It was about a year ago when I discovered every woman around me was getting Botox. And not just the thirty-somethings. Turns out the twenty-somethings were too and I was about a decade late to the party. Stunning perfect-skinned twenty-three year old women were sharing with me all the places they were getting Botox on their face. I would giggle in disbelief due to their age and like the concerned mother I am say “but you don’t even have wrinkles yet!” They would then proceed to take me down the theory of preventative Botox.
This year, I turned 35 and I’ve never gotten Botox. I’ve thought about it, I’ve made jokes to my closest friends about how “it’s only a matter of time” and I’ve talked to other women about their experiences with the FDA-approved nueromodulator. It feels like EVERYONE is doing it. But here is why I haven’t. Yet…
I’m not here to pass judgement, I firmly and always believe in to each her own. At the end of the day whether it’s Botox, a push-up bra or plastic surgery I support women in making choices for their own well-being, confidence and happiness. However in this post I hope to say an additional opinion out loud that may not be a popular one and one I rarely hear as the trend in skin care is less about care and more about achieving perfection. An opinion that breaks away from what we have been molded to believe what a “beautiful woman” looks like as you self-reflect on you. We’ve already scratched the surface as a society breaking down body image. Yet, why are we so focused and afraid of physically aging? Here is why I haven’t actually gotten Botox…
I wanted to actually see what I would look like as I started to wear my years of expression. I wanted to first see, if I would like myself with fine lines. And do you know what? I do.
I tend to lean towards the more natural side of beauty. Yet I die my hair, I wear push up bras , I wear make-up and you’ve all seen my variety of filters and edits on my photos. As I examined my vanity and where I stood with me, I’ve discovered that it does truly go back to what makes you as an individual feel good. I’ve always romanticized that when someone were to see me as beautiful, it would be me as me. Naturally pretty. Anyone with a pocket-book can turn toward the knife or the needle, do they become the epitome of beauty or does that diminish it? The answer is in the eye of the beholder.
To the MANY women I know and love using Botox, I applaud you for doing something that you feel is right for YOU. In fact the upkeep habits you have in place for your skin care routine is something I can learn from in how to take the best care of myself. I’m not making a blanket statement that Botox or any cosmetic procedure is “bad”. What I am saying is that as I personally examine my vanity, there may be another opinion out there of what beautiful skin should look like. As I work through my post-postartum body and my fine lines, the example I want to set today for my oldest daughter (who even at the age of 5 is concerned about appearance), is that I’m going to own my flaws. Who is it up to decide what is a flaw and what is not anyway?
Guess how old I am? 35. Guess how old I want to look? 35. And I just have to propose the question, what is wrong with that?
God damn it, I am proud of my last decade! I’ve earned my fine lines. Laughter, tears, heartbreak, joy, two babies later…I’m good with me. I can scroll through my camera roll and cringe at myself like anyone else. (There’s a lot to say for the mastering the art of good lighting and angles in what you see posted on someone’s feed) I’ve recently become self-conscious about my front tooth that’s turning out-of-place that can be seen when I smile and I do hate how the lack of sleep from a new mother (or any mother for that matter) can be seen on my face. I’m not here saying my flaws don’t bother me, but my question remains: Do they have to?
My fine lines haven’t prevented me from getting a job. They haven’t prevented me from being loved by my significant other. They haven’t stopped me from being successful. Let’s talk about the double standard of aging in gender roles for a minute. Are we looking at a mature man and inspecting his wrinkles the way we would a woman of the same age? Nope. I’m sure as shit Bob, Steve and Tom aren’t sitting around gabbing about how they need Botox so their laugh lines won’t match their crow’s-feet. Why the hell are we wasting our time on these conversations as women? We all do it, I’m guilty of it and I’m not sitting here saying I’m not. What I am saying is that while we have come so far in acceptance of ourselves in society (although still a way to go), why do we continue to see signs of aging as the opposite of beauty?
I’m not saying I’ll never get Botox and that it’s not challenging when the rest of the world around you seems to have smooth faces regardless of actual age. Maybe at 40 I’ll feel differently, heck maybe I will at 36! But for now, I like the way my face looks, fine lines, imperfect skin and all. I’m good with me. I’m good with being and looking 35.
End rant. #perfectlyimperfect