Thursday, August 30, 2007

Are Men Attracted to Women With Gray Hair?

If you were to ask me, I'd say no. But Peter says yes.

In 2002, he and I went to New Orleans (without kiddies) and took a walking tour of the Garden District. Among our group was what I thought was an older woman with striking silver hair and beautiful skin.

"That's what I want to look like when I get old," I told Peter.

"Old? She's not old," he said. "Look at her. She's not even 50."

I sneaked a longer look. No, she probably wasn't even 50, but, boy, she was striking.

Peter's always telling me I should stop coloring my (heh heh) prematurely graying hair. "Be proud," he says.

"I am proud," I tell him. "I just don't want to be invisible"

Interestingly enough, the current issue of More magazine features an article by a woman who performed an experiment to see if men are indeed attracted to women with gray hair.

The author, Anne Kreamer, said she came across a survey that reported, "An overwhelming 86 percent of women and 91 percent of men said they would not date someone with gray hair, preferring instead someone who looks younger."

Kreamer set out to find the truth by posting two photos on Match at separate intervals, first as a brunette, and then with gray hair. Surprisingly, the gray-haired photo pulled considerably more looks and "winks" (a Match term meaning that a looker wants to exchange emails). She retried the experiment several times, targeting different geographic areas, but her findings remained consistent.

Enboldened, she and a friend went out to Pete's Tavern near Gramercy Park in New York (nice place, by the way). She sat down next to an attractive man, sensed interest on his part, and started flirting (turns out he was a 39-year-old electronics specialist with the Merchant Marines).

Eventually, she told him the truth about her experiment and asked his opinion of her gray hair.

"Men just don't care about that," he told her.

As for the rest of this particular issue of More, I liked it. A financial planner at my entrepreneurial group brought a back-issue to our meeting yesterday and recommended we check it out. I'm glad I did. I subscribe to more magazines than I can shake a stick at, but I just may make room for one more.

Strangely enough, I just check the More website, which includes an article about how to color hair. According to the accompanying blurb:

"Blond, brunet, or gray, the perfect shade can trim years off your look. Use these expert tips to find your best color."

Are you confused yet? I am.

3 comments:

littlem said...

I heard about this. The majority of HR "executives" at that level of recruitment tend to be women ("Stepford Wives", as I've heard it put) who judge women twice as harshly as men -- especially when they know that there's going to be another level of review by their client company and their own judgment -- and therefore their retention of that client -- may be on the line.

By contrast, men tend to extrapolate. What Pete thinks is what Pete thinks every man thinks ("men just don't care" -- how does he know? Has he polled every one?) because men tend to generalize from their experience and see folks with different opinions as "the exception" or just plain "wrong".

Terry said...

You heard about what? I'm not sure I know what HR executives you're talking about.

Also, Peter didn't say, "Men don't care." The guy in Pete's Tavern said it.

"Men tend to generalize from their experience?" I think you tend to generalize from your experience.

The Cheap Gourmet said...

I colored my hair for 30 years. I was 42 when I married my first (and only) husband who is 10 years younger. He calls me his "Cougar" - a term now used for women who are dating/married to younger men.

He begged me to stop coloring my hair, so I gave it a try. Turns out I have beautiful white gray hair with a touch of golden blonde highlights. Now, I'm wishing I hadn't spent all that money on hair color.

Now that I'm almost 50, I could care less about my hair color. I'm much more concerned about staying healthy and living life to the fullest. It ain't easy being a Cougar ;-)