A Letter I Wrote To The Daily Mail

To whom it may concern,

Loads of things have happened in the last couple of days. For example, the ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine looked like it might be in danger. Greece was in the middle of financial negotiations that might affect the whole of the Eurozone. Some disgraceful behaviour by Chelsea supporters set the world’s view of British football fans back at least twenty years. And more important than all of that on Thursday, in your opinion, was Kate Middleton’s hair! She is thirty three years old and is going a bit grey. She’s walking around, living her life, growing the odd child here and there, and acting like it’s not her top priority to be dying her roots to appease some sweaty paparazzo. Maybe she’s even decided that it’s her right to choose whether she wants to do it at all. It’s just slovenly.

In the article that accompanied to the giant photo and offensive, patronising headline, which took up most of the front page, was an expert reassuring readers that some pregnant women do make the choice not to dye their hair while they have more important things to be getting on with are experiencing this minor blip in their aesthetic appearance. The expert neglected to mention that some women have their own minds and can make their own choices about what to do with the stuff that naturally grows out of their bodies.

I’ll be honest. I’m not actually that fussed about Kate. She seems perfectly nice, but I don’t know her so I’m not really interested in her day-to-day life. But as a 25 year old woman who’s just starting to go grey, I’m incredibly insulted by the half of a front page you devoted to one thirty three year old with some dodgy (and by ‘dodgy’ I mean ‘perfectly natural’) roots. Guess what? It doesn’t matter and it is certainly not news that women go grey, and thirty three certainly isn’t an unusual age for that to happen.

I know it would all be much easier for you if females didn’t exist at all, but the sad fact is that we do, and we’re going to continue to live our lives and not dye our hair quite as often as the Daily Mail thinks we should. Or – shock horror – we might actually decide to rock the grey because it actually looks amazing a lot of the time. Some teenagers even willingly dye their hair the-colour-that-must-not-be-named these days. And I know us taking control of our bodies and doing what we like isn’t really on. And I know we’re supposed to be aspiring to end up on the sidebar of shame but, quite honestly, we have so many better things to do with our time. Some people actually value us now, and treat us as equals. It’s weird, but kinda cool.

What I’m trying to say is this. If a woman, of any age, decides that their hair isn’t their top priority, that is a decision they are entitled to make. And it doesn’t matter if they’re old or young, poor or a middle-class-girl-turned-royal. It doesn’t warrant a headline, or a snide mention by Amanda Platell/Jan Moir/Some other odious columnist who doesn’t realise how loathsome everybody thinks they are, or even a funny look in the street. We can do what we like now. It’s great.

I actually have a list of suggestions for where you might like to try shoving every piece of hairstyling advice you’ve ever printed, however I respect you as a human too much, and therefore would never make unwarranted suggestions about how you should live your life. Maybe you could do the same for me, Kate Middleton, and our entire gender?

Kind regards,

Nicola Masters

(P.s. It doesn’t matter that you won’t publish this because I’m posting it online anyway.)

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