I’M suffering from a terminal illness called age.
But unlike Katie Price — who claims she is “preventing ageing” while showing off her latest facelift — I’m a realist.
According to societal standards, I should be frozen by “Botox” or locked up in an aged care facility.
In 2011, it was reported that Aussies spend approximately $1 billion a year on cosmetic treatments in a bid to stay baby-smooth and teen-young.
In 2015, the global anti-ageing market was estimated to be worth a whopping $140.3 billion and is expected to reach more than $200 billion by 2021.
This superficial obsession is detrimental to humanity as a whole. As Buddhism teaches: “All human unhappiness comes from not facing reality squarely, exactly as it is.”
Botox is the denial of reality. Yes, you can erase a wrinkle by injecting it with botulism and pretending that you are younger but the fact is you can’t “stop” age.
There is nothing admirable about a human being chasing the dragon of eternal youth. But in an era where social media has replaced human interaction, emails have replaced letters and texting has replaced phone calls. It’s no surprise that every man and woman over 21 wants to remain a teen forever.
Botox equates to living a lie. It says to the world: I’m insecure about my looks. I’m insecure about my age. I’m so consumed with superficiality, I’d rather inject myself with a bacterial toxin than deal with my internal issues.
And speaking of internal issues. What does Botox do to people psychologically? Or are we at a point in evolution where we no longer care?
A well-known side effect of Botox is the inability to outwardly express emotions. Well, new scientific research reveals another side effect is the inability to “fully feel” emotions. Scientists claim emotional experiences are influenced by facial expressions. So limited facial expressions equals limited ability to feel emotions.
“With Botox, a person can respond otherwise normally to an emotional event, [such as] 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,” researcher Joshua Davis said. “It thus allows for a test of whether facial expressions and the sensory feedback from them to the brain can influence our emotions.”
Joshua Davis and his colleague Ann Senghas led a team of researchers who showed people emotionally charged videos both before and after they were injected with either Botox, or Restylane. The Botox participants “exhibited an overall significant decrease in the strength of emotional experience,” the researchers wrote in a paper published in the June issue of the journal Emotion.
I’m affected by this phenomenon of “flawlessness” as much as the next woman. It brings out all my age insecurities and feelings of worthlessness to the forefront.
It not only makes me worry about my looks, it makes me question my worth as a woman in today’s society. I spend most of my life self-analysing; “Why the hell did I choose acting and writing as a career path? Perhaps I should have stayed in Western Australia and got myself a German Shepherd and 3.5 kids? I wonder if Malcolm Turnbull has to check Lucy’s coat pockets for spare change to afford a decent bottle of pinot noir? I’m 40 years old and still haven’t ‘made it’ — I’m pathetic!”
There are currently teenagers worldwide (some reportedly as young as 15 and 16) getting preventive Botox to stop the emergence of wrinkles but unfortunately this won’t eradicate their need to get injected with the toxin every three months for the rest of their life.
In many Asian, European, African and Native American cultures, age is considered a blessing and something celebratory. An elder is someone that is revered and respected. Wrinkles and lines equate to LIFE.
I turned the big 4-OH in late March. I celebrated my birthday in Paris at the Moulin Rouge, then moved to London to continue my studies in acting.
Life wasn’t always so sweet. There’s been many a tragedy. I’ve buried my parents and brother and faced my own personal issues.
This is my time. My time to achieve what I always dreamt was possible as a kid.
I have crows feet when my face breaks into a smile or laugh now. I feel so bloody sexy.
Will I ever get my wrinkles injected? Hell no.
To quote Bette Davis: “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.”