A few years after Andie MacDowell decided to embrace her grays, she’s still confident about her decision—and everything it’s taught her while living in a culture so obsessed with youth.
In a SheKnows interview published Wednesday, the Maid actress, 65, opened up about ditching brown hair dye and embracing her iconic, silver curls. For MacDowell, it was an intentional way of protesting the unrealistic pressure for women, in particular, to stay youthful forever, she explained.
“If I were coloring my hair, people might perceive me as being younger,” the longtime brunette acknowledged. “I just don’t need that; it’s not something that I desire. It’s not a perception that would be satisfying for me. I’m comfortable being seen as an aging woman.”
MacDowell said she first stopped dyeing her hair during the pandemic—a decision initially inspired by her daughters. “You could see my roots, and [they] kept telling me that I looked badass,” she told Drew Barrymore back in 2021. “And the idea that I could look badass really appealed to me. So, I went for it.”
Three years later, she still loves her salt-and-pepper strands: Not just because they look cool, but because letting herself simply get older has been liberating. “It made me so much more powerful and so much more comfortable,” she said. “It made me feel [like] me… I’m not trying to be something that I’m not.”
Still, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t struggled with cultural beauty standards, especially when it’s mostly women whose worth is equated with their appearance. “Men have had so many privileges: going gray and being the ‘silver fox’ and being sexy as they age and having that allure and charisma,” MacDowell said, noting that she, too, wants to be appreciated as she gets older—but not for what’s on the outside.
“I want to be seen for all the things that maybe a man might be seen for: my strengths, my intelligence, my knowledge, my experience,” she told SheKnows. And that’s partly why, she said, she’s so passionate about challenging these norms for women—and committed to rocking her gray hair, unapologetically: “We’ve been fed these unattainable images of women…and we can never be happy with ourselves because we set the standard so high that we’ll never be happy.”