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Botox or No Botox

Andrea Cagan - Monday, June 11, 2018
Botox or No Botox

I was at a party recently where two female hosts had invited their friends. One of them was in the film business. The other was an energy healer and body worker who had been part of a famous ashram. The idea of the gathering was to merge the groups so they could meet each other and discuss what they had in common and what they didn’t. When I arrived, about 50 people were gathered in the show biz woman’s magnificent backyard. She’d recently divorced a philandering husband, he’d been having a secret affair for twenty years, and divorce had been very good to her. And so it should have been.

I perused the hand painted walls in the bedrooms and bathrooms, a putting green, a cactus Buddha garden, an Olympic swimming pool with a Jacuzzi and a fitted out guest house. I was in awe of so much beauty which I mentioned to the divorcee. She smiled at the compliment but there was no way to know how she really felt because she was Botoxed to the max. Her forehead didn't move, her lips looked painfully swollen, and her skin looked shiny. I tried to focus on her eyes but it was difficult. Girls in their twenties and thirties are getting filler so they can get ahead of aging process before it shows.

As I mingled with guests who were eager to get to know each other, I wondered who was in show biz and who was in the healing and spiritual arts. In a moment, however, it became clear. The people in show biz had Botoxed faces. No wrinkles and limited facial expressions. The ashram crowd wore their wrinkles proudly and their faces showed what they thinking. But no judgments here. I believe that peoples should do what makes them comfortable. If someone hates wrinkles, by all means, do what you want. It has become the norm in Hollywood to have Botox, where people with wrinkled faces are rejected and passed over for movie roles. But for those of us who don't want to erase our faces, it’s a challenge to show our age and not be swayed by the consensus.

I expect most people in Los Angeles, the home of disguises and aging deterrents, face this dilemma. I was interviewing a motivational speaker who kept staring at my forehead instead of my eyes. After ten minutes (she couldn’t stand it any more) she pointed to the two indents above my eyebrows and said, “You'd be really pretty if you got a little Botox and Restalyne. You know, just to smooth things out.” I felt unattractive for a moment but it passed quickly. The truth is that I recoil from having Botulism injected into my face. It scares me and I’m one of those people who find a face that shows emotions more beautiful than one that doesn’t.

The dilemma is, Botox or no Botox? Do we wear our wrinkles and scars as a map to what we have done and where we have been in our lives? Or do we disguise the past? I can see both different sides. Some people want their faces to look as young as their bodies feel and they want to remain relevant. That makes sense. But often, I’ve seen a terrible fear of aging and dying behind the camouflage. It’s a personal decision whether to take the Western path of looking smooth and manicured or the Eastern approach of allowing your face to do what comes natural. How about you? What do you think? Botox or no Botox?

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