Do young women really need botox?

I’ve been catching up on all the Brownlow medal information. A bit late, I know. What can I say except I don’t follow AFL and I don’t live in Melbourne.

My major interest – as with a lot of women I’m sure – is what all the WAGs are wearing. The big surprise this year was how elegant most of them were (well, apart from Brynne Edelstein).  Even Rebecca Judd and Tania Buckley, previous leaders of the less is more brigade, looked sophisticated.

As tends to be the case with footballer WAGs, many of them were young and model-gorgeous.

So why did so many of them look like the footballers mums?

Is it the botox? The amount of make-up they wear?

I’m not opposed to a bit of help to “keep your skin looking youthful”, or in honest terms – to stop you looking so old and haggard. But that’s what  all these things are for – those of us on the other side of 45.

I was going to say “the wrong side”, but who’s to say what’s wrong? Personally I’m having more fun now that I ever have!

I’ve had my fair share (and probably a bit more) of “treatments”. Fillers, laser treatments, chemical peels, rolling – I’ve even had threads in my neck though they were worse than useless. And I’m not going to be one of those people who say that they’re a waste of money. I’ve seen the before and after shots. Hell, I’ve looked at them in the mirror on a daily basis and I know some of these things work.

But regardless of the beautician speak designed to make you feel as if you’re not doing anything more than having a facial, everybody knows the effect of botox. Used properly it can look good, but if you have too much you look like a shiny, wax doll (think Nicole Kidman).

Add to that the “television” make up, and it can be a very scary sight.

I know cameras can be harsh and show up every line, red patch or other  imperfection (or normality, after all everybody’s skin looks like that). I’ve worn television make up numerous times over the years since I was in my 30s, and I know it erases any imperfections and gives your skin an even texture. It also makes everybody look around the same age – and that’s around 40 years old regardless of whether you’re 50 or your 20.

As a demonstration of that just watch some of those soapies aimed at teenage girls – Gossip Girl, The OC, etc – it’s hard to tell who are the parents and who are the kids.

I know this competition to remain young is blamed on women – they’re the ones that edit women’s fashion magazines and set the trends for what women should look like, what they should wear and how they should act. And yes, we do have a responsibility.

I, together with other women my age do a lot to try to stop the aging process. We don’t want to be labelled “old” before we feel ready. So it’s logical that younger women would emulate us, or try to keep ahead of us. I don’t want to look like my mother (who hasn’t had any work done), and they don’t want to look like their mothers (who have had work done). Each generation passes on its values to the next.

But that’s far too  simple, and too much woman blaming for me. After all, we’re not the ones that edit the girlie magazines, or that run the Hollywood studios or music labels and tell – the very visible – women in those industries how they should look, which in turn sets the standard for ordinary women.

We’re also not the ones that ogle all those women and define them as “hot”, so everybody has a responsibility here.

So how do we stop this ridiculous merry-go-round? I don’t have any easy answers. But maybe we can start by telling young women botox and fake boobs make them look more like their mothers, not less.  What young woman wants that???

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