To Botox or Not to Botox?
Why is that a Question?
I'm so annoyed and embarrassed. I have to write about Botox. Well, I don't have to, but it seems that telling the real and true story of me turning 40 includes revealing the oh so unattractive details of me dealing with my supposed diminished attractiveness.
This is not, I repeat not, a pathetic plea for compliments. Nor is it a call to debate the politics of beauty, though thats obviously on my mind. No, it is simply a sharing of the narishkeit that is one 39 year old woman lamenting the deepened, static frown line in the middle of her forehead.
It makes no sense that someone who espouses "healthy eating and exercise" as her "other religion" - hell, someone who just moved to Colorado in the name of an "active, outdoor lifestyle" - would consider injecting something so unnatural into her body. Right? Unless of course, you think about the second part of Botox's clinical name - "type A." And then maybe it starts to make some sense after all...
True confessions time. I tried it. Botox. Last February, 2011, shortly after I turned 39. 20 units. Injected into the aforementioned forehead wrinkle.
And, go figure, I was still 39!
But. I knew. It was in there. That queasy feeling in my stomach wasn't just about money. I also felt very silly, and somewhat of a fraud.
Now, please. Please. If you choose Botox, or anything else like it, please don't huff off. While I admit that if you'd asked the me of ten, fifteen years ago if I would ever do plastic surgery I would have stood on a soap box and delivered a feminist rant. But the me of ten, fifteen years ago was obviously an immature idiot. With the skin of a 30, 25 year old. I swear that I am not judging you. I am not exactly in a position to judge.
But I am here almost a year later, wrinkles still bugging me from time to time, and decidedly Botox free. And wanting to share the top 3 reasons I haven't - and won't - inject again.
1) I have a daughter. A very beautiful; very perfect daughter. To whom I aspire to be a role model.
OK. I will. Maybe its because my daughter has nystagmus, an eye movement disorder causing her eyes to constantly move back and forth, and I am acutely aware of the potential body image issues that may arise for her as a result in adolescence. Or earlier. Or maybe I'd feel this way about any daughter, because research shows over and over and over that girls face a tremendous amount of pressure to look a certain way. Pretty; Thin; Fashionable; Sexy (yikes).
There is a question I think is fair to ask here: Adina sees that I color my hair (I know, you're shocked, but this kind of fabulousness does not occur in nature) and that I wear makeup. And that I enjoy shopping and keeping up with fashion trends. Does this not conflict with a message of acceptance and body image confidence?
2) Vanity. Sure, I liked the botox effect on one wrinkle. But if you hadn't noticed, I also really like the way I look in general. I think I look healthy. Happy. Strong. Botox just didn't "fit right" with that picture. For me. And if I'm actually confident enough to think I look good without sticking needles into my forehead, well, hell, why on earth should I?
3) I'm not 20! (or haven't you heard?) I'm not 20! I am almost 40. And 40 year old faces have wrinkles. They have wrinkles that formed from years of smiling and laughing, and also from times of tears. I think at least one of the reasons my forehead wrinkle bothers me, but the lines around my eyes and mouth do not, is because my frown lines reveal to the world all those times that I have frowned. That I have been angry, stressed, sad, or scared. That I have raged, that I have cried, that I have momentarily wished for things I could not achieve or could not have.
And who wants to look in the mirror and think about all that?
Well, I guess I don't really have a choice. I've got children to raise, a husband to love, a life to live. I know how damn lucky I am. So I control what I can. Appreciating my good fortune. And yes, my good looks. And spending the cash available for vanity on chemicals (the blonde highlights) and cotton (Joe's Jeans are my fav) rather than toxin.
You're beautiful. Really beautiful. Don't forget it.