“I’ll never get Botox! Ever”, says the ripe, peachy keen 20 something with conviction. “I mean, I just know I’ll never do that to myself”. Don’t you love the word “never” coming from someone who’s, god willing, only lived 20% of their life. Sentiments said with such gusto and surety that you might actually believe her. Looking at her slippery, polished forehead, you too would agree. Youth is wasted on the young, that’s another post for another time, but just imagine you could have the experience of birthing a 10-pound baby, getting some true hard knocks and learn about fortitude and grace and still have your face look like it’s been injected with liquid marshmallows. But I digress…
I was that girl. Proclaiming from the rooftop that I would never inject some foreign, poisonous substance in to my face. How barbaric. Botox hit an internal discord in my soul and was against every natural philosophy I believed in. But then I turned 30. Small grooves started to form on my face. Showcasing all my days I’d lived. All the people I’d loved. All my losses, my child, the fights, the laugher, the pain, the joy . All there for the world to see for the first time. And I felt exposed.
So what now? Was I meant to embrace the lines that proved that I have lived a colorful life or am I meant to erase them so my forehead blends in with my 30 something counterparts. And then, how can I explain this to my impressionable child? We, as parents, spend our days obsessively instilling strength, and self love and compassion for oneself into our children but how can they possibly respect our words when our actions are in conflict.
In our society when we feel vulnerable, we turn to the quickest fix to make ourselves feel better. Just look at every magazine you read. The magazines you read are designed to make you feel unworthy. Every page proclaims what’s wrong with you. “Lose 10 pounds in 3 weeks”, aka you are unworthy, “Creams that will make you look 10 years younger”, aka you are unworthy. “10 ways to have a better marriage”, aka your marriage is unworthy. Making you feel unworthy is BIG BUSINESS and the more you are kept down the more they thrive.
So, it’s no surprise that when we start to age up, we are forced with the decision,” to botox or not botox?” And we are not to blame. How can we be? The continuous cacophony from the outside world screaming “perfection”, scratches a wound somewhere deep within ourselves. I wonder if we, instead of spending all the money on external anti-aging creams, spent it on internal healing, would even give it a second thought.
So for now, I’m saying no. I’m saying no to letting societal norms dictate what beauty looks like. I can’t say how I’ll feel in a decade but I hope that I’ll be too busy drinking wine with my family in some exotic location feeling proud of every memory line on my face. And I should. Because Lord knows, I earned them.