For many years Sarah Jessica Parker has been an icon. A fashion icon and an award-winning actress, the woman has a huge fan base and has enjoyed a successful career. Now 57 years old, she is becoming iconic for a different reason: The way she is fighting the battle to allow women to age. In 2021 when the internet went into a frenzy over her gray hair, she clapped back in the best, most age-positive way.
Sarah Jessica Parker Doesn’t Care What You Think About Her Gray Hair
In 2021, a photo went viral of Sarah Jessica Parker out to lunch with her friend and fellow actor Andy Cohen. However, the photo didn’t go viral, because of the two stars in the photo. Rather, it went viral over SJP’s hair. The 57-year-old actress was sporting gray and white roots. These roots were not something done purposefully from the salon, but rather were just the signs of natural aging. (1)
Needless to say, the internet nearly had a meltdown. Many commented saying that with her gray hair and wrinkles she looked old. While there were positive comments, more were speaking about how Sarah Jessica Parker had “let herself go”.
“There’s so much misogynist chatter in response to us that would never. Happen. About. A. Man,” she said in an interview with Vogue. “ ‘Gray hair gray hair gray hair. Does she have gray hair?’ I’m sitting with Andy Cohen and he has a full head of gray hair, and he’s exquisite. Why is it okay for him? I don’t know what to tell you people! Especially on social media. Everyone has something to say. ‘She has too many wrinkles, she doesn’t have enough wrinkles.’ It almost feels as if people don’t want us to be perfectly okay with where we are, as if they almost enjoy us being pained by who we are today, whether we choose to age naturally and not look perfect, or whether you do something if that makes you feel better. I know what I look like. I have no choice. What am I going to do about it? Stop aging? Disappear?”
Andy Cohen was 100% on Sarah Jessica’s side. He agreed with her that all the hateful comments towards her graying hair and wrinkles were so misogynistic. He, after all, was sitting right next to her sporting a full head of white hair and wrinkles of his own. No one said a thing about his appearance, they only focused on Parker’s.
“She’s sitting next to me… and all the articles [are] ‘Sarah Jessica Parker, she’s going gray, she looks old.’ It was insanity. People just missed the mark totally,” he said. “It was misogynistic, and she was so right.” (2)
Aging Is A Privilege
Sarah Jessica Parker says the truth is she is a busy woman who doesn’t have time to keep up with her roots every two weeks. Since being photographed and being out with her gray hair, she has endured months of people calling her “brave”. She says that needs to stop – it’s not being brave, it’s aging normally.
“It became months and months of conversation about how brave I am for having gray hair,” she said. “I was like, Please, please applaud someone else’s courage on something,” (3)
SJP also says she doesn’t understand why she has to spend so much time thinking about her aging hair and skin. She knows that aging is a privilege. It is also inevitable. The only alternative to aging is dying young, which she is not prepared to do. She also disregards the notion that women with gray hair and wrinkles are less valuable than younger women. As a middle-aged woman, she says she is better than ever.
“We spend so much time talking about the accumulation of time spent adding up in wrinkles, and it’s the weirdest thing that we don’t say it adds up to being better at your job, better as a friend, better as a daughter, better as a partner, better as a caregiver, better as a sister,” she explained. (4)
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A New Era of Women
As many iconic Hollywood actresses are aging, we are seeing a push for inclusion and acceptance of older females more than ever before. Many of them, though they have more years on them, don’t wish to be made irrelevant or stuck to only certain types of roles. They can still be leading ladies, and they believe that stories need to be told about women in their 40s, 50s, and so on.
The new installment of the classic series Sex And The City has set out to achieve just that.
“When we announced And Just Like That…, there were a lot of positive reactions, but one bitchy response online was people sharing pictures of the Golden Girls. And I was like, ‘Wow, so it’s either you’re 35, or you’re retired and living in Florida. There’s a missing chapter here,’ ” said producer Michael Patrick King.
“I like that we’re not trying to youthify the show. We’re not including, like, a 21-year-old niece,” agreed co-star Cynthia Nixon.
“I think it’s revolutionary to do a show about middle-aged women, with their aging lady bodies,” said staff writer Samantha Irby.
Personally, we can’t wait to more from Sarah Jessica Parker, gray hair, wrinkles, and all.
Keep Reading: “I Want to Live to Be 105 to See Him Graduate,” the Story of the Doctor Who Became a Father at 83
- “And Just Like That…Carrie’s Back! Sarah Jessica Parker Opens Up About a Grand Return.” Vogue. Naomi Fry. November 7, 2021
- “Andy Cohen Praises Sarah Jessica Parker for Slamming Criticism of Her Gray Hair: ‘She’s Right’.” People. November 11, 2021.
- “Sarah Jessica Parker, 57, says she is not ‘brave’ for rocking gray hair: ‘Please applaud someone else’s courage on something’.” Yahoo. June 24, 2022.
- “Sarah Jessica Parker Asks Fans to Stop Calling Her Gray Hair ‘Brave’.” People. Giovana Gelhoren. June 24, 2022.