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Reflections on beauty, ageing, and intervening.


Recently I’ve found myself in more conversations than I’d like, both in the industry and with friends around beauty, ageing… and botox.

We’re literally faced with this topic every day.

In June I will turn 35. I’ve never had an issue with getting older, in fact, my friends will tell you that I’ve celebrated it and wished it upon myself sooner.

But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t notice looking older.

I recently went to a beauty event surrounded by a majority of women who looked 5–10 years younger than they actually are. Standing next to them, I felt old and tired. Ironically, they all said they too were tired, except I couldn’t tell, because they’d frozen their faces in time.

An opinion: I am against botox. And while one day I may eat my own words, I really hope I don’t.

I think there’s something wrong when we start losing the concept of what a 35, 45, 50 year-old looks like, because there’s so few people who haven’t intervened with the natural process of ageing and altered their faces.

I’ve had friends admit to giving into botox because they’ve been at a wedding, and upon looking at photos noticed they were the odd one out in a sea of perfect, similar faces. Their furrowed brow, crows feet, smile lines, whatever you want to call the signs of environmental exposure and time — singled them out as ageing. And we’re anti- that, right?

Our emotional dependence on looking some way or another clearly runs more than skin-deep. Beauty ideals are rooted in religion, politics, gender and so much more.

But our desire to freeze time feels, to me, a little more concerning.

I’ve thought about getting lip fillers, about botox across my own triangle of sadness, or getting rid of the pigmentation on my forehead with laser. But then I’ve thought about looking like everyone else, getting rid of the signs of joy, stress, struggle, hard work, and summers well spent. I’ve thought about denying myself the opportunity to see what I look like over time.

The thought of botox has never made me feel good or empowered— two words I often hear from the other side of the fence. The idea of botox has only ever made me feel the opposite, like I’m not enough or not desirable as is.

I’ve debated this with myself and others many times. “But what about makeup? Dyeing your hair? Removing your hair? Tattoos?” Aren’t these all forms of intervention, self-improvement, & anti-ageing? Should we just stop everything?

Beauty can and should be fun.

A form of self expression. Except that Botox literally removes our expression(s).

I think the problem is that while people can visibly tell that I dye my hair, that I have tattoos, that I have chosen to remove my body hair — that I clearly wasn’t “born with it”… for the most part people can’t tell if someone has had botox or fillers or a nose job.

We think someone is genetically gifted and we berate ourselves for not being the same. We think someone looks good because of their expensive 10-step skincare routine, or their diet, so we spend thousands of dollars and countless hours trying to achieve the same thing, wondering why our attempts aren’t working.

My friend made a great point that she was previously spending as much on skincare as she was on botox, without seeing the same results. A fair defence from an economic sense. But enough of a justification?

I’m sure it feels good when you start.

But then, when do you stop? Do you do this forever? What happens when your 50 year old neck or hands tell another story?

Perhaps there’s nothing wrong with getting botox if you’ve truly examined your why and can be honest about succumbing to external influences and internal insecurities.

But I think there’s something wrong with getting botox when you start thinking about everyone else.

Involuntary medical procedures aside, I think there’s something wrong when your peers or children start looking at you, and wonder why their skin doesn’t look as plump or as tight or as clear, or why their nose doesn’t look as straight, or their lips as thick and full. I think there’s something wrong when you omit facts about your appearance. The cost of keeping up a lie is exhausting.

“You’re worth it.”

Is intervention self-care? Or are we consumed by caring about what other people think?

I think what would be truly empowering is accepting life’s ultimate truth: as Jessica Defino says, — “you’re gonna die some day no matter how young you look.”

Surrendering to and enjoying this process — that along the way our body prepares us for this, by showing us that we’re aging. A natural occurrence. A privilege that not everybody gets to see out.

What would that feel like? Standing in a room full of people your age, acknowledging time, together.



This piece was written as part of Little Company’s “Get in Touch” project. I took this invitation, as I do their treatments, as a chance to get in touch with how I feel about beauty, ageing, self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-care.