You may be wondering what a woman’s face has to do with the topic of gendering God. A whole lot. I just don’t have the time right now to help you see the connection. But it’s there for the thinking woman to intuit.
I can’t believe I’ve been thinking of dying my hair. Getting rid of my grey. “And you call yourself a womanist (feminist)!” mockingly says the man who lives in my house (who, by the way, is adamantly opposed to the notion). I am ashamed to say that the pressure is getting to me. Not so much to look younger, but the pressure not to look older than I have to. We spent a wonderful evening at dinner with friends last night. Between sips, I noticed that I was the only woman around the table with grey hair. And I wasn’t the oldest woman at the table.
Every time I stand in the pulpit with this mane of grey, natural hair that has a mind of it own, I know that for the first 15 minutes most folks can’t hear a word I’m saying for wondering where in the world I get the chutzpah at my age to stand before audiences with wild and nappy grey hair like mine. Most days I love defying convention and am proud of the skin I’m in. Flaws and all. But I gotta admit, there are other days when I look in the mirror and wonder where the
30, 32, 36 year old face I remember so well went.
Speaking of face. What about those lines around the face? Aging gracefully. What the heck does that mean?
No matter how good you are at what you do, no matter how qualified you are for the job, there’s that pressure on you as a woman to look sexy. To have gravity defying skin. To stay thin. To look glamorous. To appear any age younger than the age you are. To nip, tuck, and botox the signs of aging away. Don’t think so? Name some of your favorite black actresses from the 80s and 90s who are still in front of the camera. It’s conventional wisdom that Hollywood has no use for a woman over forty. Hollywood is not the only place that turns out women to pasture once they hit 40. Clergywomen too feel the pressure. Every time we stand in pulpits before the scrutinizing eye of audiences there’s the pressure to look glamorous. Sexy. Young-er. Ageless. Respectable. Ask evangelists like Joyce Meyer and Juanita Bynum.
Strange isn’t it? God is spoken of as male. But it’s women who are expected, like God, to never grow old. To look the same yesterday. Today. And Tomorrow.