Susanna Reid has been dying her hair for the past 20 years, but she still finds it "bizarre" that the likes of Sharon Osbourne and Jane Fonda have made headlines across the world, simply for going grey. Writing for the Daily Mail on Wednesday, the Good Morning Britain presenter weighed in on the daily pressures faced by women to maintain their coloured locks and abstain from going grey. "For women — and, yes, this is strictly applicable to females, grey hair is still a rarity, especially if you’re in the public eye. While men such as George Clooney, Brad Pitt and even my co-presenter Piers proudly sport their salt-and-pepper sideburns."
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Taking a candid look at the television industry, Susanna referenced a former case won against the BBC back in 2011 for age discrimination. "BBC presenter Miriam O’Reilly has said that, when she worked on Countryfile, it was made clear to her that she was expected to have ‘youthful locks’", Susanna explained, referencing the moment in which Miriam was offered a can of black paint to cover up her grey roots."Thankfully, we’ve moved on a bit since then," Susanna said, "I can’t imagine any TV producer telling a presenter to cover up their silver streaks nowadays. And yet, you can still count the number of women you see on TV with naturally grey hair on one hand — only Mary Beard and Carrie Gracie spring to mind. But you won’t see me join those pioneers."
Addressing her decision to remain brunette, the 49-year-old said: "Older women have made massive progress on TV, but this is one barrier I’m not breaking down. For the time being, I’m keeping the silver under cover and embracing the brunette — not because I have to, but because I want to." Aware that her decision to remain dark haired might be regarded as an anti-feminist statement, Susanna nonetheless stands by it: "I believe it’s feminist for us all to look the way we want to look. Years ago, I was advised by a producer to dye my hair. I was in my early 30s and had only a few greys. I have done so ever since, and my children joke that they have never seen the ‘real’ me. To be fair, I have no idea what my natural hair colour is any more — and I have no intention of finding out after 20 years of dedicated dyeing."
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Concluding her eye-opening discussion, Susanna wrote: "My mum is 80 next year and looks beautiful with her grey-and-black-streaked bob. She was 71 when she gave up the dye, and said she loved being ‘grey and authentically me at last’. And, at 82, I concede Jane Fonda looks more stylish and elegant with her grey crop than she did with her blonde mane.Over the next few decades, I will lighten my colour. I may even go blonde. But it will be 30 years or more before — like Jane — I say ‘yay’ to the grey."
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