It was a regular Wednesday afternoon when it happened. I sat down to lunch with three friends, and one said to the other: “Holy sh*t, you look fantastic.” It was true. Our always lovely friend did look freaking fantastic. She didn’t even hesitate: “Oh, I just redid my Botox.”
My jaw dropped to the floor. Homegirl is a year older than I am and looks about twenty, and I had never guessed that any of it was due to anything but great genes.
See, somewhere along the way, I missed the memo. I thought Botox was still this thing that made you look like a statue of your former self, or worse, nothing like your former self at all. Wrinkles were one thing, but being snickered at and whispered about behind my back for looking like an over-injected freak was about as high on my list as … volunteering for more wrinkles. I mean, if it’s not fooling anyone, what’s the point, right? So ever since it first hit the market and destroyed faces the world over while I was still in my early 20s, I filed it under “extreme” and went along my merry aging way, mocking the botchalism as I went.
But as my other two lunch companions admitted to also having dabbled with injectables, and then more and more of my slowest-aging friends began spilling the beans (when asked, because I became curious), I realized it: Here I thought I was aging badly when all this time, it was just that everyone else’s Botox was making me look old, and I was too busy making fun of them to be let in on the secret.
I mean, imagine if you didn’t know about hair color. Here you are thinking that you are going prematurely gray when in reality, all of your peers are just slapping on some Loving Care every few weeks. When you realized that your youthful hair color was just a shampoo away? Well, wouldn’t you want to try it?
I did, which is exactly what I ran home and told my husband, who looked at me like: “Hell no, you are crazy.” And then said that out loud, too. He was not a fan of the idea. I pressed him — more than a few friends had said they hadn’t even told their significant others they were doing it. The result can be so subtle that the person who looks at your face morning and night doesn’t even notice. He was not amused. He told me he would definitely notice. I told him I was pretty sure he wouldn’t, but I wanted his blessing anyway. Eventually, he came to the same conclusion I had — he didn’t want me to get Botox because he felt like he had mocked the idea for years on end and wasn’t sure he could stop. In the end, he decided it was his issue, and I could go on with my facial paralysis if I wanted to.
I haven’t taken the plunge yet, but I did visit a med spa for a consult. I don’t think I’m ready to freeze my seriously expressive face, so I’m going to start small with this anti-aging business. I went for an IPL facial this past Friday to see if I can’t eliminate some of what bothers me without needles, which I’m still a little nervous about. But my mind is open. I’ll stop the mocking. I’m not above wanting to keep my looks around as long as possible. I just feel really strongly that it should be MY looks … not some weird frozen face alien version of me.
So I’ve come up with a philosophy I think will keep things in check if I do decide to go for it: Anti-aging is like cleaning up for company. I always leave a couple of things laying around the house so it doesn’t look like I tried to hard. The reason my friends look so great is because they’ve been careful not to overdo it. They tackled their “11’s” (the stress crease between your brows) but left their smile lines. They look like them. They just look like versions of themselves that get more sleep than they actually do.
C’mon readers. Spill it for the greater good: Have you taken the anti-aging plunge? Were you happy with the results?