Hell is Other People

Just quoting Jean-Paul Sartre there. This isn’t just a blog about going grey, you know. You get the odd philosophical quote thrown in as well! What JPS meant when he wrote this is that our opinion of ourselves is intrinsically linked to other people’s opinions of us. We cannot figure out who we are without taking into account other people’s judgements of us. This is hell in its truest form.

Now, I’m not saying I agree with him *sideeye*. However, in my experience, a lot of people eventually reveal themselves to be idiots who are unable to keep their opinions to themselves. This presents all manner of problems for one’s self worth.

I have spoken to a lot of people in the course of writing this blog, most of whom are going grey themselves. I would say that 90% of them have received some sort of negative reaction to their choice (although it’s not always a choice, of course). I have been pretty lucky so far. As I mentioned in another post, my mum told me that I needed to put some colour on my hair, but otherwise I’ve had nothing but positive and supportive reactions. Either that or people simply haven’t noticed.

Other people haven’t been so lucky. People’s mums have told them that going grey will make them look old, or that men won’t fancy them anymore. People’s colleagues have told them that it’s indicative of the fact that they don’t care about their appearance. Other people’s acquaintances have told them that they think it will look terrible and they’ll eventually go back to dyeing their hair.

Now, as someone whose life mantra is ‘don’t be a dick’ (except when I’m being a dick, of course), I am astonished by this level of rudeness. I am astonished by people’s rudeness on an almost daily basis, but unsolicited comments on people’s appearance really get my goat. The level to which people pay attention to what other people are doing is unreal. People are obsessed with other people. Maybe it helps them to feel better about their own insecurities. Maybe they’re just nosy parkers who can’t keep their mouths shut. Maybe it’s the rise of social media, whereby people now have a forum to voice their opinion on everything, and carry this over into everyday life. Whatever it is, it has to stop. I was always taught that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Perhaps people should start remembering that.

Another thing is, most men don’t have to deal with this level of criticism about their appearance. But that’s a different rant blog post entirely…


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