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Going Gray: What I Learned about Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Really Matters 1st Printing Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0316166614
ISBN-10: 0316166618
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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.

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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: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
Going Gray (What I learned about beauty, sex, work, motherhood, authenticity and everything else that really matters), by Anne Kreamer, Little Brown, New York, is the sort of book title that the average man would pass on as probably girlish fluff. If a bald man is seen perusing this volume in a bookstore, chances are he's read Nora Ephron and has recently had a pedicure.

And yet, stereotyping aside, Anne Kreamer has, almost inadvertently, written a book that, through the lens of its thesis, offers social and psychological insights into aging Americans of the demographic widely known as Baby Boomers. Today's fifty-somethings grew up in a culture that celebrated youth. With prescription medications now available to restore rosy optimism and sexual potency, what magic elixir might restore the appearance of youth? The elixir is hair color. The question Ms. Kreamer asks is existential: how does the magic in it work? And if there is no magic, what does that mean?

The answer is not immediately apparent; we take our belief systems for granted as valid, and hair color has evolved as a mainstay of middle age. It was not until the author saw a photograph of her dark-haired self next to her teenage daughter that the white lie of hair color began to resound larger implications for her. What is truth and what is illusion, and does one wear the other as a mask in this case? If truth is beauty, then untruth moves us closer on the reality grid to the locus of ugliness, but what person, especially in their fifties, wants to go there? Anne Kreamer pushes that query, hoping to discover new legitimacy for "nature's changing course untrimmed." What does she learn?

Many things: "How we choose to grow old is deeply idiosyncratic, a matter of individual taste and circumstance." Fair enough.
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