Was Lisa LaFlamme’s silver hair weaponized towards her?

Was Lisa LaFlamme’s silver hair weaponized towards her?

Within the flurry of protection across the firing of Lisa LaFlamme from CTV’s flagship nightly newscast, social media pundits had been fast to flag the looks of ageism at play. The 58-year-old LaFlamme is a hero to many ladies, not only for her regular presence on the helm of main information tales, but additionally for her pandemic resolution to go gray in entrance of the cameras.

Week by week, LaFlamme boldly let her roots develop out, reflecting again the poignant actuality of what we had been all going via collectively. That look later remodeled into a chic silver bob.

The style world — admittedly a bubble the place traits get blown out of proportion — has embraced gray hair for girls in recent times, however the pure greying motion has been largely untested within the bigger enterprise world. Whereas male anchors (and different leaders) have been celebrated for his or her silver temples, lengthy seen as an indication of knowledge, ladies sitting within the large chair not often make that leap. May LaFlamme’s resolution to have a good time probably the most visible image of growing older have been weaponized towards her? And if that’s the case, what does that imply for the remainder of us who might wish to eschew the prices of the salon (each money and time) and embrace our pure gray?

LaFlamme’s selection impressed her viewers, however a latest report means that it was additionally the topic of debate with senior CTV officers, who allegedly questioned who allowed LaFlamme to “go gray.”

Hannah Mauser is a magnificence analyst on the worldwide trend-spotting agency WSGN, which produced the report Key Development 2023: The Gray Hair Motion. The motion, says Hauser, is all about giving folks the chance to embrace themselves absolutely. “Whether or not selecting to cowl up the gray hairs or not, it’s about letting folks know that both method it doesn’t change how they’re considered — they’ll stay authentically as themselves and have a good time the journey of going gray.”

Sounds nice, doesn’t it? However is the enterprise world prepared for all that progress?

Straying exterior the norms of acceptable presentation within the office can have tangible repercussions, says Jacyln Wong, an assistant professor of sociology on the College of South Carolina, whose analysis centres across the relationship between what folks appear to be and the way a lot cash they make. “The important thing discovering is that enticing people earn roughly 20 per cent greater than folks of common attractiveness,” says Wong. For ladies, says Wong, the hole “is totally defined by grooming.”

“Workplaces are gendered areas,” says Wong. “When workplaces reward grooming — together with magnificence work to ‘look younger’ — in ladies, they’re reproducing what it means to be a girl in our society: objects which are good to take a look at.” On this method, she says, “Workplaces can management folks’s behaviour.”

In different phrases, play the sport and also you’re rewarded; don’t play and also you’re punished. “Grooming indicators particular person ladies’s participation on this system of patriarchal domination,” says Wong. “Ladies may be rewarded for taking part in by these gender guidelines, and ladies who stray from what is taken into account acceptable presentation can anticipate to see these rewards withheld.”

Toronto movie star hair stylist Jason Lee, who coifs many high-powered heads, says his shoppers in artistic fields have extra leeway to go gray with impunity: “My shoppers who’re businesswomen have an ongoing concern about wanting younger.” Lisa LaFlamme, he says, made a “groundbreaking” assertion together with her hair: “She introduced the dialog to the forefront.” That sturdy place might have been the issue, he says. “Ladies should play the unstated recreation of wanting a sure solution to be handled a sure method. A public determine, broadcast into everyone’s houses each evening is a press release of a special magnitude.”

Longtime magnificence editor Liza Herz runs Oldish.ca, a website about growing older with verve. “CTV was a really distinguished place for LaFlamme to go gray in,” says Herz. “It confirmed large confidence. Take into consideration feminine TV journalists and what number of their mail and feedback are about their hair, make-up and the necklines of their clothes.” Herz factors out that LaFlamme’s hair, whereas uncommon for prime time in its hue, is as polished as any head on TV. “It’s an extremely subtle look. Even in LaFlamme’s video message [announcing her leaving the network] on the cottage. Who appears that put collectively at their cottage?”

In the case of the choice to age naturally or not, the core challenge is freedom of selection, says Toronto beauty surgeon Dr. Jacqueline Makerewich. “Societally, ladies concern that they’ll lose worth as they age and sadly, these fears lengthen to the working world. There are huge pressures on ladies to worth a youthful look, and these pressures are additional distorted in social media. This creates a cycle of ladies each agonizing and obsessing over unobtainable youth, and in addition sadly dictates what our inhabitants needs to see extra, or much less, of.”

This summer season, folks have been seeing lots of the ever present coastal grandmother look — suppose Diane Keaton in an outsized cardigan strolling alongside a Hamptons seaside — which appeared like a hopeful cultural signal of growing older acceptance. However this fall, that grey-chic blip is being changed by a brand new development: the “coastal granddaughter,” whereby 20-somethings experiment with dyed silver hair and linen.

All of which begs the query: Is silver hair like LaFlamme’s solely actually acceptable when it’s a fancy dress?


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