Judge Judy star Judith Sheindlin opened up about her decision to wear a ponytail, a look that shocked longtime fans when unveiled on her show earlier this year.
In a new New York Times profile, the 75-year-old Sheindlin explained that her hair was "getting older" as she aged, and decided she needed to "give it a rest from the constant styling." Sheindlin said she called several salons and was looking for a ponytail she could easily pop on in the morning. She told the Times interviewer she planned to buy three more identical ponytails after their interview.
Sheindlin said the ease of just popping on a pony tail instantly gave her more time. Suddenly, she had the time to take leisurely walks with her dog, read the morning paper and watch CNBC.
"Freedom that I haven't had in 40 years," Sheindlin said, later adding how the ponytail cost just $29.95 and she still had the price tag in her purse.
Sheindlin's hairstyle gave Judge Judy the kind of extra attention CBS was unprepared for. When the first episodes with the new 'do debuted in March, CBS executive producer David Theodosopoulos was stunned, and asked Sheindlin "When did this happen?"
The hairdo even got so much negative attention that one Facebook fan group started deleting negative posts about it.
“We’ve had enough of dealing with the negativity surrounding Judge Judy’s choice to change her hairstyle a month ago. We will no longer be approving any further posts about this change, and any comments about it will be deleted," the page's moderator wrote.
As for Sheindlin, she told the Times she thought she deserved a chance to shake things up.
“I get up in the morning, and I look in the mirror, and I say, When did my young person start to inhabit this old person’s body?” she said.
After all, Judge Judy is the highest-rated daytime show in syndication. The series has won three Emmys. In May, Sheindlin received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys, where she of course wore the ponytail.
"Life has a beginning, a middle and an end," Sheindlin said at the end of her acceptance speech. "Most of us don't remember the beginning; I'm having an absolute blast in the middle; and if my luck holds, I won't be around for the end."
Sheindlin's new hairstyle was a shocker for many, since it was such a departure from her famous bowl-cut. When fans saw it for the first time, many remarked how much younger she looked. The style also reminded many of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
"She looks refreshed and happy," one fan tweeted. "A strong look for warmer weather. She's ready to wear a shapeless caftan (perhaps a summer version of her judges robe??) in the Italian countryside."
Sheindlin can also afford to shake things up. According to Forbes, she is the highest-paid talk show host thanks to earning $147 million in pre-tax income last year. She has an estimated net worth of $400 million.
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