Sarah Jessica Parker: Stop calling women ‘brave’ for rocking gray hair

When Sarah Jessica Parker decided to do And Just Like That, she decided to let Carrie Bradshaw have gray hair. In photos, it looks more like gray-streaked white-blonde hair, which Allure calls “herringbone highlights.” This is the jumping off point for Allure’s interview with SJP – they’re talking about gray hair and how rocking your natural gray hair is not particularly “brave.” SJP has many thoughts about aging, bravery, beauty and self-acceptance. I even agree with some/most of what she’s saying here! Too bad she’s a complete a–hole on other subjects. Some highlights:

The conversations around her gray hair: “It became months and months of conversation about how brave I am for having gray hair. I was like, please please applaud someone else’s courage on something!”

Whether she would, in a dream scenario, like to look like she did 15 years ago: “So you’d have that moment and then you’d immediately start aging again and 15 years later you’re in the same place. What’s the point? I just… don’t care enough. When I walk out the door, I want to feel OK — according to my standards. I can’t even tell you what those standards are. But you know how you feel when you feel most like yourself, whatever that means. I’m not without vanity. I guess I just don’t care enough about everybody else’s opinion… I just don’t understand why I’m supposed to be spending that much time thinking about it. It’s not that I’m purposefully dismissive or delusional. But I don’t really ponder it. There’s been far more peripheral chatter about my time spent on earth than I’ve spent thinking about it myself.”

SJP on the positives of aging: “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. Instead it’s: ‘How do we suspend the exterior? How do we apologize for it? How do we fix it?’ We never talk about that with the other sex. We don’t say to them: ‘Here’s a cream to pretend this didn’t happen.'”

On people’s vanity: “I don’t condemn those who have more vanity than I do, or those that have less. I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong way to have a relationship with aging, living, time spent on earth. But mine is that there are a million things I want to do with my free time, and none of them have to do with preserving [what I look like] now, or trying to get back to 15 years ago. All I think about is like, ‘Where am I going to eat? What books am I gonna bring with me? Can we get into that strange little restaurant? Will the water be warm enough where I wanna swim? Also, Wordle.”

She actually does have a skincare regimen: “It’s not that I don’t take a moment every night and wash my face and put on moisturizer. I do!” Parker says she’s now fully converted to RoC’s Hydrate and Plump Moisturizer: “I put it on every morning and then when I get to the theater… “I mix it with my base.” And from the neck down, the entire Parker-Broderick clan uses Neutrogena’s Light Sesame Formula Body Lotion — “I put it on my whole body, including my feet, every night.”

[From Allure]

She also says she gives herself pedicures using stuff she finds at the local drugstore, like a pumice stone and regular old lotion. Which makes me feel better, honestly, because that’s the kind of stuff I do. I care about aging but I’m also cheap! I use a drugstore night cream and eye cream and I use the good Vaseline-brand cocoa butter lotion for dry skin. But like SJP, I try not to judge other people for what they’re doing. Alright, I judge a little bit, especially when the work is really bad or an actor with a famous face looks completely f–king different. Now, all that being said… SJP actually does care that people are criticizing her looks these days. I’m sure it does hurt her feelings, especially because she was always praised for being such a quirky beauty back in the day.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Instar.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

36 Responses to “Sarah Jessica Parker: Stop calling women ‘brave’ for rocking gray hair”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Lemon says:

    I’ve always liked that she’s still thrifty at heart even though she’s spent gobs of money on that hair probably. A good warm soak and a pumice stone works wonders, and those cheap drugstore lotions are perfectly fine for your feet. I remember when she would talk about shopping at Target for her cotton nightgowns. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to be comfortable, look nice, and take care of yourself.

    I do my own manicures, I oil my cuticles daily with straight up jojoba oil (cheaper than branded cuticle oil), and with my favorite base and top coat a mani with a bottle of Sinful Colors ($2) lasts a 5-6 days. I feel like we’re conditioned to think we need to spend a lot on this stuff but usually we don’t!

    • Seraphina says:

      I too my own manicures and pedicures. Even facials and waxing when I can. I’m tired of spending all that money when I can do it fine myself. But I get it, not everyone can and not everyone wants to spend their time doing it. But whether I’m at a salon or at home, time spent is same.
      Jojaba oil in a cuticle oil pen with vitamin E and some essential oils. Every single day and my nails THIRST for it.

    • FHMom says:

      She wrote an article for, I think, the Wall Street Journal years ago telling how she grew up poor with several siblings. It’s given her a thrifty approach to money. I always feel like she gets most of her clothing for free. That’s just a guess, though.

    • Both Sides Nowt says:

      @ Lemon, drug store products are in many cases a much better choice than the more expensive brands, like Olay, RoC, Acure, Derma-E, The Ordinary and InstaNatural. But I must admit that I adore certain products available with Sunday Riley, DermaDoctor, and SkinCeuticals. I try to be thrifty as possible when I purchase the more expensive brands as Sephora has a massive sale 2x’s a year. Now I must admit that I am 60, so my needs have changed with age and some brands are not as effective as others.

      As for manicures/pedicures and facials, I do those on my own too. I love to soak my feet and apply a drugstore cream on my feet with thick soaks so that I can remove my dead skin easier.

  2. tealily says:

    I really like how her hair looks in AJLT. It’s a shame, I really want to like her.

  3. VivaAviva says:

    I really like what she’s saying here. I just entered my late 30s (I guess I could be considered mid 30s) and I’m surprised by how different I feel. I have always had a strong “unapologetically me” attitude, but I feel like I just leveled up. I have never felt so fully myself and happy about it.

    Like, do I still work on self-improvement? Of course, but my priorities and the parts of myself that I feel need work have changed. I’ve stopped trying to dim my shine in order to be more palatable to other people.

    Like SJP, I have my vanity, but the most important thing to me is feeling like myself and being comfortable in my skin. Sometimes that means a little mascara and color on my lips. Sometimes it’s a bare face. Sometimes it’s having my hair braided with extensions, sometimes it’s GI Jane.

    I’m working on drinking water and getting sleep. I’m going gray and I haven’t decided if I care enough to color my hair or not. It’s just…whatever.

  4. Seraphina says:

    I’ve never really had an opinion on her but her friendship with Andy Cohn speaks volumes to me and so I don’t care for her. That aside, this is the first time I can agree with everything she’s said.

    • Nyro says:

      How close are she and Andy really? Are they celebrity friends or real friends? If it’s the latter, I’d have to really side eye her.

  5. ABCD says:

    But she obviously does care enough to have veneers and fillers

    • Seraphina says:

      @abcd, keeping it real. Love it!!!!

    • Stupidpeopletricks says:

      This. She’s a PR disaster anymore.

      • Both Sides Nowt says:

        Agreed!!! She has proven herself to be not a pleasant person all while displaying herself to be the mean girl IRL. As for how she treated KC, I will never forgive her for that. It’s simply disgusting. I have adored KC since Big Trouble in Little China and who didn’t fall in love with James Hong as well!!

  6. Nicki says:

    Like it or not, ageism is a very real thing, especially for women. Hit age 45 and over and as a woman, you start to become invisible. It does take a bit of bravery to buck the youth-obsessed culture and go gray. Better for SJP to take isse with the ageism that calls for words like bravery.

    • Both Sides Nowt says:


    • SuzieQ says:

      This is the truth, Nicki. I’m an unabashed feminist and so are my dearest friends. But we all agree that going gray isn’t an option if we’re going to be heard and seen in the workplace, so we’re all holding out until retirement.
      It’s just reality that older women become invisible, while older men are esteemed as wise and experienced. And yeah, nothing will change until we challenge this, but most of us have spent our working lives standing up for ourselves and other women, and we’re freaking exhausted.

  7. SamC says:

    I’ve seen her in person several times and if she’s had work, it’s pretty minimal. She does not have super smooth, filled out skin, def has laugh lines, etc.

  8. Carli says:

    sjp’s AJLT hair does not read as grey to me at all.

  9. Nyro says:

    Idk why people think women who are aging naturally look terrible when that botox/filler cat lady look is just straight up scary. I saw a commercial with Jennifer Aniston and even she’s starting to morph into one of those celebrity cats ladies. I took her as one who’d age naturally for some reason but I guess not. Anyway, I think Sarah’s been great and I’m glad I grew up in an era where you really got to see lots of different looks and faces. Yes, some were celebrated more than others but at least people looked like themselves.

  10. Laalaa says:

    Honestly, the reason why I liked AJLT was because they are 50+ women and they look it…. well, almost.

  11. TikiChica says:

    I stopped dyeing my hair in March 2020 when the hairdressers here in the UK were closed due to the pandemic. The transition wasn’t too hard because I didn’t have that many greys. Now it’s fully grown and I’m getting more greys and I love them. I’m going to be 50 in October.

    • HoodRat says:

      I stopped colouring a few months after my workplace went permanently remote. I love the way my grey pixie cut looks, and I’ve received lots of compliments, but if my job disappears (a very real possibility; given funding cuts), I’m well aware I likely won’t have a chance at a new position unless I attempt to appear younger. Ageism is real, and it sucks.

  12. Mel says:

    My big expense is facial products. I love Kiehl’s moisturizer , Retinol micro dose serum and the Ferulic Brew. I use olay night cream . Here’s a tip for crepey skin, I mix The ordinary 1% Retinol with my body lotion. Use Aquaphor or A & D ointment on my feet, no dry heels.

    • Seraphina says:

      One thing about getting older is dry skin. I thought I was immune due to always being told how great my oily olive skin was but at night I’m slathered in oils and creams. From neck to feet.

    • dj says:

      Thanks for tip tip Mel! I’m going to remember that one.

    • Betsy says:

      Kerasal is my go to for dry, cracked heels. I think it’s the urea-petroleum combo that really seals the deal.

  13. DouchesOfCambridge says:

    I agree with her. Im in my 40’s and rock my natural salt and pepper hair. We shouldn’t be called brave for being what we are, yet I do feel like a pioneer because no women around me are going natural. They could not. Im not saying i wont ever dye my hair, but I will certainly NOT dye my hair because im afraid of other people’s judgment. I dont care. I have done every single thing in my life as I wanted and i’m not stopping now just because i’m aging.

  14. Emmi says:

    I agree with her on not caring. It’s not that I don’t care about my looks. I do. But I don’t worry anymore. I don’t spend hours and hours disliking things I can’t change without surgery. I dye my hair, I use good quality skincare, I work out and put effort into my clothes and nails etc. But it’s part of my routine and now that I know what I like, I go for it and it takes up minmal time. I used to WORRY and compare. If someone thinks I should dress differently or my ass is too big … okay. It’s a random opinion without consequences for my life.

    Shame that she had to shit on Kim C like she did. She doesn’t sound terrible here.

  15. NYC_girl says:

    I am 53 and have been grey since my late 20s. I stopped coloring my hair a few years ago – I had breast cancer in 2014 and decided to stop with the dye and switch to clean cosmetics/products. I was honestly shocked at how grey I was – I cut my hair short again too into a pixie. Many people tell me how great it looks – but I was unemployed for a while and my father told me to color it, that I “wouldn’t get hired.” I have good skin and few wrinkles, but I definitely don’t feel like anyone is looking at me. It is challenging.

    • Both Sides Nowt says:

      @ NYC_girl, I am incredibly sorry to hear that you battled breast cancer. I hope that your health remains cancer free for life. You are a powerful and brave woman!!!

  16. Notjust says:

    Well, I stopped colouring my hair in the pandemic too at age 32. I started colouring originally when I was 25 because I was already quite grey. I’m already very grey now and it’s definitely not what most people expect from women in their mid thirties. I’m constantly getting complimented on how good it looks/ how brave I am. I find it quite boring. It’s just hair. I’m a bit sad everyone is so preoccupied with a natural aging process.

  17. LLR says:

    I hope she’s got some of that Neutrogena light sesame oil body lotion stock-piled. It looks like they discontinued it. I’ve used it for years and haven’t been able to find it for any less than $100 a bottle in ages.

    • Justwastingtime says:

      LLR- try TJ Maxx. I just bought a huge bottle there for my MIL ( who loves the product)

  18. Thinking says:

    She’s always been slightly unconventional looking (despite being thin and having abs) and the dislike of Carrie Bradshaw has carried over to her. Therefore, I sort of believe she’d stop caring what people think of her looks at a certain point. She’d have to. Even magazine articles have been mean about her looks, though if she were not an actress she’d probably be considered to be the stylish and rather pretty coworker over in the next cubicle.