credits. When I try to convey the nuances and intricacies of it to someone who would like to take advantage of these credits I am dismissed out of hand. Another colleague who is older than I but thinner, dresses more expensively (because she can), and colors her hair is more believable even when saying the exact words I just said.
When I cross an intersection alone, more often than not I have to dodge cars that are turning right or left. One morning the driver of one car did stop, roll down her window and call out, “I’m sorry! I didn’t see you!”
When I stand in line at the library or in a grocery store, I am invisible to men who walk directly in front of me and stand as if I was never there. I clear my throat but remain ignored. One time I did say something and the man turned and frowned at me and said, “I just want to ask a question.”
So, if I color my hair again (Oy! the mess, the expense, the goofs!) will that return me to the land of the credible and visible? The weird thing is that I love my hair! I love watching the white slowly replacing the dark brown. But my self-esteem is slowly being eaten away.
So, what would you choose?