Yes I have tried it – more than once.
In my mid forties, I became aware of the lines between my eyebrows (the “11s”). I didn’t like them – they made me look angry and as much as I consciously tried to relax my face I quickly came to realize it was a habit (even while I slept!).
I started to notice Botox ads and although my initial thought was “I could never”, I began to have open conversations with women in my life. One was my daughter Paige, in her early twenties at the time and in the middle of her holistic wellness studies. She immediately asked what I was thinking – she did not personally support the procedure but also didn’t pass judgment on my consideration. I clearly remember her response: simple and sincere. “Mom, it’s not for me and you are beautiful as you are, however, if it bothers you and you believe it will make you feel happy, then you should try it so you will know”. I booked the appointment the next day.
I was nervous and felt exposed heading into the clinic. “What would people think if they saw me, and what would my girlfriends say if they knew?”
The dermatologist was awesome and explained everything thoroughly. I asked for a look “as natural” as possible, and the procedure went quickly and was uneventful. A week later I noticed a slight difference, but also noticed I had a tender lump in the middle of my brows. This did not make me feel good. The procedure lasted about 4 months, which I repeated twice more then never again. I reached my decision: I didn’t feel good about it, didn’t notice a significant difference, and still had the lump (which did eventually go away once I stopped the treatments). I had tried it and I was done.
So, why do we do this? Where does the desire come from? Is it something we want to do or is it something we feel pressured into doing? If you choose to proceed, what do you say to someone who notices you look different? How many of us have been the person who notices, but never ask? (…elephant!)
During initial research, I discovered younger women (in their 20s) were choosing Botox as a preventative procedure. Does this mean the younger generation is afraid of showing age, and did we create that? The definition of youth and beauty seem to have blurred in definition. Do we have a society afraid of aging gracefully, afraid of showing memories and laugh lines made along the way?
As with many things today – the fast pace of society and urge to look younger has evolved from what our mothers experienced. What would Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O tell us about aging, over a glass of wine in current day? (On that note, check out this month’s women I’d like to have wine with!).
The works of Coco Chanel, Estee Lauder, and Elizabeth Arden introduced amazing beauty products in our grandmothers’ prime, and as young girls we played dress up with lipstick and blush on our faces. Is this where it begins, and should we have seen the cosmetic industry giving way to cosmetic treatments? Whatever route you take: it’s not whether you choose a treatment, it’s knowing when to stop. Treatment can be an addictive and slippery slope, and we all know too well what this can look like.
Remember – we are not supposed to look perfect – it’s our lines and experiences that make us beautiful. The world needs to see that when we smile, laugh, frown or cry. Beauty will always be a factor in society, however, I do believe “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. As Paige said to me, do what makes you happy and what is right for you.
Be beautiful – because we can!
Photos: Scotch & Coffee
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