Beauty and Wisdom documents a fast-disappearing part of Americana and the diminishing population of mature women who have been going regularly to the beauty parlor once a week—not as a luxury but as a necessity for most of their adult years. These pages present the grace and courage in which these women age in a society so heavily focused on the beauty of youth. Ironically, these are the women who opened doors, yet they are now part of an invisible generation.
Beauty and Wisdom provided insight into my own future. As I photographed these golden ladies and listened in on their conversations with their hairdressers, I saw the kind of courage that comes from embracing life fully without expectations, except to be happy and connected to people.
There was not an ounce of shame present—maybe shyness, but no shame. Their “take me as I am” attitude has given me permission to age fearlessly with no regrets and reasons to look forward to my own aging process. These women may be invisible to many, but they are quite visible to me.
My dream is to alter the perception of age and beauty and someday see one of these images on a billboard, larger than life, reminding us that age is inevitable, if we’re lucky, and beauty is the privilege to age.