Will "Botox Babies" Stunt Their Emotional Growth?

Los Angeles plastic surgeons report models and actresses are getting Botox as young as 17 — in addition to freezing their faces, are they permanently jeopardizing their emotional lives?

Jo Piazza of FOXNews.com mentions 29-year-old Kim Kardashian's admission that she used Botox, as well as injection rumors about young stars like Megan Fox (24). Piazza also quotes LA dermatologist Dr. Simon Ourian, who says lots of younger women use his services in secret, and that his youngest client was 17. "I think a lot of women feel the pressure to look younger and be at their best. When the rest of the population seems to be younger then you have no choice but to compete," he explains.

Except that the rules of competition are always changing: in the age of injectables, says Piazza (as have others before her) Hollywood is embracing "natural" beauty. She quotes a casting agent:

We want to cast beautiful women. If Botox does that, then good for them. But if I can tell straightaway that an actress has had excessive amounts of Botox treatments, then I will probably move onto the next woman. I don't want to use an actress who doesn't look like a real woman.

So the take-home message to young actresses is, use some Botox if you want, but make sure that you still "look like a real woman" — a hot one, of course. But failing to conform to Hollywood's narrow and ever-shifting beauty standards may not be the biggest risk of Botox. USA Today's Randy Dotinga reminds us of the drug's apparently emotion-dulling powers. Dotinga quotes psych professor Joshua Davis, who says, "with Botox, a person can respond otherwise normally to an emotional event, e.g., a sad movie scene, but will have less movement in the facial muscles that have been injected, and therefore less feedback to the brain about such facial expressivity."

The effect is presumably small, but it's rather worrisome if it begins at 17 years old. Interrupting the emotional feedback loop doesn't sound so great even for older women who have already experienced diverse emotional lives, but what about teenagers and young twentysomethings who are just discovering what adult emotions feel like? What is first love like on Botox? First heartbreak? Will so-called "Botox babies" (Piazza's term) grow up with a permanently narrowed spectrum of feelings? It's a disturbing prospect, but maybe there's an upside — perhaps dulled emotions will help young actresses ignore Hollywood's daily assaults on their self-respect.

Botox Babies: Stars As Young As 17 Getting Their Faces Frozen [FOXNews.com]
Botox May Temporarily Paralyze Emotions, Too [USA Today]

Earlier: Is The Era Of Implants Over In Hollywood?
Botox Paralyzes Emotions. Really. A Little.