I’ll preface this article by saying this is an opinion piece, my opinion isn’t necessarily correct but I obviously think it is.
So, one of our nearest and dearest recently put herself to the needle to reduce a couple of fine lines on her face and I’m about to tell you how I feel about it.
Firstly, I totally get that the majority of 30+ women are doing this now – it’s the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment in the UK. It’s cheaper and more accessible than ever. A botox injection session will set you back around £150 – £350, and the results typically last around 4 – 6 months.
What is botox?
Botox is a tiny dose of the botulinum toxin, which interestingly is one of the most poisonous substances on earth. Scientists have estimated that a single gram could kill up to 1 million people (bet they don’t tell you that when you sign up!)
But somehow, they worked out that in extremely small concentrations, this hectic toxin can paralyse the muscles in your face, resulting in you looking younger.
But my question is, why?
In a society where we as women are already constantly battling to meet unrealistic beauty ideals, it makes me mad that this is one more thing we need to add to the list.
And why? Because society has decided that youth equals beauty.
I’m happy to go on a rant about the fault that lies with the beauty industry, magazines, and social media as a whole, but I think that skates over the underlying issue. These industries are consumer facing, they make a product to meet a demand.
Yes, they may be responsible for creating the first anti-ageing product, but then we bought it, so they made more, and more, and more, until the £30 billion anti-ageing market was created.
The problem with the ‘anti-ageing’ movement
As if we don’t have enough pressure as women growing up in the 21st century, now we’re required to look like we’re 22 when we’re 42.
This movement towards anti-ageing solutions is a back-handed way of saying there’s a problem with what older women look like.
Yes, I’ll take offence if you tell me I need botox, because what you’re really saying is that there’s something wrong with my face the way it is.
This focus on youthfulness leads to a loss of self-confidence, femininity, and sexuality as we age. And again, this makes me angry.
These should be the things that we cherish and look forward to as we age. We should be starting to let go of the self-doubt that can be crippling in our teens and 20’s and learn to love the body we’ve been given.
You want to feel more confident ageing? Well stop spending money preventing it, and start focusing time and energy changing your own and others’ perspectives on it.
If you notice your monthly issue of Vogue features no-one over the age of 50, write to the editor and complain. Push for age to be featured, not airbrushed.
Stop buying that expensive anti-ageing cream that makes you feel bad for having one fucking wrinkle, and instead buy beauty products that promote healthy ageing. Or better still, buy a big-ass bottle of Dom for the same price and drink it in a bath of Cleopatra’s milk (because that’s self-love).
Wouldn’t we all be so much happier if we looked forward to getting older? It’s time we took a stand and put a stop to this bias towards youth. We won’t stay unlined and wrinkle free forever, and nor should we expect to. Let’s celebrate each stage of our lives for what they are.
It’s ultimately about self-love
You want to get botox? Completely fine. It’s your decision, it’s your body, and no one should ever tell you what to do with it.
But I ask you, why are you doing it? What would make you happier in the long run…spending money on looking youthful forever, or spending time learning to feel truly confident in the body you have?
Spoiler alert, Gandhi has answered this one for us: “where there is love there is life.”
Yep, it comes down to self-love ladies, not paralysed face muscles.