Would you stop smiling because it causes lines? Will you avoid lying on your side at night because it causes wrinkles? Nah, you’ll just fix it in the future right? Instead of looking forward to the years to come, we keep trying to rewind to keep young. Do we believe beauty is pain, or does our society cross the line…and then try to erase it later?
When girls are young they many take part in makeover, pedicure and manicure parties. I was one of them, and I could never have never imagined that the bar would be raised so high as we become older to obtain beauty treatments such as Botox. Women in Hollywood and in the public eye constantly feel the pressure to seek these beauty procedures, both pleasurable and painful. This behavior obviously causes the average girl to feel insecure and want to achieve this unrealistic image of beauty themselves. It’s only human when we want to emulate our idols, but our society has gone to extreme measures to look “beautiful,” risking our health and personal lives to do so.
Out with the Old and in with the New
The latest trend isn’t fur… and that new leather dress isn’t the only stylish look hitting the streets of Manhattan to Hollywood Boulevard. The hottest look actually seems to be the “fresh face.” Having flawless skin is something everyone craves. In order to achieve this type of perfection, all you have to do is pay the price. I’m not talking about purchasing expensive creams that suggest they can reverse aging or that over-the-counter eye-roller that claims to make wrinkles disappear. I’m talking about Botox and Restylane along with lip injections, fat fillers, and collagen. Who would have thought that injections would be the latest beauty regimen among young women?
Botox Becoming a Fashion Statement.
The recent rise in the popularity of Botox has much to do with the manner in which it is frequently marketed. For example, some practitioners buy the toxin in bulk and arrange gatherings for women receiving their treatments. As in business, volume discounts can be found in medicine. Plastic surgery events known as, “Botox Parties, Seminars, Evenings or Socials are all key elements in the marketing of Botox throughout the United States. These gatherings are thought to be a convenient means of providing Botox treatments more economically, and may help reduce the anxiety that normally accompanies getting an injection.” Doctors are finding that treating people in groups allow them to make the procedure more comfortable as well as affordable to their patients. Many women on television, such as The Real Housewives, have led the way in hosting organized Botox parties. “It’s a great way for people to meet each other and it’s a comfortable way for patients to get Botox,” responded Dr. Nassif to a CBS inquiry.
The New York Dermatology Group, headed by Dr. David Colbert, celebrated Fashion’s Night Out by promoting their half-off Botox treatments. Fashion’s Night Out is a night long event in NYC where stores may have deals, discounts, freebees, cocktails, and evidently discounted Botox! David stated this promotion helps the ladies prep for Fashion Week.
With the mentality that beauty is pain, perhaps an offer like this is something many fashionista’s would that a stab at! Oh, and something to really make you frown, Botox can range anywhere from $125 to $500 for each area injected…so to receive this treatment half off is a great deal! Are we all getting a little too concerned with aging? Everyone’s doing it; and those who aren’t perhaps want it or will be doing it in the future.
The Rapid Remedy Risks and Recovery Side Effects
Not only did the fame and fortune go to Heidi Montag’s head, but the Botox did as well! Being approved by the FDA for cosmetic use in 2002, we trust that Botox will reduce lines, wrinkles, and crows-feet. Those who swear by these injections don’t seem to be at all concerned about the risks involved in these procedures. Some studies have shown that Botox has caused unwanted side effects such as droopy or deformed eyelids, headaches, bruising, speech problems, and even adverse effects to the brain. Botox contains botulinum neurotoxin that paralyzes the muscles in our face by the release of a neurotransmitter Acetylcholine. Sounds risky, right?
A study done in Newsweek suggests that the neurotoxin can cause brain trauma and a neuromuscular disorder. A neuroscientist at the Neuroscience Institute of the National Research Council in Pisa did a study where he injected rats with Botox. He was surprised to find that the nerves in the rat’s brain started to shut down. Obviously, the rat’s muscles are much smaller than ours; therefore, their tolerance of the toxin would be considerably less than humans. At the very least, Botox injections should not be done without careful consideration and caution regarding this “quick fix.”
There are many other side effects from Botox that we should consider such as the bruising I spoke about earlier, the simple fact is, it isn’t permanent, but you could be destroying your inner beauty. Joshua Ian David, the Department of Psychology in Barnard College of Columbia University did a study on how Botox can make people emotionless. “Although it was proposed over a century ago that feedback from facial expressions influence emotional experience, tests of this hypothesis have been equivocal. Here we directly tested this facial feedback hypothesis (FFH) by comparing the impact on self-reported emotional experience of Botox injections (which paralyze muscles of facial expression) and a control Restylane injection (which is cosmetic filler that does not affect facial muscles).”
Webmd claims, “People who receive Botox or other injectables do feel better about themselves and can make a better first impression.” “There is evidence showing that a mild adjustment of face such as raising the brows with Botox can make a person look friendlier, happier or nicer, and if people look friendlier, happier, or nicer, they probably feel that way as well.”
On the contrary, since Botox paralyzes muscles of facial expression participants can’t show pre to post treatment changes in emotional responses to negative or positive moments. The study later suggests that just because those who didn’t show emotion on their face, it didn’t mean they didn’t feel it on the inside. Obviously, many people have the ability to mask their feelings on the inside from the outside world with or without the use of Botox.
In the article “Botox Paralyses Your Emotions,” a study was done that those given the toxin injections experienced significantly less reaction to emotionally charged films than those who had not had the treatment. For example, not being able to smile means you do not feel as happy. “A well-known side effect of Botox is the inability to fully express emotions. Now, new research has revealed another side effect of the anti-wrinkle jabs: the inability to fully feel emotions.” Botox effectively freezes the facial muscles around wrinkles, smoothing the skin but inhibiting facial expressions.
Botox Preventing Baldness
Botox injections have been used to treat migraines and excessive sweating and now are even used to prevent hair loss. There has been recent finding which show that Botox injections into the scalp can delay hair loss and successfully prevent baldness! Doctor Simon Ourian, Medical Director of Epione, an internationally recognized cosmetic dermatology destination in Beverly Hills tests the treatment over the course of three years with volunteer patients. He stated the idea behind the treatment is to reduce the scalp tension and improve blood flow, therefore improving the tissue environment surrounding the hair follicles. He noted that the Botox for balding has the same side effects as a typical cosmetic Botox treatment, however it is safe and possibly more effective than anything he has seen before.
My Mothers Botox Experience
Three years ago I won an essay contest at my spa, giving my mother the Grand Prize that added up to over $8,000. She was given the choice of doing the beauty treatments such as, a new haircut, highlights, manicure, pedicure, and treatments such as Botox, Restylane, and other chemical peels. Being that it was free, and she would never have this opportunity again she decided to try the Botox and Restylane. Although she only decided to get a few injections, she ended up being extremely bruised around her eyes and lips. She began to get concerned that she might have had an allergic reaction, but the doctor reassured her that it was just the side effect of the Botox.
I couldn’t imagine if she decided to continue getting a full face of Botox or if she had fair skin. After the stress of trying to hide her bruises and swelling with makeup so the people at work wouldn’t think she was God forbid abused, she was pleased when about two weeks later she was fully recovered and had anticipated results. Needless to say, she decided not to go through any chemical peels, doctors suggest that you do those procedures during a week that you can hide out because it causes extreme redness and peeling of the skin.
About five months later the Botox started to fade and my mother’s face went back to the way it once was. When people asked her what she thought of the experience she admitted that it was a treat to have it done, but being that the cost is extremely high, the side effects were obvious, and the results don’t last long, she wouldn’t do it again. She admitted maybe if she won another contest and it was for a special event she might consider it. But, realistically, my mom believes that she has earned her wrinkles, and there isn’t enough time in the day to sit back, count them, and complain about it. In other words, she is happy in her own skin, and grateful to be surrounded by a great family and friends.
Unlike my mom who is comfortable with who she is, many women today feel the need to uphold their youth by using Botox. The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery stated, “The results show a continuation of the trend, where consumers are opting to have less invasive procedures to look and feel refreshed. The economy is playing a large role in the growing trend. Not only are consumers having less-costly procedures, but 80 percent of physicians surveyed say patients are making these choices in order to remain competitive in the workplace.”
Life isn’t smooth sailing, it’s a wrinkly world!
Any type of physical enhancement treatment is truly a personal choice and one that certainly should not be taken lightly. In my opinion, I think the focus in our society needs to change from the overwhelming search for physical perfection to focusing on what is truly important for a happy life.
I am not saying that we shouldn’t be concerned about our physical appearance. I am simply stating it should be done in moderation and that skin deep perfection should not be a girl’s goal in life. Eventually the wrinkles and lines will win out, the aging process will continue, and where does that leave the girl who thinks that her face is all she has to offer?
Young girls today need to realize that they are much more than just a pretty face and that they have so much to put forward to the world if they work hard to achieve their goals. Instilling this type of self esteem has to start when a girl is young in order to be successful. In addition, girls usually take their cues from their moms and how they deal with aging and self image. Therefore, new moms are the role models for the next generation of woman who will either never be satisfied with their appearance or those that choose to live healthy, happy lives filled with personal achievements and love.