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Screengrab of Dove Canada's Twitter page. Twitter

Joey on Friends says "How you doin?" . It became his catch phrase since almost the beginning of the series- the show turned the simple line into something unforgettable that will forever be associated with Joeys character. For a time Dove Canada turned its iconic gold logo in Canada to grey and encouraged people do the same to their social media profile to bring awareness to ageism in the workplace.

The company’s #KeepTheGrey campaign didn't specifically mention Lisa LaFlamme, a Canadian tv journalist who had been questioned by her network about her grey hair and possibly fired, at least in part, for the fact that she was aging. After that, other companies followed suit. Wendy’s Canada posted a photo to its social media accounts of the usual red-haired Wendy in greyscale.

The truth is that #KeepTheGrey was a bold catch phrase that lasted a hot second in the social media blogsphere and news cycle. I've been wondering about that a little bit, especially as I do my regular root touch up to turn my own grey roots to their original, if not slightly improved, medium brown color. Ageism is certainly alive and well, but that’s just one example of the hurdles women face. And there are deep systemic career-advancement barriers that go beyond hair color, problems that are often compounded for BIPOC individuals. Would keeping your hair grey somehow bring about attention and corresponding action to address the vast inequities we women find ourselves faced with daily, including ageism?

In the end, "How you doin?" felt like a genuine question coming from the loveable character of Joey on Friends. It makes sense that it has lasted in the hearts and minds of those of us who watched the show. But when cosmetics and food companies say they support women by using greyscale in photo shopped images, well... that might feel a little less genuine. I've never wanted to let my hair go grey, but not because I felt that I would be hampered by ageism if I did. I don't want to go grey because my hair has always been a nice medium brown and I have always felt comfortable and confident that way. As I confront the trials and tribulations of everyday life in an often unfair world, its kind of nice that my hair is the one thing that doesn't make me stressed or insecure.

Oh, and by the way, even if you go grey, you should consider working with your stylist to get your hair toned to look shiny and healthy - you deserve it!

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