I was 53 and sitting under a heat lamp with a head full of foils when I discovered my role model. And it turns out my role model isn’t someone famous or someone in my family. My role model is Judy — whose last name I can’t even remember — a woman who regularly attended my aerobics classes in the early 80s. [Side note: Yep, I taught aerobics for a living back in the day while wearing the requisite white Reeboks, super shiny tights, leg warmers, and neon leotards.]
Why I figured this out while getting my hair done is because I’d been trying to convince my stylist that frosted hair could make a comeback. I’ve always liked frosted hair, vintage style like women had in the 1970s and 1980s. During the conversation I realized I liked frosted hair so much because Judy had had frosted hair. And when I was 19 I really wanted to be like Judy when I grew up.
I don’t think I ever considered what her age was back then, but I’d guess she was in her early 40s. Judy came to my classes wearing mascara and bright lipstick with her short frosted hair wildly unstyled — which in itself was kind of edgy in the early 80s. And her personality was just as bold and engaging and engaging as her style. In my eyes, she was confident, kind, friendly, sophisticated, smart, fun, and gorgeous. Even though I had no idea what she did for a living or what her education level was or how much money she had (I can’t even remember her last name) I knew I wanted to be like her. She never wimped out in class, she was hilarious, gregarious, and brought joy everywhere she went. I wanted to show up every day as she did; boldly, confidently, and joyfully herself.
It might have taken me 40+ years worth to remember that inspiration, but I’m using it now and making up for lost time!