Image for post
Image for post
Keanu Reeves and Alexandra Grant. Getty images

The Keanu Reeves Effect: Why Age Is More Than a Number For Women With Gray Hair

The endearing popularity of nineties icon, actor Keanu Reeves, has spiked in recent months. The summation would be that in this jarring age of newly-minted movements like Me Too and Time’s Up, that were both designed to catch and “kill” seasoned predators in high places, the beloved star of awesome AF franchises like the The Matrix, and John Wick, has managed to escape the bloody crime scene, remarkably unscathed.

We can readily assume that Keanu Reeves has mastered the art of not only choosing impressive projects that befit his distinguished aging status, but the ultra-private action star is also a pro when it comes to spreading words of wisdom that rally the desires of longtime cheerleaders.

Reeves is standing tall and strong in ways that can’t be replicated by his equally famous colleagues, who try in vain to maintain track records akin to the most perfect guy in Hollywood, but end up falling hard on their faces, when vocalizing their unwavering support for a revered and embattled filmmaker, who may or may not have sexually molested his daughter.

Jeff Goldblum, anyone?

Goldblum has been unceremoniously “canceled,” due to the recent comments he made about Woody Allen, while promoting his new project, where he confirmed that he would work with the famed director because of the lack of evidence that proves the alleged blasphemous act.

The prompt erasure of the Jurassic Park star from the echelon of favored adulation is exactly the kind of shit that would never plague Keanu Reeves. The Point Break hottie balances his good looks with the good sense to not spew out problematic verses that will undergo the dreaded screenshot treatment for a jury of cancelers.

So far, so good for Keanu!

And while we pray to the gods that his streak of excellence won’t be tainted by the trending news of his inevitable fallibility, we can delight in yet another public display of maturity, that features the leading man of our times, with a lovely woman who looks distractedly age appropriate.

A viral photo of Keanu with his apparent girlfriend, Alexandra Grant, has been circulating with vigor on social media platforms, and the intense scrutiny has everything to do with the rare sighting of a romantic partner on the arms of a superstar who is notorious for attending industry events without companionship.

Image for post
Image for post
The viral photo. Getty images.

The other noteworthy item is the fact that Grant is not only an accomplished artist in her own right, but she’s also in her mid-forties with cascading gray hair; an attribute that defies logic in these times of self-obsessiveness, that trains the eye to reject imagery of a more authentic persuasion.

Truth be told, one of my preferred roles of Keanu has to be the one where he played the dashing doctor who has a major crush on a whimsical, older woman, played by Diane Keaton, in Something’s Gotta Give.

He must’ve been close to forty at the time the film was made, and his signature youthfulness paired very well with the woman of his dreams, who didn’t seem that much older when they were together.

It’s hard for most to imagine that at fifty-five, Keanu Reeves would be drawn to a partner, who isn’t old enough to be his daughter or younger, and that’s really because of how we’re used to the normalized habits of men of a certain age, who tend to attach themselves to the glossy symbols that keep them “young” at heart.

Image for post
Image for post
Dennis Quaid and Laura Savoie. He’s 65, She’s 26. Images: Marco Garcia/Getty

But what captures my interest in this scenario, is the public examination that Grant underwent, for the requirement of determining whether or not this lucky gal is really “attractive” enough for the man of our dreams.

Some compared her to iconic actress, Helen Mirren, who is definitely old enough to be Grant’s mother, and while Mirren took her insertion into the conversation as a compliment, regardless of how her so-called doppelgänger feels about it, we can reasonably conclude that the only visible feature they have in common is primarily responsible for the comparisons.

This is where my personal investment magnifies, as I contemplate the audacity of a woman in her forties, getting her introduction to the limelight, without masking her beauty with brushes of hair color and surgical requirements, that somehow never hide the whole truth.

As a woman in the same age bracket, who had the misfortune of battling the onset of gray hair way before her time, there are no adequate words to describe the devastating effects of hormonal imbalances that abruptly stripped away the key functionalities of womanhood.

Nothing prepares you for the avalanche of emotional abuse that comes from prematurely losing control of regular period cycles and everything else that follows, while you’re taken hostage by the visible signs of your loss.

Vanity is a bitch, but I will confess the pained reception to something that typically represents closeness to mortality, and the guarantee that you’ve dried up for good.

Going gray before finding the love of your life and possibly having the one child that you were barely able to produce, given your precarious timetable, is absolutely not the ideal way to greet your entry into the decade that’s relentlessly touted as “FABULOUS.”

I took life’s nasty betrayal very hard, and couldn’t really envision a way out of my personal nightmare, especially when each birthday presents the evidence of how it won’t get better.

And when you’re down in the dumps, and fishing for advice from cautious friends, who were spared the burden of mental derailment at the hands of being forced to look older than you really are, you will absolutely lose your mind trying to calculate the mixed reviews, that add up to why it’s really up to you to decide.

It took me a long time to grow the level of confidence it takes to step out with gray hair, without privately squirming in shame, and with the expectation that only guys over sixty would even look my way.

After enduring the maddening period of persistently coloring my strands, and watching the defiant new growth sprouting out a week later, there was the need to stop fighting what can’t be defeated.

It was clear that the real enemy was inside my head.

That nagging voice, berating my failure to match the flawless method of welcoming my forties in the same way that everybody else around me was able to furnish.

The good news, is that after awhile, you develop an immunity to the echoes that need to be silenced to set you free.

And so I freed myself!

I completed owned my gray hair, by dismissing the negativity that’s borne from damning stereotypes that are assigned to the silver-haired club, particularly “women of a certain age,” who are deemed unfuckable and past their prime at first glance.

I have had to make peace with my age, and all the stuff that generally comes with that, including the extras that weren’t part of the package.

The journey takes you back to the basics of self-care and self-fulfillment, which meant distancing myself from harmful substances, including people, and finally breaking those shackles.

When you feel good inside, the outside corresponds with that messaging.

Turns out that allowing my gray hair to flourish while blossoming from the results of clean living, with the infusion of lifesaving supplements was the right call. Not only did it add years to my life, it also gave me the audacity to respect the aging process without rejecting the accompaniments.

Walking around in the grayed state of what was once the blackest of black, attracts attention from curious onlookers, who assume that I’m a slave to the trends, based on the color of the moment that I boldly chose.

It feels good that I still look young enough for that privilege, and while I do go along with that narrative because of the much-needed boost to my ego, there’s also the invaluableness of being able to embrace every strand of my dignity in ways that encourage others to reciprocate.

Of course there’s the argument of how my complimenters are getting off easy by projecting their unwillingness to receive me for what I am, at the age that would explain why I’m almost completely gray, as opposed to praising my beauty trick of equating my intact youthfulness with the attributes that strike the elderly.

The next step would be to come clean about the true source of my grayness instead of cosigning what admirers feed me, because if it’s good enough for Keanu Reeves to openly endorse, then who am I to refuse?

Grant looks splendid for her age, and that’s an unfamiliar sight for strained eyes. We’ve been taught to fear the color that resembles the opposite of what life means when it’s not under attack.

As a woman who is finally enjoying the decade that almost killed me, there’s nothing more reassuring than taking in the glorious sight of a mid-life couple, who effortlessly put lovers who are decades younger to shame.

They say Hollywood is too blurry of an existence to translate to real life, but based on the trending image that deserved its due — I have to disagree!

May the perfectness of Keanu Reeves never be canceled!

Written by

Juggling Wordsmith. I have a lot to say! https://medium.com/membership https://www.patreon.com/Ezziegirl

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store