What makes a mature woman “real?”

What makes a mature woman real

What makes a mature woman real

Happy Tuesday, ladies!  Let’s discuss what makes a mature woman “real.”

I have noticed several conversations on blogs recently which made me wonder your answers to this question.

I desire to find some understanding as a writer to mature women.

The conversations all revolved around a mature woman’s decision “to go gray or not to go gray”…that is the question.



What makes a mature woman real?

I began to ponder this more during the week before Christmas when I featured this stylish mature woman from an event I attended.

One of the readers said it was nice to see a real woman because she had gray hair.

So, bottom line? I believe what I am really asking is if gray hair is the only measurement of a mature “real woman.”

What makes a mature woman real?

Before answering, consider these questions….

If a mature woman has gray hair, but still colors it to get the right shade of gray……is she real?

If she has gray hair, but uses Botox to soften wrinkles…is she real?

If she has gray hair, but wears a body slimmer to hide the middle…is she real?

If she has gray hair, but wears makeup… is she real?

If she has gray hair, but works to be pencil thin for beauty (not health) reasons…is she real?

If she wears a silver wig, is she real?

Two of the women in the top picture do not have gray hair…are they less real than the one who does?

When a reader comments, “It is nice to see a real woman with gray hair,” what exactly does that mean?What makes a mature woman real?


What makes a mature woman real?

After consulting with two hair stylists about how my gray was coming in during the pandemic, I chose to wait awhile before I begin the process.  I am currently 68.

I do this for me…my confidence.

Does that make me less real?  Must I go gray to be considered real?



What makes a mature woman real?

I will tell you my feelings right now.

A real mature woman to me is kind, humble, approachable, authentic, truthful, and giving.

No matter how her outsides look, if she lives these qualities from the inside, I believe she is real.



My friend and blog assistant, Leigh Ann, is one of the most real mature women I know and she has not gone gray.  She also is in her sixties and possesses those qualities inside.

There are many paths we take to be confident with our appearance as mature women.

Those are personal choices and individual to each of us…they do not make us less authentic unless we allow an obsession to take control of our joy and lives.

What makes a mature woman real?

I truly would like to hear your thoughts.  As I said Monday…this is a great week to find out what is on your mind. 

What type of “real” woman are you looking for on the blogs you read?

I hope you will answer the question and share…what do you believe makes a mature woman “real?”

Thank you so much for being here…your participation is important and is read by many….make sure you comment and then have a day where you continue to…


By Pamela Lutrell


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Over 50 Feeling 40 in 2022


  1. I think for me, that a “real woman” is one whom we can imagine meeting in the supermarket, or living next door. She is someone who doesn’t try to appear ‘perfect’ by buying the perfect hair, makeup, clothing, accessories etc. A “real woman” can of course dye her hair, just as she can wear makeup, but she doesn’t look as though she has just left a makeover photo shoot. She may well do all she can to show herself to advantage, but she doesn’t look staged. Yes, I think that’s it – just like the difference between a real-life living room and one that is staged by professionals.
    And yes, I think you look like a “real woman”. You always seem to be happy with who you are.

    1. Oh my, this is a great topic!! First of all, yes, I see you as a “real” woman, and not just saying it to be nice! You are honest and not trying to be something or someone who you are not. You present your real self and ideas. The fact that you are coloring your hair does not make you less real. I personally would have to color mine gray to get a nice gray shade. I have too much dark hair among the gray and trust me, if left to its own devices, is not pretty. My desire to present myself attractively doesn’t make me “unreal.” If coloring our hair, wearing makeup, and trying to be as attractive as we can be makes us less real, then for me, so be it! I see authentic as presenting myself truthfully, not putting on another persona. You are authentic, and that’s what I mean. Honestly Pam, I have stopped reading most blogs because at this stage of life, I don’t want to be left feeling that I have to wear something new every time I step out the door or spend a fortune on the latest beauty gadget and put so much focus on myself. You offer so much more. You offer fun with friends, experiences with family, travel and just enjoying your life at the stage and age you are. Your focus is just different, and truly authentic and appreciated!

  2. My thoughts about what is a mature woman center around how she reacts to situations, and not how she looks, or the color of her hair. A mature woman has learned to “ roll with the punches” as the saying goes. It’s not her outward appearance but her inner heart, how she corresponds to others with kindness, and warmth, non-judging and respectful of all. I realize that it’s more difficult to explain, but I think I’d recognize it in somebody. There are mature young ladies as well as mature older ones so I do not qualify it based on age, but on attitude.

  3. As someone who stopped coloring her hair twenty years ago, I am now 70, in my opinion, a woman who is comfortable in her own skin, is a “real” woman. You have to be comfortable in your own skin to be confident enough to stop coloring your hair in todays world with all the negativity which has no boundaries. I am fortunate enough to be able to buy nice clothes and I dress every day regardless of whether or not I am going anywhere. I do it for me!

  4. well, that’s thought provoking. my first thoughts went to those outrageous eyelashes that are trending now, along with the super long pointed nails, but those are just trends they really don’t indicate anything, maybe some insecurities associated with being a young woman finding their way.
    I have my hair colored and foiled, ive toyed with the idea of giving up and going grey, but I just don’t feel “grey haired” yet…which there’s another conundrum, because I know quite a few grey haired women who can run circles around me.
    I think what im trying to say, is that to remain real for me, means not giving up, we’ve all seen them, the sisters in the grocery store or wherever, that look like they just don’t care anymore, for lack of time or energy. im not sure its about grey hair, but attitude and aura that keeps you real.
    I think maybe what the commenter meant was its nice to hear from and see , bloggers who aren’t 100 lbs and 22 years old. bloggers who have worked, and maintained marriages, and all off the other choices that the over 50s have made….and make sense to us. like you do, Pamela like you do, thanks!

  5. I believe what makes a mature woman “real” is being genuine in the way she relates to the people around her. I think it is how she is on the inside, more than the outside. It doesn’t matter if you’re gray or not, if you aren’t kind, gracious and truly care about the people around you. Love whatever you chose, gray or not. I went gray (actually white) about 2 years ago. I am 72. I had been coloring my hair since I was 40, eventually also having highlights to try and blend the gray. I got tired of going to the hair salon every 4 weeks. It wasn’t an easy decision, especially for someone who had dark hair. It’s an extreme change. Ironically, once I went gray, I’ve had more compliments on my hair than I ever did when it was dark and I’ve been told it makes me look younger. Go figure!
    You don’t have to be gray to show that you’re a real mature woman. Whatever color your hair is, what makes you real is on the inside. It’s great to be confident in your choice and it’s wonderful to have choices!

  6. I believe that a mature woman has a well-developed sense of self, and that self-understanding shows in all of her choices: appearance, self-care, job or pastime, and relationships. A mature woman has decided how she will comport herself in the world, and is comfortable with her decisions. As I read blogs like yours, Pam, those are the qualities I’m looking for, and you have them!

  7. I highlighted, reverse highlighted, and simply colored my hair since about 30 years of age. When I had to do it weekly to keep from looking like a skunk I decided to bite the bullet and go gray. Or white as it turned out. The two year process was painful and embarrassing but the outcome was better than I could have imagined. My natural color had become a silvery white and the non-chemical colored hair was soft and shiny. I have had more complements on my gray hair than I ever did with my natural ash brown. I’m 68, fluffy and never happy with my body, but I’m glad I went gray. And my grandkids think I am wonderful, so I am happy. 🥰

  8. I am 89 and still have no grey hair— a family trait as my Dad lived to be 102 and he had not turned grey.
    I wish mine would turn grey or white as I think it softens the wrinkles… we are all so different!

  9. In my opinion, hair and makeup or clothes don’t reflect the “realness” of a woman. Her realness is reflected in her heart…the way she treats others, how she cares for and loves people. The other things are what the world sees on the outside but it’s what’s on the inside that shows who you are. I think if coloring your hair or wearing makeup makes a woman feel better about herself, then she should go for it. Along with taking care of others, taking care of yourself is vital. Being authentic is about doing what’s right for you and what makes you feel good about yourself! That is turn will be what you bring to the world.
    Happy Tuesday!

  10. Real (for me) comes from a woman’s heart and spirit, nothing external. Any color hair or no hair can be real. If she’s friendly, caring, warm and interested….that’s real. (I color my hair -hairdresser actually , I work out, I walk 2-3 miles a day, go to yoga classes and study at a tai chi class weekly, try my best at our book club and help my daughter with twins (3 year olds) when I can….as real as I can be.
    I cook and clean but may give up my garden next spring….I’m 75. I’m blonde thanks to my hairdresser. Who cares?

  11. I don’t think its about hair ,makeup or fashion, to me a mature woman is someone who does what she feels is right for her and her family and isnt concerned about what others think about it

  12. You, my dear, are as real as can be! You are who you were meant to be. I, too, am 68. I am letting my grey come in – looks like highlights in my dark brown hair. Going grey for me is a confidence booster. However, I don’t think grey hair alone makes one real. But, I understand what the woman who said it was nice to see a real mature woman with grey hair was saying. I have said the same thing myself. The realness in being a mature woman comes in having perspective & being able to share the journey. It’s being centered in who we are as we age & feeling our confidence gain strength from all we have experienced.

  13. First of all, if I’m repeating myself, forgive me. I forgot to check the itty bitty box after writing a lengthy response and lost the whole thing! This time I’ll be succint.
    I’m 72 with dyed medium brown hair. I feel pressure to let the white gray and dark brown ( in the back) come in. I don’t think I will. I don’t like the look and for me to be “ real” I need to have confidence in my appearance. I work at staying slim too. And get shamed for that as well. I will have some cosmetic “ work” done soon to soften loose skin. Why? Because I feel better when my outside reflects my inside. Perhaps those women who have gone gray are happy with the results. I don’t criticize. But just like I never went blond when everyone ( here ) went all streaky, gray hair just isn’t me. So my real is being authentic to my inner self not someone else’s version of what I should be. I think you and Leigh Ann are representative of part of the spectrum that’s interested in looking your personal best, and help readers to find their way to that goal by presenting a variety of looks. It’s why I continue to subscribe!

  14. Leigh Ann Looks like the kind of friend i would always like to have. I have a few cherished friends from high school who are still around and a good one locally whom I met when we taught at the same school. It is hard to be objective and say these are real women because I have know them for so long.My children,grands, and husband all seem to think I am ok and they are hard to fool any more. So i guess I will keep on keeping on.Happy NEw YEAR TO ALL

  15. A real woman is any age who is her true self. Hopefully, she projects that true self, likely more through her self-confidence than anything else. I too have been reading comments and entire articles about gray hair being more “authentic” or “real.” I guess I am then fake :), as I color my hair and also get lowlights. Fortunately, I’m in a place in life where I can enjoy fashion within reason, and as a retiree, only have to please myself. That is a more authentic fashion/style place than I’ve been able to be in in many years, and I’m enjoying it a lot. I’m not anti gray. I love it on many people. But it’s not for me, at least now now. I know there’s a political side to going gray, but I wonder if well-intentioned people sometimes just mean “natural” vs “real,” the latter word implying that the other side of the argument is not. Sometimes we women really do a number on each other, though, and that I try not to do. At the same time, I don’t take someone’s political view on gray hair very to heart. You do you. I do me.

  16. A real woman is every woman and not a person who was a man who became a woman. It is so insulting to join the women over 50 support groups (to share fashion tips, life tips, etc with other women) only to find former men in the group. They don’t know what it’s like to be a woman over 50. Same as we don’t know what it’s like to be them.

  17. Love reading all the comments here this morning, as this is an interesting topic. It reminds me of several decades back when I was a new mom and public breastfeeding sparked quite a debate. It pitted breast against bottle, and woman against woman, and for that I disliked the controversy very much. We are so fortunate to live in an era and country allowing for personal choices, and I am grateful that’s the case. For me, I am loving the gentle transition to silvery strands and can’t wait for more as I find them very flattering.

  18. I see a “real” women as one who meets people without judging and jumping to conclusions based on their exterior. A real women looks past the exterior to see the person. A happy toss of genes, one’s skin and hair color and weight along with the price point of clothing and other markers of wealth such as accessories and physical beauty enhancement can be admired and practiced. However, they should not prevent one from appreciating others or make one believe they are superior to others. They should not be a barrier. A real women practices kindness in a deeper way than manners and a smile. She values others and is does not separate herself by socioeconomic class, who one loves or how they self identify, race, age, physical traits, religion and so on. She is empathic and aware of challenge and circumstance. She gives others the benefit of the doubt.. Because she sees the person within, she practices works that lifts others. Being real is not related to age. Though by the time one has passed the blush of youth, there is less excuse for falling short of being real.

  19. This is a great conversation! I think a real woman, of any age, is one who is true to herself and does not let other people or public opinion determine how she looks or acts. She presents herself to the world as someone who is happy with herself and her choices. She respects and values others and their choices as well.
    She knows who she is and what she is about, she is confident, she strives to live her best life, and she inspires others along the way.

  20. Pam—you and Leigh Ann are the most real women I know. You are helping all of us gain confidence by giving us ideas and support on how to look our best as we age.

    Your honesty, emphasis on kindness, joy, and willingness to share your inner self show us what it means to be “real.” I am 77, petite (102 lbs by nature), and with little wrinkles without any creams(genetics—I normally have to clean my face with alcohol pads to prevent pimples; my Dad died at 100, looking as if he was in his 70s). My hair was always medium golden brown, and at the start of the pandemic I thought it was a good time to start going grey.

    But, how I hated the mousy color (that mixture of brown and white!) that emerged. It just was not compatible with my complexion—it made me look half dead. I was disappointed because it would be so much easier not to have to keep up with coloring. But I just did not feel like myself, so, little by little, I am going back to my natural birth color again (leaving a few white streaks in the back).

    I believe I strive to be real (e.g., empathetic, good listener, helpful as much as I can in the context of being my husband’s caretaker, humble—i.e., no superiority air, etc.), and going back to coloring does not make me feel I am doing any less. Thank you for your posts—I look forward to them every morning. Often, they make me feel that I can still be joyful in the midst of my personal difficult circumstances. I would love to have you two as my neighbors!

    1. I think defining a picture of a person as “real” means “relatable” and that they identify with that person. I don’t need to necessarily identify with a model, blogger, celebrity or even a friend who looks or dresses differently than I do. What I see and appreciate is something they do well or find pleasing and satisfying that I admire and often adopt for myself. Even my friends with vastly different tastes and lifestyles teach or show me things I often try or simply find pleasing because they have introduced me to it. I’m always a student and everyone can teach and show us new things.

  21. My dad did not turn gray for many years. By the time he was in his 80’s, some of the gray was starting to show up; kind of a salt and pepper look. I inherited his hair! I’m 69, with no gray hair. My hair turned darker after I turned 40, so I started adding blonde highlights. It fits with the changing skin tone as I age.

    What is “real” is what is on the INSIDE, not the outside.

  22. How is coloring your hair at 68 any different than when you do it at 18?

    Once my hairdresser and I agreed that my gray was well distributed, I quit coloring my hair. Now. I’ve a lovely silvery head of hair. But it was my choice! I have a cousin, 74. who is still a brunette. Her choice. Her sister went gray at 30; I think she’s been an ash blond ever since.

  23. In my opinion, the reference to real from the previous post was used to describe relatability of the woman in the photo. With gray hair, she was presenting herself as a mature woman with style. It is impossible to say if her inner self was congruent with her outer appearance as she doesn’t Co tribute to the blog. Hair color is irrelevant me to be real. 4eal only means relatable.

  24. Wow! This is a thought provoking question, evident by the number of comments here! In my opinion, a “real” woman is genuine, authentic, not trying to be someone she isn’t or trying to impress anyone with who she is. I think this comes with maturity. A truly mature woman no longer cares what others think, so she’s free to be her true self. She’s confident in who she is and can step outside her comfort zone and try something new without worrying about what anyone else will think.

  25. Hmm, I think your commenter, Joce, hit upon something. One definition for “real” is “authentic”. That can’t really be discerned from a photograph. Coincidentally, I’m just back from getting highlights in my already light blonde hair. When I look in the mirror and feel drab I make that appointment.

  26. My hair started going white at an early age, & I have never colored my hair. This does not make me any more real any other woman. To me, a woman who is real doesn’t present herself as the picture of perfection. She always looks perfect, is perfectly dressed, has the perfect home & the perfect life. Pamela, you are real. You have shown us your “funky feet”, talked about your various health issues & other struggles you have faced. Being real means you acknowledge that life happens, & you are making the best of whatever season you find yourself in at any given time.

  27. I missed sharing my response to Pam on if she represents a real woman. Yes, you are REAL personified! You’ve shared your fragile areas as well as your strengths and you’ve been kind and open about sharing life’s bumps in the road as you’ve exieruenced them. I recall when your position was eliminated at the University and when your power went out! Only a real woman would it could open up like that! My heart actually hurt for you during those events.

  28. I would say I am NOT a real woman. I am homely, have lower intelligence and long stringy gray hair. I am a below average woman. I don’t strive for confidence, but I do want to be competent. I have lost 50 lbs during the pandemic, so I walk the neighborhood in clothes that I estimate to be 3 sizes too large. (Since my medication suppresses my immunity I have not been in a store for nearly 2 years.)
    I do write a letter a day to women who are on chemo. Some of them answer back. They face huge problems of all sorts, yet they find the strength to go forward every day. To me, they are real women.

    1. Hi Linlee, I had to jump in here and say you are a real woman. You have the strength to persevere; the Courage to fight for life and the kind heart to reach out to others. Yes, you are real!

  29. Hi Pam,
    I am very busy with my life right now. That being said I do want to respond with many words that I feel describes a real mature woman.
    Keeps the connection, thoughtful, kind,
    genuine, considerate, helpful, authentic,
    honest, loving, giving, confident, positive, supportive, encourager.
    If a mature women wants to color her hair, wear makeup, dress to feel good, get some cosmetic surgery done whatever it takes to feel happy and have a song to sing in her heart she should go for it as long as it’s all in moderation. Doing things in extreme may be dangerous on many different levels.
    Pamela and your bestie Leigh Ann are beautiful examples of being real. Coloring your hair is a beautiful thing because it works for you. I say you “Go Girl.”
    This is one of your best posts. Loved reading what others have to say.

  30. I understand the original comment from your reader. Up until a few years ago it was those of us with grey or white hair who were typecast, regardless of age, because of the colour of our hair. Having hair that began turning white in my thirties I’ve lived being seen as my children’s grandmother at 38, wanting a bungalow at 42 , retired at 45, my mother’s sister at 50, all because of the colour of my hair. My fit body, my involvement in sports, skin elasticity, clothing, etc. didn’t register with those who looked at me. Thus I’d give white a try about every 10 years and always go back to colouring it. It is only in about the last 5 years that people look at grey or white as ‘lovely’, ‘stunning’, ‘real’ and attach other positives to those of us with ‘naturally mature’ hair. Society is finally viewing ageism in a different light. Thank the Lord for all mature women.

  31. Pam—you and Leigh Ann are real women – true to yourselves. You are not trying to be something you are not. No phoniness, you show the good and the bad unlike other bloggers who show a “perfect” life that is staged by a huge design team and is a fake life.
    Linlee you sound to me like a beauty inside and out. When you have a beautiful soul like you do it radiates outwardly and shows how beautiful you are! Beauty is not about intelligence or what shape your hair is in, beauty is about an eternal beauty you get by kindness to others. I bet to the chemo patients you write to they see you as a beautiful angel! Keep up the great work Pam to help women over 50 see themselves as beautiful and valued!

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