The word “grey” rarely inspires enthusiasm. It makes you think of German drizzling weather, desolate suburbs and inconspicuous women. Or worse: old women. Still usable as baking grannies, graying women on television are a cause for debate. This showed the excitement about the silver head of RTL presenter Birgit Schrowange and now the dismissal of a Canadian news anchor.

Journalist Lisa LaFlamme hosted CTV National News for 35 years. Now her contract was suddenly terminated. The suspicion: her gray hair is to blame. Like many others, LaFlamme had stopped dying her hair during the period of lockdowns and closed hair salons. On Twitter, the journalist was surprised by her resignation: “At the age of 58, I thought I would have much more time to tell more stories.” The broadcaster justified the dismissal with strategic reasons. But according to media reports, the deputy boss is said to have asked in a meeting: “Who approved that Lisa turns gray?”

The Internet then did what it does best and was outraged: the dismissal was “ageism” and “sexism”. Big brands like Dove and the fast-food chain Wendy’s saw their chance. They colorized their mascots: the “Dove” pigeon went gray and the otherwise red-haired “Wendy’s” girl did the same. As a sign of solidarity and a good Twitter trend nose.

The debate proves that fashion trends – Vogue, among others, celebrated gray hair this year, and many young people are dying their hair gray in the spirit of “granny style” – do not necessarily mean normalization. In addition, it once again becomes clear how sensitive the subject of hair is. Also for men. Gerhard Schröder was laughed at for dyeing. Christian Lindner had to justify his hair transplant to “Markus Lanz”.

Even more shameful than aging seems to be getting caught ashamed. Even gray hair – which we all bloom – is screwed up to a “statement”. What even “Vogue” can’t normalize must, as always, take time to do.

“Aha! Ten minutes of everyday knowledge” is WELT’s knowledge podcast. Every Tuesday and Thursday we answer everyday questions from the field of science. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Amazon Music, among others, or directly via RSS feed.