"Botox is a poison," makeup artist Bobbi Brown tells the Times of London: "when we are so careful about what we put into our bodies, why do we want someone to shoot poison into our faces?"
Brown, who says she had Botox "a couple of years ago, between my eyebrows. I really didn't like it. I looked unnatural," is currently promoting a new line of cosmetics designed to help women give themselves "face-lifts" using only makeup, as opposed to plastic surgery. Brown notes that her line is more about looking refreshed than being completely wrinkle-free: "as we age we should still want to look like ourselves," she says, "A face without lines looks expressionless - it lacks warmth and personality. I think there should be a movement away from using Botox and back towards real beauty."
Sarah Crompton of the Telegraph agrees, noting that Hollywood pushes the notion that women should be wrinkle-free, even as their male co-stars are allowed to age gracefully: "Middle-aged women who actually look their age and feel proud of it are becoming invisible." Crompton uses Crazy Heart as an example of Hollywood's age imbalance, pointing out that a wrinkled Jeff Bridges falls for a much younger, and wrinkle-free, Maggie Gyllenhaal. The airbrushing of age is also a concern of Dr. Linda Papadopoulous, a government advisor in England, who is pushing for airbrushing warnings on magazines: "'It's going to say this is not a realistic ideal - people have pores on their face and if someone's waist was that small their lungs would collapse."
But even with calls for actresses and "normal" women alike to embrace their wrinkles and question the aging standards set before them, is the age of Botox truly at an end? Probably not. Just as there are women (and men) who take their Botoxing to the extreme, there are others who view it as a simple procedure that improves their self-confidence and use it in moderation. Botox is just the latest symptom of a youth-obsessed culture that does not allow women to age; even if it falls out of popularity, the odds are that another "fountain of youth" will come to take its place. The procedure isn't the problem; it's the culture that fosters its use, and the notion that a wrinkle is a flaw, as opposed to a natural part of the aging process, and the idea that beauty can only be found in the young. As Brown notes: "Beauty and youth are not the same thing. Of course we all want to look better - but that doesn't have to mean looking younger. Women simply do not need to mess around with their faces in order to look good."
So what say you commenters? Is Botox on the way out? Have you had personal experiences with it? Feel free to share your stories in the comments.
Government Advisor, Dr. Linda Papadopoulous: Airbrushed Mags Should Come With Warning [DailyMail]
Women, Wear Your Wrinkles With Pride [Telegraph]
Bobbi Brown: Why Botox Is Over [TimesOnline]