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Going Gray: What I Learned about Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Really Matters Hardcover – September 10, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0316166614 ISBN-10: 0316166618 Edition: 1st Printing

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st Printing edition (September 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316166618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316166614
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kreamer has been creative director of Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite and columnist for Martha Stewart Living. She has a loving husband (author and radio personality Kurt Andersen) and two daughters. She was 49 and still pretending to be young. So not only did she decide to stop coloring her hair, she set out to discover the practical implications of going gray. If she wanted, could she still find men willing to date her? Was gray a handicap in the job market? Not surprisingly, she found that it isn't so much what other people think, it's how we feel. Her consultants reminded her that hair color is only one part of a woman's appearance; a new haircut, well-selected cosmetics, new clothes and even plastic surgery will affect the success of a woman's look. Kreamer's chatty, confessional style is appealing, as are the gray-positive cultural icons she invokes (George Clooney, Helen Mirren, Emmylou Harris). But when she declares, I remain at least as vain as the next person. I intend to continue spending large sums to have my hair cut and styled, she undercuts her own argument that repackaging ourselves can be a dangerously slippery slope. In the end, she's learned to accept her own aging; readers over 55, however, may find that premature. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Anne Kreamer is the former executive vice-president and worldwide creative director of Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, and a co-founder of SPY magazine. She currently writes a monthly column for Martha Stewart Living and is a former columnist for Fast Company. Kreamer lives in Brooklyn with her husband, novelist and journalist Kurt Andersen, and her two daughters.

More About the Author

I became a writer in my forties. Before that I'd been fortunate to work in a lot of wonderful places. In the late 1970s and early 80s I was part of the team that distributed and co-produced Sesame Street around the world. A few years later I helped launch SPY magazine, about which has been said, "It's pretty safe to say that SPY was the most influential magazine of the 1980s." In the 1990s when my kids were young I had the perfect job -- Worldwide Creative Director for Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite, where I created and launched Nickelodeon magazine.

At the turn of the century, I switched careers becoming a columnist for the cutting-edge business magazine Fast Company. After that I created the monthly "American Treasures" column for Martha Stewart Living. In 2007 I published my first book, Going Gray, What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity And Everything Else That Matters, and wrote a Yahoo blog, "Going Gray, Getting Real." Random House will publish It's Always Personal, my new book exploring the new realities of emotion in the workplace.

Although I now live in Brooklyn, with my husband, the author, Kurt Andersen (Turn of the Century, Heyday, Reset), and our two great daughters, I was born in Kansas City and will always consider myself a Midwesterner at heart.

Customer Reviews

Very well written, entertaining and a quick read.
Amazon Customer
And that is fine to say for a few pages which is when this book should have ended.
Terri J. Rice
Fortunately she had beautiful white hair and it really looked nice.
Valerie B. Lull

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 63 people found the following review helpful By 1voracious reader on September 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Turning 50 this year, I started to notice that my so called "friends" were pointedly asking me when I was going to begin coloring my hair. It never occurred to me, before reading Anne Kreamer's wonderful book, to ask them why they were coloring their hair. Interestly, many of my friends were aware of Ms. Kreamer's book, but none had the interest, nor I guess, the courage to read her book. It is really a facinating memoir about one woman's decision to go gray. While some may argue that because she was a woman of privilege and the choice to go gray would not monetarily affect her, it truly is an important memoir about how one woman sees herself growing older.

Her story resonated with me. I was empowered by her candor. I applaud Ms. Kreamer for writing this book and hope mothers' of daughters ultimately read it.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By K. B. Fenner VINE VOICE on October 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anne Kreamer dyed her hair for fun for decades until she saw herself in a photo. Her too-dark hair made her look old and harsh. The photos are available for us to see. She did. She decided to see what her hair looked like as its natural gray. In the photo, it looks more fabulous, sexy, elegant. She dissects the various attitudes towards gray hair with the voice of someone who you'd like as a girlfriend. If you're tired of spending huge amounts of time and/or money to color your hair in an attempt to look younger, give this a read. She may wellhwlp you take the plunge towards being your true, most excellent self. Going gray, you'll save money and time and most likely look and feel far better to boot.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ginger on December 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay, I'll admit it. I needed a bit of support in order to garner the strength to let my natural silver grow out. My family heritage from my father's side is to go prematurely gray. He was 100% gray by age 20, my brother by age 30. After the monthly ritual of coloring my hair for twenty years in order to maintain my idea of 'youth' I had no idea when I went 100% gray, but I do know the silver sprouts started in my teens. They were growing in earnest after the birth of my first child in my 20's, thus the haircolor habit began.

I had been toying with the idea of going natural for several years. I eat organic food, plus use natural cosmetics and cleaners. It seemed counter intuitive to be soaking my scalp in petroleum chemicals once a month so other people would view me a certain way (i.e. young). I developed an allergic reaction to haircolor last August, culminating in welts on my scalp and forehead. The final decision was made for me. I'll let the silver grow out.

After coloring my hair for all these years, going natural made me face my fears. I could hide behind blonde hair all these years; it gives the illusion of youth. But, it can also blur individuality. At one point, it is possible to blend in with the other 40 or 50 or 60-something dye-job blondes. I don't want to erase who I am, it is time to define it. There is no more hiding when you go gray.

Anne Kreamer's research and insight gave me the boost I needed, plus looking at images of gorgeous silver-haired ladies online. (Emmylou Harris is stunning. Jamie Lee Curtis is my hero.) Okay...if they can do this, so can I.

My natural color is about 50% grown out now, and I have to say that it's more of a sparkling silver than I realized. I might actually like this better than the blonde.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Linda on December 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
To borrow a phrase from fashionistas, gray is the new black thanks to Anne Kreamer. Anne's book confirms what I've felt for a long while: there's nothing wrong with growing old honestly and authentically. I've tried without success to allow myself to go gray, but my hairstylists wouldn't allow it (of course not, they'd be losing a customer). Anne's research and personal experience are very helpful to women who'd love to but don't dare grow old gracefully and reminds us that we're our own worst critics. Readers will enjoy her tales of field research, and will hold their heads a little higher when they read her anecdotes of being hit on by younger men despite being "over." This great little book has encouraged me to defy convention and do what I've always done--walk to the beat of my own drum. Be bold, be brave, be a trendsetter and fire your colorist! Reveal your true self and the rest shall follow. Starting right now, I'm joining the Gray Girls bandwagon!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By pairofarrars on January 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Wonderful is all that needs to be said. For years I colored my hair a nice dark brown. Recently I decided to see who was under that hair and let the grey grow out, got a short chic haircut and loosed myself on all our unsuspecting friends and family. Boy was I surprised at the responses...everyone loved it! I was told that the grey hair made me look younger!! Imagine that...I never would have. A younger coworker came up to me and told me that I looked so chic and sophisticated that I should be a model. You just never know do you? For those considering it, this book may give you the added courage you need. Sometimes you just have to do it, and be pleasantly surprised.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By orpament II on October 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'm in the middle of reading this and I am really enjoying this book. I'm 52 and yes, I do color my hair. From what people tell me, they can't tell (but maybe they're being "nice"); I tend to have kind of lighter toned hair and so the gray doesn't come in in a "skunk stripe" as it does for some dark-haired folks.

I have to admit that I've wondered why some women go gray but now I look at women all around me in a different way. A lot of my peers are struggling to hang onto their youthful looks, but let's face it...very few people at 50 and up can erase the neck-thing (my neck gives away my age even though I tend to look younger in general). There really IS nothing uglier than someone with a dark cap of hair on an old(ish) face.

I will continue to dye my hair for a while (my friend says it's not time for me to go gray yet)but this author's approach is definitely on my mind...I'm just not ready for it yet. I really enjoyed being reminded and enlightened about the prejudice that people hold toward women who go gray and how it effects their love lives, work lives, and how people perceive them in general. I guess there's some hope in that she found men on this earth who really liked women who had gray hair.

She really confirmed my own feelings about wasting a ton of money on hair upkeep...every time I get my hair colored I feel like kicking myself because I could be using that load of money for better things...yet, I'm still not secure enough in who I am to quit doing it yet...

I think it's lousy that men continue to be perceived as sexy as they age while women are looked at as being old grandmas with no sexual interests.
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