Yesterday I attended a small group meeting of pastors and other lay professionals. We all meet once a month to encourage one another and to hold each other accountable for growing and developing as leaders in our congregation and in our communities.
I'm not sure how this came up, but right at the beginning of the meeting, one of the other members (a Franciscan brother, by the way) looked at me and said, "If you dyed your hair, you could pass for a teenager."
I have a really nice streak of gray in front. I'm actually a little proud of it.
I'm not planning on dying my hair any time soon.
I must have had a funny look on my face after that comment, because he (and others) assured me, "You should take it as a compliment."
Now, I don't think this was an insult, but really: is this what a woman who desires to be a more effective leader really needs? To be told she could pass for a teenager?
Here's what I think: Maturity in men is attractive. Maturity in women is... what? Yet, as a leader, I want to project an image of substance, force, depth with grace. Somehow the word "teenager" doesn't really do that for me.