Kathy Anderson, 63, milliner
“My mom was really special in helping me accept this aging process. I never remember her dyeing her hair and she used to dress well, too. I’ve seen how vibrant you can be as you age; you can keep on being yourself. People say all the time, “Oh, she won’t tell you her age, you can’t ask that.” On my birthday, I was telling everybody. I was happy to be turning 63.
I got my first gray hair when I was 11 years old. It was odd because a guy was sitting behind me in class and he was like, “Oh, you got a gray hair,” and he pulled it out. Then, over time, it just started being a little bit more gray. I started locking my hairin the '80s. I’ve had three different loc sets that I've cut off.
I’m learning to embrace being older. A girlfriend recently said to me that she was going to the beach and the subject of cellulite came up. She said, “Well, I earned my cellulite.” And I thought, You know what? She’s right. I earned these wrinkles and gray hair. I am who I am. God created all of us to be different.
Who I Am: I am a woman who is beginning to love who she is. I’m not there yet, but I’m beginning to accept who I am.”
Welcome to Life Begins At. Refinery29 is proud to team up with AARP to bring you honest, intimate stories that aim to uncover all the unique experiences that come along with living — no matter your age. It’s time we shed the negative stereotypes, unconscious cultural bias, and misconceptions associated with age and get real about what aging really looks like for us. Because it’s not about how old you are; life begins when you decide to start living it.
Left: Kenzo top; Valen & Jette Rena Earrings, $128, available at Valen & Jette. Right:Cynthia Rowley Harper Stretch Plaid Dress, $425, available at Cynthia Rowley; Hats By Kat hat.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY LEE O’CONNOR
From the article “Stop Telling Me What to Do with My Gray Hair”
Happening at Met Store Mezzanine Gallery…
Check for the above article in January’s Hat Talk Magazine!
The Women 60+ Project
Kathy Anderson was invited to participate in The Women 60+ Project. This is a small sample from the more than 72 beautiful pictures that resulted. Below is a description of the project in photographer Susie Lang's own words...
"I have come across some incredibly inspiring women throughout my life. I am now sixty. I want to celebrate my connection women aged between 60 and 115. It is my on-going project, one that I started because I want to connect with the world as an older woman, I want to be visible, I want to explore the idea of aging, and I want to find my own way in celebrating this transition. As this project is underway, I can see changes that are emerging within me - I want to share some of my photographs of the women who have bravely shared their life experiences and their essence with me. A captured moment in each person’s life."
- Photographer Susie Lang
"I’m part of a 2019 Calendar promoting the movie Hereditary that comes out on June 7th, this Thursday, Evil Grandmas. I’m November. Not wearing a hat, but I feel very blessed to have been picked to be apart of it. This is my year." - Kathy Anderson
"Evil Never Grows Old.
Inspired by the scary-cute grandmother at the root of Hereditary's horrors, A24 presents EVIL GRANDMAS, a limited edition wall calendar depicting thirteen Satan-worshiping grandmas.
The Evil Grandmas 2019 Calendar is available to pre-order on the A24 Shop! --http://shop.a24films.com"
Photographer: Lina Bertucci
Takako Johnson in Hats by Kat's Pink Sinamay Flower Fascinator. This picture was taken at the British School at Waterside Plaza.
From famed milliner Stephen Jones Millinery's Autumn/Winter 2018 Collection "Crowns", we present "Kathy Anderson", a shirred leath Zulu toque.
The church hat is more than just a fashion statement, it’s a part of a long and cherished African American tradition. For hatmakers Evetta Petty, Kathy Anderson and Wanda Chambers, the church hat is a crown, and when a woman puts one on, she becomes a queen. The three milliners have dedicated their lives to crafting elaborate and vibrant hats, seen everywhere from pews of churches to the pages of Vogue. For them, the right hat is a religious experience, a piece of art worn atop the head. Now, they’re hoping to pass the crown down to the next generation.
Kathy Anderson appeared on TLC channel's Cake Boss during Season 7. She was joined by the rest of the Milliner's Guild who commissioned a cake in the shape of an Easter Bonnet to be made by the team. Kathy, of course, is wearing the red fascinator.