Silver Liberation: It's Time to Embrace the Grey
Silver hair, don't care: Meet Vanessa Chamberlin, Silver Liberation.
Vanessa Chamberlin, the age-positive social media influencer, has embraced going grey, defiantly smashing one of the very visible stigmas of ageing. With over 70,000 followers on Instagram, Vanessa's journey has inspired thousands of women to follow her lead in embracing their grey hair as an age-positive statement.
In an exclusive interview with Life Redefined, Vanessa shares some of her journey to self-love and self-acceptance. It started in 2019, when wellness and clean-eating expert Vanessa decided to embrace her silver hair and document her journey on Instagram. She named the account “Silver Liberation" and put her grey hair front and centre, unedited, to help herself to get comfortable with her transformation.
Silver Liberation felt like the perfect name, signifying liberating herself from anything that no longer served her. Over the previous three decades, Vanessa, like many of us, had hidden her grey hair. To her, going grey had felt unlovable, unworthy, and not pretty.
A Journey to Self-Acceptance
Vanessa said she finally fell in love with herself when she embraced her silver hair. "About six weeks into the process, I looked in the mirror and fell in love with who I saw. I wept like a baby because for over three decades, I had shamed, belittled and beaten down my grey hair. And now I was doing the opposite. I was giving it; I was seeing love. I was saying, I love you, you're beautiful. Thank you for being here." It's empowering stuff.
It’s not just Vanessa who has embraced grey hair and redefined what ageing looks like for women. During the COVID lockdowns, many women took inspiration from her, ditched the dye and embraced their own grey hair.
"About six weeks into the process, I looked in the mirror and fell in love with who I saw." Vanessa Chamberlin, Silver Liberation.
Breaking The Rules of Beauty Standards
Redefining beauty standards was the entry point into being a creator for Vanessa. The last four years have been the most profound self-love and self-acceptance journey she has experienced in her life. It's also transformed her into something of a spokeswoman for women who are ready to own who they are and fearlessly embrace life in all its' natural glory.
Not caring what others think takes practice, and Vanessa's not perfect at it. (Who is?) She meditates regularly; an activity that has served her well for 15 years, and she believes that when menopause hit, everything shifted and she needed to make committed self-care, healthcare, and lifestyle changes to embrace this new phase of her life.
Embracing Who You Are Now
Vanessa's journey of embracing her identity is about more than just the colour of her hair. It's been about liberating herself from anything that no longer serves her. She says: "Although you can be quite young and have grey hair, for me, this is about redefining what beauty means to me and what ageing means to me."
Vanessa's journey is about connecting with who she is at her core. She has gone beyond her hair and embraced her life. And as a result, brands started reaching out to her, turning her social media account from an emotional outlet into an entrepreneurial one. She now is the proud author of books on wellness and nutrition, is a qualified yoga instructor and is a keen advocate for plant-based living. She and her Silver Liberation sisters run workshops, seminars and more, all focused on empowering women to embrace the grey.
It's a courageous step, not for the faint-hearted, but Vanessa is proof that going grey doesn't mean you have to be content to fade into the background. It's about sharing the many voices that are just waiting to be heard.