The procedure of having something called botulinum toxin – one of the most poisonous substances on planet earth – injected into one’s face, has become one of the most popular cosmetic practices of the 21st century.
Australian’s are spending more than one billion dollars a year on Botox, a treatment that uses a neurotoxin to paralyse muscles.
And with every prick, whether it be to the forehead, the ‘crows feet’ or even into the arm pit, the procedure becomes just that little bit more normal – like dyeing your roots, or bleaching your teeth.
It is easy, of course, to roll our eyes and mutter something about ‘vanity’. If only, we fantasise, women could all hold hands, and commit to leaving our faces alone, embracing the inevitable process of ageing.
But that is not going to happen.
And, in fact, with every woman (or man) who chooses to get Botox, comes an entirely new and complex set of motivations, which are rarely as simple as ‘vanity’.
Earlier this month, James Adonis wrote a column for The Sydney Morning Herald, titled ‘Is Botox good for your career?’.
Adonis argues that Botox has come to profoundly influence everyday life, “possibly nowhere more so than your place of work”.
An employer, it is often reasoned, does not want to hire someone ‘old’ and ‘tired’. They want energy. A certain freshness. They need charisma, and what does charisma mean if not ‘attractive’? And what does attractive mean if not ‘young’?
But ‘protox’ (Botox for professionals) in some cases, has absolutely nothing to do with the desire to maintain a youthful appearance.
Listen: The Mamamia Out Loud team discuss the rise of protox. (Post continues…)
Kate told Mamamia that she lamented how one-sided the conversation about Botox had become.
“Protox has definitely impacted my career for the better and it has nothing to do with looking younger,” she said.
“Having Botox means my expressions are softened and means I don’t reflect the immediate panic I might be thinking.”
Kate said men in the workplace are respected for being calm in times of crisis, and the skill to remain level-headed is a favourable trait in all leaders. Botox means you don’t look concerned or worried which, Kate believes, makes you better at your job.
“It makes me a better manager and more trusted by my staff as I appear more relaxed, mature and knowledgeable,” Kate added.
Before undergoing the procedure, Kate recalled listening to a colleague explain a problem, before saying – rather startled – “I didn’t think it was that bad?”
Her expression had conveyed a level of concern, she said, that was far more severe than the situation demanded.