Over 7.5 million people in the United States use injectables including Botox every year. In fact, the company that makes Botox, Allergen PLC, earns over 2 billion yearly on this single drug. Why would I, a former model, aesthetician, and celebrity makeup artist, come to the decision to not use this method to look my (so called) best? A large part of this for me is because on YouTube (and other social media platforms), many women who create beauty content like I do use injectables and aren’t honest and open about it. Consequently, it’s impossible to know if the serum they are touting is actually as wonderful as they say, or if it’s the recent injections. Companies use this sort of deception all the time, and we don’t think twice about it. However; you, the consumer, are beginning to wise-up. Because of this, if I say a product works, you see it on my face.
For this reason, and 5 others I will detail below, I have decided to not use injectables in my face or body. With my long history in the beauty industry, I have first-hand experience with the distressing pressure women face (especially those in front of a camera) not to age. It’s vile. When I worked in live television for CNN and FOX international news, I saw the ugly brutality of the industry to minimize or fire women who began to age. I have the greatest empathy for women in the media, and do not judge anyone for deciding to use injectables in order to keep jobs, stay relevant, and be taken seriously. As society shifts, though, and women become more powerful, I believe we can dictate to a much larger degree how we are received in the media and beyond.
Here are my 5 reasons why I don’t (and won’t) use Botox.
The Intrinsic Dishonesty of Big Pharma
One of the scariest searches to make on the internet is lawsuits directed at specific pharmaceutical companies. It is not a cheery subject. Big pharma, as you may be well aware, is a business and is here to make money, not tell the truth. In relation to our discussion, the promoted story that Botox is safe doesn’t hold water. For example, there are zero (and I mean ZERO) long term studies conducted on Botox. Why is this? If you look at it from their perspective, why do a study like this when you don’t want the answer? Which leads to the uncomfortable realization that Botox is probably causing harm. If it weren’t, they’d do the long-term studies and brag about its safety rating. (Groan)
Another lie of the pharmaceutical companies is that getting injectables is a preventative measure against ageing. This particular marketing campaign is directed toward women in their twenties to encourage usage and stay youthful. What’s interesting about this is that it’s not only a big fat lie, but that no government agency steps in to restrict it (hello FDA). No injectable prevents anything. It is a temporary “fix” that needs consistent re-uptake to maintain the look. Plus, it gets young women programmed with the template that they are not beautiful and need to inject themselves to be considered worthy. (Bigger groan).
Probably the biggest lie of the pharmaceuticals is that Botox stays localized at the injection site and doesn’t spread to other parts of the body. Therefore, since Botox is in fact botulism (the most dangerous substance known to mankind), you run the risk of it spreading throughout your body without any knowledge of what this will do to you. If you have any doubts or questions about this fact, read this article where it explains a recent lawsuit where Botox is proven to spread throughout the body and the harm it did. To put this in perspective, women in their twenties are injecting botulism into their faces and it’s spreading throughout their bodies. What outcome do you think this will bring?
Headache, Flu, Droopy Eyelid, Drooling, and More
Even though many women do not have negative side effects from using injectables, there is a potential for things like headache, droopy eyelid, drooling, difficulty swallowing, dry eye, and muscle atrophy. I know of a few women who had injections for years before they experienced muscle atrophy and could no longer receive injections. What this means, is that their faces freeze up and become bonier than before starting to use the product. This is not common, but it does happen. Plus, the longer you use Botox, the more product you need to achieve the same outcome. More botulism, more risk.
Botox is a Gateway Drug
No doubt if I had injections, I would like the look. One plastic surgeon I spoke to estimates that nearly 90% of the women who see him want more Botox on their second visit than on the first. It’s a strange addiction that we often see in the media (need I mention Madonna?). Courtney Cox is known to have decided to have her filler removed because she felt she wasn’t looking like herself anymore, and that observation can be leveled at many celebrities. Having said that, I do empathize as I stated earlier that women face undue backlash for ageing, and the temptation is often overpowering to look young as long as possible.
Every time you have a Botox injection, you will spend anywhere from $3-600, and if it’s filler, the bill can run up towards $1000 for a single treatment. The high cost consequently separates people between the have-and-have-nots, and the beautiful and the unworthy. It’s the same marketing strategy employed for other so called luxury items like cars, houses, designer clothing, and more. We are the ones who can step out of the madness and not take the bait.
Negativity in Ageing
Even after years at working to love myself no matter what, I still sometimes cave to the pressure and look negatively at my body. As women get older, we gain perspective and clarity around who we are, what we think and feel, and how to best help others. If society looked upon older women as wise sages, would women get injectables? Probably not. This is why it starts with us. To quote Michael Jackson, it’s the Man in the Mirror that counts (or woman).
What can we do? We can wake up! What does it mean for you to love and accept your body as you age? For me, every day I look in the mirror and say, I love you. It’s so powerful, and yields a confidence that stems from love, the highest vibration in the universe. As a part of my self-care, I get about 9 hours of sleep a night, exercise daily, use peels, micro-dermabrasion, great skin care, healthy eating, and a positive mindset. I am not perfect in any of this, and just ate a chocolate cookie. Having said that, whatever self-care looks like for you, do that with joy. The more we can promote positive ageing, the less power the pharmaceuticals will have, and the greater love we will spread to our world.