Baby Don’t Botox

It’s really quite simple. Two words: BOtulism TOXin.

When it comes to even more invasive cosmetic “procedures,” I’ve never had more than a fleeting consideration. First, cosmetic surgery is still surgery, with all of the inherent risks. A friend’s younger sister died in her sleep from a pulmonary embolism three days after having a fairly minor “body contouring” procedure. She was 35.

I’m at that point where the jowls are starting to sag, and the jawline to soften. My upper eyelids are drifting downward. But even though I’m seeing the passage of time in my face, it’s still my face. Aside from the very real medical issues, I’m afraid of having something done that would cause me to not look like myself. Am I the only one who thinks that quite often, people who have this kind of extensive “work” done looked better before?*

In this little corner of the world, you sometimes see some pretty freakish plastic surgery results, like noses that could cut glass, trout pout, cheekbone implants that rival the continental shelf, or skin pulled tighter than a tick’s ass stretched over a rain barrel. But even when the end result is fairly “normal” looking, I have a hard time understanding why someone would want to look so different. Even when it comes to less drastic results, I also worry that plastic surgery is becoming another cultural expectation, that it’s normalizing and validating ageism. There are very few women over 50 in the media who haven’t had some kind of “work” done. We no longer see realistic images of what aging looks like in movies, TV or print media.
And then there’s the expense. I could take one or two pretty swanky trips to Paris for the cost of a basic eye lift. The skin will sag again, but une femme would always have Paris.

*I’m not talking about correcting actual deformities like cleft palate.

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  1. September 26, 2007 / 2:01 am

    I’m with you — although I’ve succumbed to the tooth-whitening, and it seems only a few years ago I thought natural teeth were acceptable–that norm’s being redefined. I get my feet pedicured through the warm months now ’cause “ooooh, bare toenails are ugly” (my daughters actually said this in their teens!)– and now cosmetic surgery is taking on female genitalia — this pervasive redefining of what our bodies should look like (rather than focussing on what they can do or how they feel) is pretty threatening as mine gets older and less likely/able to conform. For now I’m going to enjoy being able to run, do my Pilates, eat good food and drink good wine and buy beautiful scarves to tie around this crepey neck!

  2. September 26, 2007 / 2:57 am

    These days I’m learning to value a functional body that can walk for miles and climb stairs and ride a bike or horse. (My badly arthritic, bone-on-bone hip joint has finally gotten the better of me, and I’m scheduled for a hip replacement in January. And hopefully that will be my last hospital stay for a good, long time.)

    What’s frightening to me is how what used to be considered the appearance of normal ageing is now pathologized. Wrinkles, sagging chin…these are now “conditions” that require medical intervention. Remember the movie, “Logan’s Run”?

  3. September 26, 2007 / 6:10 pm

    As usual, Miss Janey is in complete agreement w/ Deja. (We may be the only 2 females in LA County who feel this way.) YES, car accidents, birth defects, etc., by all means should be corrected. But since when is AGING a deformity? Living in LA La Land, its easy to see examples everywhere of the surgery addicted. Miss J’s first thought is usually something like, “OH, too much PS.” followed by, “Imagine being THAT insecure… to be that fixated on one’s looks, to be willing to go under a KNIFE… that’s a shame.”

  4. September 27, 2007 / 9:27 am

    “.. noses that could cut glass, trout pout, cheekbone implants that rival the continental shelf, or skin pulled tighter than a tick’s ass stretched over a rain barrel..”

    The best I have heard came from a Scottish friend, now in his 60s. At a ball, he danced with the refurbished wife of an oil tycoon from – where else? – Texas. Normally he does not use unparliamentary language when I am around seeing as I am the same age as his sons. But this time he made an exception. Talking about the said woman, he said: Oh, Mrs Titanium Tits!

    Ha ha! That is in the same league as Trout Pout, methinks.

  5. buukfairy
    October 3, 2007 / 5:11 am

    I live in Orange County. Some of the wealthier people here have frightening appearances. If children stare, and not in that happy Santa Claus way, somethin’ ain’t right.

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