Straight Talk Advice

“Ex Machina” side effect another wrinkle in Botox use

Oct 13, 2015

Botox parties for young women put frown lines on Mom

Dear Straight Talk: My daughter, 21, who is away at college, says she’s been invited to a Botox party hosted by her best friend, whose mom “looks amazing”. Apparently, someone from her mom’s plastic surgery clinic will be administering it. When I expressed dismay, she informed me that “lots" of young women are doing it to prevent wrinkles in the first place. Is this another shocking new normal? How should I handle this? —Mom (with new frown lines), Redding, California

Lisa 22, New York, New York Ask me a question

It’s not exactly the new normal, but a disturbing trend with no winners. Now that cosmetic injections and surgery can create an ideal face or body, it is imperative to do it — while simultaneously condemned as fake. On the other hand, “going natural” fails, too, because today’s “natural beauty” is actually highly manufactured, dooming truly natural women to fall short. I support women doing what makes them feel most beautiful, but this is a racket.

Moriah 18, Rutland, Vermont Ask me a question

I haven’t heard of this. I don’t know if there is still a “natural” movement, per se, but that’s what my college friends and I subscribe to.

Meghan 19, State College, Pennsylvania Ask me a question

I’ve not heard of Botox parties but they are surely fueled by social media since the younger Kardashian sisters have used it.

Breele 21, Los Angeles, California Ask me a question

This is everywhere in Los Angeles. It’s promoted all over social media from the hottest celebrities. I can't think of one friend who doesn't have at least lip injections (my naturally-full lips look small here) and most go further with fillers and Botox to cheeks, forehead, even reconstructing their facial shape. My friends work at making me feel insecure so I’ll join them. I laugh it off, but the pressure is becoming a norm here.

Brie 24, London, England Ask me a question

I’m not opposed to cosmetic surgery and would use Botox as a wrinkle preventative if I could afford it. However, face creams work pretty well, too, so I go that route. My mom has deep wrinkles from sun damage and expression lines which I’m hoping to avoid. Inform your daughter of the risks knowing it’s her decision. At least it's with a licensed professional.

Samantha 23, Toledo, Ohio Ask me a question

We're constantly told that real isn’t good enough. People watching “Jersey Shore” rush to tanning salons. Girls on Facebook brag about their new waist trainers to achieve the “Kim Kardashian” body. Others get breast implants. Guys think they need steroids. These pressures are intense in college. I joined the tanning trend. Skin cancer didn't mean a thing. I've since learned that my body looks most how I want it to look when I go natural. Continually remind her that inner beauty is what matters.

Brandon 23, Mapleton, Maine Ask me a question

This is about money. Botox requires continual upkeep and young women are hooked by fear of wrinkles.

Molly 23, Oakland, California Ask me a question

I highly discourage Botox. There is no way to test for Botox allergies and improper injections can distort one’s face for months, among other problems.

Christina 23, Marysville, California Ask me a question

I have crow’s feet from too much smiling and a worry line in my forehead (which I sometimes ah, worry about), but haven’t given much serious thought to Botox. As her mother, you have a right to voice concerns. Have a conversation with her to better understand her self-esteem level and what is driving this.

Dear Mom: Let me inject you with even more reality. Firstly, don’t pay for it (if she’s asking) and fully express disapproval. In fact, I would just say no (you’re her mother; no voice is more powerful), which gives her an easy out (and someone to blame) for what sounds like intense pressure. I’ve seen the young Botox girls in Los Angeles and they are legion. No offense to the beings under the mask, but their faces look vacant and robotic. For a very real reason. Micro-mimicry of expressions is how we read each other’s faces and if you can’t move your own face to mirror what you see in another’s, you are both frozen and disconnected — even from yourself. This “Ex Machina” side effect isn’t listed on Botox treatment websites so please share this insidious wrinkle with her while you can both frown over it.

  1. By nancy Jewel Poer, age 84, from California on 10/14/2015

    This is very tempting in a society that worships youth.  but it should be brought out that Botox is working with the same basics as tetanus,
    the affliction that paralyzes the body and is fatal as an illness.
    I call it pre mature embalming..  No doubt it looks good for a while but there are many other ways to stay lovely, without, within, rather than freezing,numbing and compromising your body and natural cell vitality with this process.

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  2. By Stephanie, age 16, from Petaluma, CA on 10/18/2015

    My sister who is 17 also wants to get Botoxed and thinks this will solve the problem that she gets no attention from boys.  She thinks the problem will be solved by Botox taking away the lines in her face.  Well, the fact is that the lines are caused by the fact that her face is too fat as is the rest of her body, and what she needs to do is lose weight which would improve the sagging fat on her face as well as the rest of her body.  However, she will not face up to her weight problem and becomes unglued if anyone even mentions it.  She’s very jealous of me because I keep my body in good shape by eating properly and exercising and boys are attracted to me.  Like others I have read about, she accuses me of “showing off” just because I’m not shy about my nudity in our room that we have to share.  Well, a girl should be able to be casual about nudity in her own bedroom with her own sister and not have to worry about keeping her body covered all the time.  That is not “showing off” to make her feel bad.  She’s always depressed about this, but continues to overeat and make thinks worse for herself and is furious that our mom won’t pay for Botox which she falsely thinks would solve her problem.

    Stephanie

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  3. By john smith, age 30, from USA on 10/20/2016

    face creams work pretty well, too, so I go that route

    Reply to this comment

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