Cosmetic injectables used to be just for movie stars, but now they have gone decidedly mainstream. Considering a little jab? Read this list first.
1. It makes you look older
Botox and fillers give you a recognisable look: smooth forehead ala Kylie and Nic; trout pout ala Meg Ryan and Courtney Love. All these women are well past their fortieth birthdays. If you look like them and you’re only 32, people will peg you as a person much older.
2. It’s not fair to other women
I have a colleague who confided in me that she’s had work done, but denies it to everyone else. When a mutual friend expressed amazement that she hasn’t any smile lines around her eyes, she smiled serenely and thanked her good genes, making my friend feel like crap. Not fair.
3. It costs a lot of money
Thousands of dollars a year to maintain it! Increasing every year as you get older! Think about what else you could do with that money. Go to Scotland every year for Hogmanay. Do a part-time university course in fifteenth-century manuscript history. Hire a personal trainer. No, hire a native French speaker to teach you French immersion style. In Paris.
4. It gives that money to people who don’t deserve it
The companies and practitioners who sell you your injectibles want you to hate your smile lines. If you hate them, you’ll part with your money. So they manufacture self-hatred, through using horrid phrases like “crows feet” and “marionette lines”. In a relationship, if somebody undermined your self esteem to get your money, we’d call that abuse.
5. It makes your face look weird
Injectibles don’t make you look younger, they make you look smoother and puffier (a kind of pseudo-youth). A little too much or a little in the wrong place, and you’ll be too smooth or too puffy and it will look weird. Even celebrities occasionally have dodgy work done, and they have heaps of money and the best practitioers available: do you really think you can avoid it?
6. It makes you undersell yourself
You are more than your appearance. If you really think all you have to offer the world is a smooth face, then you are mistaken. Kindness, intelligence, warmth, humour, wisdom, patience, forgiveness, and so on and so on. Nobody’s value is limited to a smooth forehead.
7. It’s all going to go eventually
Botox can’t stop you getting old. Eventually, it will happen and no injectible on earth will help. By then, you’ll be struggling against a life-long panicky conviction that wrinkles must be eradicated. This is not what they call ageing gracefully.
8. Nobody can botox your arse
No matter how smooth your face remains, your body will eventually reveal the truth about your age. Skin grows softer and sits differently. There isn’t a shot for that, so you’re going to be limited to turtle-necks and maxi-skirts (which isn’t much fun in an Australian summer), or you going to have to present the world with collar and cuffs that don’t match.
9. It’s the thin edge of a wedge
Botox and fillers are gateway drugs. You think it’s only a little bit of tinkering, but when it’s no longer enough, suddenly surgical eyelifts and neck tightening start to sound viable.
10. There are plenty of people who are beautiful without it
It’s hard to find celebs who haven’t had work done, but go google pics of Emma Thompson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Cate Blanchett, Paulina Porozkova, or Isabella Rosselini. Granted, they were all beautiful women to start with, but just go look at them and see what a real ageing face looks like. It’s not all bad, people.
And one extra reason to ignore me…
Because you’re you and it’s your business. If you can read all of this and still think, “It’s what I want”, then go right ahead. Just don’t come crying to me when you can’t order a meal in a Parisian restaurant without a phrasebook. Or without moving your eyebrows.
Check out our gallery of celebrities who admit to or deny Botox..
Nicole Kidman admits to dabbling with Botox. 'I didn't like how my face looked afterwards,' she says. 'Now I don't use it anymore – I can move my forehead again!'
Kim Wilkins has published over 20 novels. She has a PhD and teaches writing and literature at University of Queensland. You can read more about her here.
What’s your opinion on Botox? Have you done it? Would you?
(Next week we will be posting a story about someone who has had botox – and what she thought about it – stay tuned)